The Philippines is called the Pearl of the Orient for many reasons: the beautiful tropical islands, the wonderful people, and the delicious food. And all of these are embodied in one single perfect moment – the breathtakingly picturesque Manila Bay sunset. So whether you decide to visit and stay at a family or friends’ home or in a 5-Star Hotel here in Manila, the city will never fail to capture your heart with all its life and incomparable vibrancy.
When traveling to Manila, just like with any destination, what you should keep at heart is experiencing the world. And when it comes to leisurely travels and journeys, who better to look to for travel tip inspiration than the legendary Anthony Bourdain? Not too long ago, the eminent personality visited Manila for his TV show Parts Unknown.
Let’s take a look at some of the key travel tips that we can gain from his episode on the Philippine Islands:
First and foremost, Metro Manila is a city that is full of bountiful color and life – an urban epicenter where the possibilities for adventure are endless. The secret to enjoying all the best things that this place has to offer is to look for authentic experiences. Although it may definitely be worth checking out the usual attractions, it is imperative that you get out of your comfort zone or, to put it in other terms, expand your sensorial horizons.
Simply put, when you are in Metro Manila, high standards for safety and cleanliness should never get in the way of your exploratory spirit and sense of adventure. Although there are many potential threats and dangers, always remember to use your best judgment when navigating your way through the locales. When in Metro Manila, it’s essential to dive into the treasures of the unknown and all that she has to offer, but it is also important to always stay aware and not to compromise your well-being.
The great Anthony Bourdain describes typical tourist attractions as ‘frenzied compression’. Manila is a city that has countless scenes and attractions which many of the locals don’t even know about! But keep in mind that it is not a good idea to do this in marathon sprints. Instead, give yourself ample amount of time for just simply wandering, getting lost, and seeing what you can get into.
Do not make the mistake of creating hectic schedules for ‘must-see’ tourist stops; it can really be quite a punishing experience instead of an awesome one. Trapping yourself in one of the many crowded tourist spots here in Manila will keep you in a bubble that prevents any of the city’s magic from ever happening to you.
In this day and age, we often immediately look at our laptops and phones for online resources and various reviews. One neat thing that you can try is to go online to a highly-reputable travel site and really browse through the several comments or message boards of a particular locale that you have in mind. It is here where there is a high chance that you may encounter a golden nugget or two of some down-to-earth local eateries and establishments!
When it comes to matters concerning budgeting for your travel expenses, it is all truly relative. But one of the most helpful tips to keep in mind is to spend a significant portion of your budget on hotels or where you stay. If you book online, there are many great deals that you could score from a hotel’s website. You can even get the best prices by booking two or three months in advance!
A great alternative to staying at your standard city hotel is to find a place in a quaint neighborhood wherein you can really get a taste of the local culture. You can find an area that is overflowing with character and charm – the kind of place that makes you fall in love with a time; an image; a feeling.
Last but certainly not least, travel at its very core is pure magic. Although it is certainly true that they may also come with many stresses and hassles, you have to learn to remind yourself that plans should be ephemeral. So you have to always be prepared to improvise – this is where the true magic comes from; the spontaneous moments of cheerful uncertainty that you make you feel consumed with life and meaning.
When it comes to 5-Star Hotels here in Manila, I’M Hotel has a heartfelt grasp of this Bourdainian approach to traveling. I’M Hotel’s succulent odes to international cuisine, signature Onsen Spa, and its close proximity to all the people, sights and sounds of the Poblacion district are all celebrations of humanity, life, and culture – everything that Anthony Bourdain stood for.