Good day all, I noticed there is not much guides and just general tips on Manila and since this is my city, i would like to share some tips on foreigners visiting here!
Part 1: Deciding to go to Manila
Please do not expect Manila to be a cosmopolitan city like downtown newyork or nathan road. It is quite polluted, foreigners stick out like sore thumbs, and its not always 100% safe.
Keep your rolexes and pateks at home. dont walk around flashing your phone, dress simple, sandals shorts and a shirt will do. it is HOT here. and ALWAYS bring small change such as 20 pesos (half a dollar).
Cabs – Always ask the meter to be switched on. If they dont want to and invent excuses, just say you will take another cab instead. dont be fooled please. Airport to downtown should cost about 200-300 (6-8 USD) pesos. Yellow taxis will be more expensive because they are airport taxis, but are generally safer.
Buses and Trains – I live here and I dont even want to use it. I suggest you dont either. Taxis are PLENTIFUL.
Rules on Punting – In manila, prostitution of course is illegal but there is no enforcement of this law. So as long as you do everything in private, or in the clubs, dont be boisterous, youll be safe.
Part 2: Lodging
Where to stay? Here are the premier locations I advise tourists to go to because it is safer, and more acivities/shopping/to do.
1. Makati City – Best place to get a hotel in IMHO. Central Business District of the Phil. Hotels are Shangrila, Mandarin, Dusit Thani, Holiday Inn, Fairmont Hotel (new!) Intercontinental Hotel. Look around the internet and you can see prices. The advantage of these hotels in makati is that high end shopping places of the Phils are also here. So you can walk out of your hotel and take a quick cab ride (5-10min) to shopping places like Greenbelt and Glorietta Malls. For Punting time, you have two choices: a. Ask the Cabby to bring you to Greenbelt 3 Mall. Inside the mall there is an open veranda area with starbucks/wine and coffee and resto-bars. Every night, girls wearing provocative clothes and such tend to hang out there and if you are a foreigner, you know they will eye you and its up to you to approach them or let them approach you. no mamas or papasans much here so its up to you to haggle your price and bring them to your hotel. It is generally well tolerated as long as you dont let the girl where extra hookery clothes. These girls are a little on the exotic side (darker skin, thicker lips etc, more malay look) and I would suggest a fair price to be 20-25 dollars for full service, at your place. for overnights, just say youll treat them to all the food and all, WGs here dont really ask for overnight premium because they assume youll give them GF experience (take them shopping, dining etc). Another option would be in Makatis “Burgos Street” just tell the Cabby and he knows. Its the RLDistrict of Makati and youll find SOOO MANY foreigners and girls and clubs all night long. again, exotic girls abound and simply follow the 20-25 dollar rule. Clubs in general have an entrance fee though. So if you are looking to just hookup-, youll find plenty standing on the street and its perfectly fine. In fact there are tourist-police who dont really care that you are picking girls up. They just want to keep peace and order from drunks. The girls who are generally in Makati are really born to to this kinda job. so most likely they are much more used and abused. not to be mean but they are plenty at low socio-economic class so you might find it harder to get a good dialogue, and they generally look more.. not upscale girls.
2. The Fort, Bonifacio Global City – high class high society area. No punting here but just beside makati so you can visit during daytime. So if you wanna go to the high street clubs, feel free but is the locals that rule here so you wont find a real punt. Maybe hookup with a local girl in a bar if youre lucky but doubt it. This area is simply well known for upper-class well known restaurants and glitzy social clubs at night.
3. Resorts World – Right beside the Airport. Youll find here Marriot, remington hotel, shopping mall cinema casino you want it you got it, its a small city of its own! hard to punt here though so generally people pick girls up from downtown manila or quezon city, then bring them here. or ask the girls to come here.
4. Quezon Avenue – No top hotels here FYI so better stick to makati. However this is THE PLACE TO BE for quality punting. You can select the girls in aquiarium. You can even enter the club to say you want to see tonight;s girls first, and if none fancy you, you can walk next door to the next club to select. Tell the cabby to bring you here and he knows what youre up to. Clubs like HeartBeat, Classmates, Wilderness, Kremlin, etc etc line this whole boulevard. And I HIGHLY suggest you punt here for the best quality of girls. Less exotic looking though so more asian looking girls here. The process is like this: When you enter the club, you have the choice of going to the manila massage area, OR the drinking club. If you opt for some drinks first, you pay P300 pesos 6-7 dollars, usually it is consumable so you can use it for beer and such while watching a sexy dancer/s. If you just wanna punt punt punt, ask that you dont want to go to the bar, and instead want the massage right away. Girls here are of uniform price. Prepare 3000 Pesos (66 Dollars) you pay P1,500 Up front to get a VIP room with its own shower. and you pay the girl P1,500 after your session. You can opt for a cheaper room but no shower. Wheres the fun in that? Showering with her is the best. So once you pay 1500 for the room, they bring you to an aquarium where you pick your girl, then to the room… then wait and enjoy. One thing to note is that since filipinas are quite conservative, you really need to talk to them and warm them up! be friendly because they will be. Then you can agree on BBBJ or whatnot rules. Dont go straight to the sex rules please. You can get the girls number too in private so you can schedule punts elsewhere if she agrees. Most Q Ave girls can speak english better than any of the girls youll find in other RLDs. Girls here esp the most expensive ones (1,500 Pesos vs 800 pesos) are of low but surprisingly some are mid class. you might get better conversations and generally, these are the best girls youll find in the entire phils already because unlike stand alone girls, the clubs test theese girls, manage them, and make sure theyre friendly. For reference, your average Q ave girl will look like the girls on this site: http://www.ktvph.com/ (not meant to advertise the site but i found it to be a good database to peg girls looks from)
5. Angeles City, Pampanga – To us filipinos, this is an american retiree’s haven.. girls are very exotic but honestly cheap looking for us. its a nice place to settle down to punt day and night. its like the total opposite of hong kong. But if this rocks your boat.. feel free!
6. Roxas Boulevard – Manila Hotel, Diamond Hotel. etc, Its like our seaside boulevard. Its full of business hotels, lots of japanese/chinese/korean businessmen stay here so youll find plenty of asian restos nearby. Good place to stay because near the capital if you are doing business, but for a punthaton, I would stay away from this place because theres not much to do but go to shady KTVS and such.
7. Enjoy manila because filipinos are hospitable and resilient. Just stay safe and if you have hesitations, just post em up and Ill try my best to answer.
8 Boracay – The famous beach island, If you like island girls, they are so much.
Other thoughts to add:
1) In terms of taxis – watch the meters – if you can, get an idea on line of approximately how much different rides should cost – there are a lot of reports of taxis with fixed meters and cabs taking routes. I had no problems but did have to confirm route on one ride a few times – google maps on the phone does help.
2) I took the trains a few times and had no issues – if you are going somewhere in late afternoon it is worth but I would not recommend at night
3) I stayed in Makati at the City Garden – great location off Burgos – day time 10 min walk to sky trains – free breakfast, girl friendly, gym, great service
4) I did not pull any freelancers – have heard too many horror stories on other boards and from friends who visit regularly.
5) Was not that impressed with Burgos – lots of girls but pricing was high – skipped down to AC where there were more girls and far more reasonable prices.
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