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We had the opportunity to visit Manila, the capital of the Philippines for a short trip, and oh my, it was a fabulous experience. Besides the terrible traffic, I love everything about the country. Filipinos are super friendly hosts, the country has a very rich history and culture.

We came to Manila via Taiwan, and unfortunately we spent little time in the Philippines, as we missed our flight from Taiwan, which left at 2pm and ended up leaving on another one at 8pm. Manila doesn't have many tourist attractions other than casinos and shopping centers.

Metro Manila is the capital region of the Philippines, made up of 16 cities and home to 12 million citizens. One of the cities within the region is Manila, the country's capital, while the most populous city is Quezon City. In pre-Hispanic times, the province known as Manila encompassed the kingdoms of Tondo and Maynila. At the time of the Spanish occupation, the city within the walls (Intramuros) became the capital of the country. Today, Metro Manila is the cultural, economic and governmental center of the Philippines.

What to do in Manila:

SM Mall of Asia (MOA) ! Here is a brief background information: MOA is the 3rd largest shopping mall in Asia and the 4th largest shopping mall in the world. It is about three times the size of Vivocity, Singapore's largest shopping mall. How do you finish shopping in such a big mall in one day? You won't make it!

Explore Fort City of Philippines, Intramuros

The name itself literally means "within the walls", and it is a fortress built by the Spanish in the 16th century. It's a charming, old place where you see many old historic buildings with Spanish influence.

Not far from the Fort is the Manila Cathedral, a Roman Catholic basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has been heavily damaged several times, but is now restored to its full glory. If you are lucky, on the weekends, you will have the chance to see a Filipino wedding ceremony.

To continue your Philippine culture and history lesson, head to the National Museum. It houses the nation's heritage and greatest works of art. The exhibits are divided into two separate buildings, one with the historical artifacts and the other with the artwork. The great part is that the museum is free, so it is truly open for everyone to enjoy.

Taxis in Manila are very affordable, but not as exciting as jeepneys (cover photo). This cheapest public transport in the Philippines costs less than a quarter of a dollar, which is nothing compared to the fun you get. All this, if you can fit in. You must stop a Jeepney at the random place as there are no real stops.

Don't forget to eat at the original Krispy Kreme donut, there are several throughout the city.

Philippines is such an amazing country and there is simply so much to share with you, especially the CEBU region that we still want to go to. Our post about what to do in Manila definitely doesn't do justice to this beautiful country that, because of the heat and the appearance of the people, reminded us a lot of Bolivia, which gave the title to this post; but please book a ticket and fly to experience the Philippines for yourself.

We got there via Taiwan on a low cost from HongKong, where we spent three incredible days.

We stayed at the wonderful hotel: The Henry Hotel Manila (photos below) we paid R$239 per night

  • Capital : Manila

  • Official language : Filipino and English. Another 19 regional languages are recognized.

  • President : Noynoy Aquino

  • 2014 population : 103,127,600 inhabitants

  • Currency : Philippine Peso

  • Total Area : 300,000 km²

  • Time zone : UTC +8

  • International telephone code : +63

  • Climate : Humid tropical

  • Visa : You do not need a visa to enter the Philippines.

  • Borders : the Philippines is an archipelago that does not have a land border with any other country.

  • Places not to be missed : Boracay, Banaue Rice Terraces, Chocolate Hills, Manila, Mayon Volcano, Malapascua Island, Honda Bay, Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, Pagsanjan Waterfall, Coron Island, Pinatubo, Taal Lake, Mount Apo, Cebu .

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