A stoned wall entrance to the Intramuros from the Spanish conquest in Manila, Philippines
The walled city of Intramuros will take you back in time to the Spanish conquest of Manila in the late 16th century. See the Fort Santiago Citadel itself and the treasures within, like the Spanish Colonial San Agustin Church and Bahay Tsinoy Museum, which is dedicated to the Philippines' Chinese immigrant community.
Manila isn't just about the past. The vibrant Makati district is pulsating and futuristic. Its tree-lined boulevards are home to modern architectural landmarks like the Ayala Museum and contemporary shopping malls, like Glorietta and the Greenbelt, which are marvels of architecture (and air conditioning) in their own right.
Whether you opt for outdoor stalls around Intramuros or upmarket Makati restaurants such as Sentro 1771 in Makati, make traditional Filipino cuisine your priority. Manila cruises offer you the opportunity to try pancit bihon guisado, fried noodles with soya sauce, citrus and veggies. Tuck into sisig, a crispy pork casserole spiced with chilies and flavoured with calamansi, a local citrus fruit.
If there's one thing Manila's got plenty of, it's shopping. From the shopping centres to souvenir stalls both inside and outside the walls of Intramuros, you'll be spoilt for choice. Buy 'Jeepney' keychains that depict the rural Filipino vehicle for a high kitsch factor, or choose colourful Banig crafts made from traditional Manila hemp grasses for a more rural, traditional souvenir.
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