While Manila is somewhat overshadowed by the madness of Bangkok or the beauty of Ubud, it packs a punch in terms of character and history. Manila is a fascinating place to attend a conference, not just because of the wide array of business hotels and facilities, but also due to the wealth of attractions and areas to explore outside of working hours.
A melting pot of cultures and stories, Manila is home to various nationalities, and a short stay in the city will enable you to relish a variety of cultures. The city is home to Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown which was established in 1594 and is nowadays a great spot to enjoy some delicious Chinese food post-conference.
Manila also has strong Spanish roots. To engage in this era of Filipino history, check out Fort Santiago. It is a fortress, which was initially a religious Muslim building but became a defensive edifice. Also, it played a key role in the spice trade. If you are hankering after more stories from the nation’s past, check out the National Museum of the Philippines, or take a stroll around the oldest urban park in Asia. Rizal Park was the site of executions, including that of ‘national hero’ Dr. Jose Rizal.
If you are craving relaxation time post-conference, Manila’s not short of dining and drinking options. Most famous is perhaps the Dampa Seafood Market, where you select your seafood and take it to the local restaurants, who will cook it deliciously. Or, for a uniquely Manilan experience, check out some of the other street markets, where you can try local delicacies such as pig’s nose and chicken’s heart. Once the sun goes down, check out Makati City for its buzzing nightlife.