The capital of the Philippines, Manila is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is the most densely populated metropolis in the world, according to Forbes.
It can trace its history right back to the tenth century, but Manila grew rapidly in importance when it was taken over by the Spanish and then became part of the Manila-Acapulco trade route for the country's galleon ships.
Manila has also been ruled by the US and then by the Japanese during the Second World War, when it suffered enormous damage as a result of the fighting and bombing that took place.
At the end of the conflict, Manila was handed back to the US, but it became independent in the 1970s and has since been rebuilt.
Now, Manila is a vital port and it exports a diverse range of manufactured produce from the Philippines, including textiles and electronics.
Its tourist industry has also grown, with many people choosing to travel to Manila to experience a different way of life.
Manila Travel Tips
Manila's main airport for international flights is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, but it is also served by the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. It is therefore worth checking your tickets carefully to see which you will land at before you organise your transfers to Manila hotels.
Once you have exited the terminal, you should be able to get a taxi or use public transport to get to your destination.
Manila is served well by its trains and you will be able to get to most of the attractions you want to see on the Strong Republic Transport System (SRTS) or the Commuter Express.
The fare will depend on the distance you want to travel, but you can also buy stored value tickets that are good for ten journeys or an SRTS Flash Pass that will grant you unlimited travel for a week.
This will allow you to really explore from The Heritage Hotel Manila.
Buses are also an option, but you will need to look for the destination on the side of the vehicles rather than the front.
Finally, tourists in Manila should try at least one ride on a jeepney. These are little vehicles that were originally made from the US military jeeps left in the Philippines at the end of the Second World War.
Usually colourfully decorated and a little crowded, they cover many tourist routes and will be a real experience for visitors.
What to pack:
Manila is hot and humid because of its proximity to the equator, so you will need to bring plenty of light clothing with you when you visit.
The dry season occurs from January to April, while May to December will be much wetter - make sure you take your waterproofs or something you do not mind getting wet if you intend to travel to Manila then.
What to do and where to go?
You will not be short of things to see and do in Manila, whether you are travelling there for a short business trip or a longer holiday.
This is especially true if you like cultural attractions, as there are many in the city that you are sure to find fascinating.
However, Manila is lots of fun too, as demonstrated by things like the ocean park and the vast array of bustling restaurants.
Our Manila travel guide below will provide you with some ideas for exciting things to do.
Arts and Culture:
National Museum of the Philippines
San Agustin Churchin Intramuros
Metropolitan Museum of Manila
Museum of Philippine Political History
Parks and Recreation:
Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion
Manila Ocean Park
Area: 38.6 sq km
Language: Filipino, English
Currency: Philippine Peso