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Travelling to Manila / Philippines as Solo Traveller.


Exploring Manila: A Solo Woman Traveler’s Guide

Welcome to Manila!

Solo travel can be an exhilarating and empowering experience, especially for women. Manila, the vibrant capital city of the Philippines, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and stunning landscapes that are a delight to explore. Whether you’re a seasoned solo traveler or embarking on your first adventure, Manila has something for everyone. Let’s dive into this comprehensive guide tailored specifically for solo woman travelers.

1. Arriving in Manila

1.1. Navigating the Airport: A Seamless Experience

When you touch down at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, commonly known as NAIA, you’ll find yourself immersed in a bustling atmosphere. Don’t worry; getting around is relatively easy. Follow the signs to the taxi stand or use a ride-hailing app to ensure a safe and convenient journey to your accommodation. Remember, it’s always a good idea to pre-book your accommodation beforehand to avoid any last-minute hurdles.

1.2. Choosing Safe Accommodation

Manila offers a wide range of accommodation options suitable for solo women travelers. Opt for well-reviewed hotels in popular areas like Makati or Bonifacio Global City for a comfortable and secure stay. Remember to read reviews and do thorough research before booking to ensure your accommodation meets your needs.

2. Exploring Manila: Uncovering Hidden Gems

2.1. Embracing History in Intramuros

Step back in time by visiting Intramuros, the historic walled city within Manila. As a solo woman traveler, you’ll appreciate the charm and captivating stories that echo through its cobblestone streets. Explore Fort Santiago, a 16th-century citadel, and stroll along the picturesque walls, immersing yourself in Manila’s rich history.

2.2. Unwinding in Rizal Park

Take a moment to relax and enjoy nature at Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park. Located near Intramuros, this urban oasis is perfect for solo women travelers seeking a tranquil escape amidst the bustling city. Take a leisurely walk, rent a bike, or find a quiet spot to people-watch and soak up the local ambiance.

2.3. Culture and Creativity in The National Museum

Art enthusiasts will find solace in the rich collections housed within The National Museum of the Philippines. Indulge in the country’s cultural heritage, admiring stunning artworks, historical artifacts, and immersive exhibitions. The museum offers an ideal opportunity for solo woman travelers to appreciate Manila’s vibrant art scene and connect with local narratives.

3. Safety Tips for Solo Women Travelers

3.1. Dressing Appropriately

While Manila embraces various styles of dress, it’s advisable for solo women travelers to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites or exploring local neighborhoods. Respecting cultural norms will not only help you blend in but also enhance your safety and comfort.

3.2. Using Reliable Transportation

When getting around Manila, prioritize your safety by using reliable transportation options like registered taxi services or reputable ride-hailing apps. Avoid hailing random taxis on the street, especially at night. Opting for secure modes of transport will ensure a worry-free experience.

3.3. Staying Connected

Maintain constant communication with loved ones or trusted friends back home. Let them know about your travel plans, share your accommodation details, and check in regularly. It’s always beneficial to have someone aware of your whereabouts during your solo adventures.

4. Indulging in Manila’s Culinary Delights

4.1. Exploring Filipino Street Food

Manila’s street food scene is a culinary adventure you won’t want to miss. Indulge in local favorites like adobo, sinigang, and halo-halo that will tantalize your taste buds. Don’t hesitate to savor authentic Filipino street food, found in bustling food markets and street stalls throughout the city.

4.2. Dining at Rooftop Restaurants

For a splendid sunset view and a memorable dining experience, head to one of Manila’s rooftop restaurants. These establishments offer a unique blend of stunning cityscapes, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant atmosphere that will leave you awestruck.

Conclusion

Manila, with its rich history, diverse culture, and warm hospitality, is a perfect destination for solo women travelers. Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the city’s charm, and forge unforgettable memories. Stay safe, be respectful, and let Manila enchant you with its beauty. Happy travels!

Accommodation options for woman solo travellers in Manila

1. The Posh Hostel

Located in the lively district of Makati, The Posh Hostel offers clean and comfortable dormitory-style accommodation for solo travelers. The hostel provides a safe and friendly environment with 24-hour security and convenient access to nearby attractions, restaurants, and shops.

2. Red Planet Manila Mabini

Situated in the heart of Manila, Red Planet is known for its affordable yet stylish rooms. This hotel offers single occupancy rooms with modern amenities and a convenient location near popular sights such as Rizal Park and the Intramuros.

3. Z Hostel

Z Hostel is a trendy and social accommodation option for solo travelers, located in the bustling neighborhood of Poblacion. The hostel features chic dormitories, a rooftop bar, and a communal kitchen. It’s an ideal place for meeting fellow travelers and exploring the vibrant nightlife of Manila.

4. Casa Bocobo Hotel

Casa Bocobo Hotel is a cozy boutique hotel located near historic attractions such as the Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church. With its comfortable rooms and friendly staff, it provides a peaceful retreat for solo travelers looking to explore the cultural heritage of Manila.

