Saturday 30st May:
Once through we headed to our hotel. Staying in Manila is not an easy choice as most of the hotels are fairly expensive for what they are, plus Manila is so spread out. We chose to stay in Banguoi Global City. The taxi there cost 230 Peso and took about 20 minutes. The hotel itself, Fort Budget Hotel was ok. It had all the main things, bed, shower, wifi and the guy was very helpful. We spent the rest of the evening walking around BGC, it was Saturday night and High Street was very busy. It seems BGC is a popular area with the expats and rich Filipinos. Further up was Market Market, a cheaper and very busy Mall. By this stage we were ready for bed and despite getting a little lost (and wet as the rain came pouring down) we made it home safe and sound.
Sunday 31st May:
An eventful day in Manila started with breakfast at the 7/11. Very few hotels seem to have breakfast included which is a pain. However, we needed to head to the bus station to purchase tickets for our overnight bus to Banuae. Why you cannot purchase online I don’t know, as it was a good 1 hour journey on the MRT, LRT, walking and tricycle. The tickets where 450 peso per person using the Omayana line. From there we headed to United Nations Avenue which is where most of the tourist / historical things to see are located. The LRT in Manila is crazy, we were told that this was a good day as during the week it is even worse which is very hard to imagine. We walked around and the first thing that hits you is the amount of people living homeless. People of all ages sleeping rough at the side of the road or on the park, a real eye opener. There are many people begging which is something you get used to living in Asia, but still, it doesn’t get easier to see.
The heat and humidity in Manila is even more than in KL so we were hot, hot, hot so decided to get a horse and carriage around. As predicted, he tried to fleece us, asking for x4 more than what we had agreed. Simple tip: pay before you use if possible.
Our hotel was very kind, as we had to check out before we went out that morning, so arriving back at about 5pm all hot and sweaty, they let us use the shower for free. We hung around in their roof top bar until about 7.30 before getting a taxi (no way we could go through all that crap again) to the depot for our 10pm overnight bus to Banuae.