5. Lub d Philippines Makati

Lub d Philippines Makati is a modern and hip hostel situated in the heart of Makati’s central business district. It offers private and shared rooms designed with comfort and style in mind. The hostel also has a rooftop bar, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring the city.

Must-see places in Manila

1. Intramuros

Located within the heart of Manila, Intramuros is a historic walled area that dates back to the Spanish colonial period. Explore the cobblestone streets, visit Fort Santiago, and immerse yourself in the rich history and architecture of this cultural hub.

2. Rizal Park

Named after the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, this urban park offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Take a leisurely stroll, visit the Rizal Monument, and enjoy the beautiful gardens and fountains.

3. Manila Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park is an oceanarium that offers an interactive and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Discover a wide array of marine life through exhibits, shows, and even the chance to swim with dolphins.

4. National Museum of the Philippines

Immerse yourself in Filipino culture and history at the National Museum of the Philippines. The museum showcases a vast collection of art, artifacts, and archaeological finds that depict the country’s diverse heritage.

5. Binondo Chinatown

Explore the oldest Chinatown in the world outside China, located in Manila’s Binondo district. Experience the vibrant atmosphere, indulge in delicious Chinese cuisine, and visit the historic sites and temples that showcase the area’s rich heritage.

6. Manila Baywalk

Take a leisurely stroll along the Manila Baywalk and enjoy the picturesque sunset views. With various restaurants and entertainment options nearby, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak in the beauty of Manila’s coastline.

7. San Agustin Church

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, San Agustin Church, which dates back to the 16th century. Admire its magnificent baroque architecture and explore the beautifully preserved interior, including the intricate and ornate wooden carvings.

Favorite Foods to Eat in Manila

Adobo

Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish made with meat (usually chicken or pork) marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and spices. It is then stewed until the meat becomes tender and flavorful. The combination of tangy and savory flavors makes adobo a popular and beloved dish in Manila.

Sinigang

Sinigang is a sour soup that commonly features pork, beef, or shrimp as the main ingredient. The soup is flavored with tamarind, giving it a distinct tangy taste. Along with the meat, sinigang typically contains various vegetables, such as kangkong (water spinach), radishes, and tomatoes. This comforting and hearty soup is frequently enjoyed in Manila, especially during rainy seasons.

Pancit Palabok

Pancit Palabok is a noodle dish that consists of rice noodles drenched in a thick and flavorful shrimp sauce. It is usually topped with boiled shrimp, crushed chicharon (pork cracklings), sliced hard-boiled eggs, and chopped green onions. The combination of textures and flavors in Pancit Palabok makes it a favorite street food and snack in Manila.

Halo-Halo

Halo-Halo is a popular dessert in Manila, particularly during hot summer days. It is a mixture of crushed ice, various sweetened fruits (such as bananas, jackfruit, and beans), sweetened beans, jelly cubes, leche flan (caramel custard), and topped with a scoop of ube (purple yam) ice cream. Halo-Halo offers a refreshing and colorful medley of flavors and textures.

Lechon

Lechon is a whole roasted pig that is traditionally cooked over an open fire. The skin becomes incredibly crispy while the meat remains juicy and tender. Lechon is often the centerpiece of festive occasions and celebrations in Manila. The combination of smoky flavors and succulent meat makes this dish highly sought after.

Kare-Kare

Kare-Kare is a Filipino stew made with oxtail, tripes, or ox tripe and various vegetables, such as eggplants, bok choy, and string beans. The stew is thickened with peanut sauce, resulting in a rich and savory flavor. Kare-Kare is commonly served with bagoong (shrimp paste) on the side, adding a salty and umami element to the dish. It is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.

Daily Costs in Manila for Solo Travelers

Food

– Street food: $1-2 per meal
– Local restaurants: $3-10 per meal
– Mid-range restaurants: $10-20 per meal
– Luxury dining: $30+ per meal

Stay

– Budget hostels: $10-20 per night
– Mid-range hotels: $30-60 per night
– Luxury hotels: $80+ per night

Transportation

– Jeepneys: $0.25-0.50 per trip
– Tricycles: $0.50-1 per trip
– Buses: $0.50-1 per trip
– Metro Rail Transit (MRT): $0.50-1 per trip

Safety of Manila for Women Solo Travelers

Overall Safety

Manila, like any big city, has its share of safety concerns. It is important for women solo travelers to take precautions and be vigilant while exploring the city. However, with proper planning and awareness, Manila can be a safe destination for women.

Safe Areas

– Makati: Considered the safest area in Manila with well-lit streets and security presence.
– Bonifacio Global City: Another safe and developed area with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
– Intramuros: The historic walled city with a strong police presence and tourist-friendly environment.

Precautions to Take

– Stay in well-populated areas, especially at night.
– Avoid walking alone in dimly lit or isolated streets.
– Keep valuable belongings secure and be cautious of pickpockets.
– Use trusted transportation options and avoid traveling alone late at night.
– Research and adhere to local customs and cultural norms.
– Stay updated about current travel advisories and avoid areas with known security risks.