(Me and my family at Mall of Asia)
From my foreign friends that has been back and forth Manila, I ask them one question. “How do you find Manila?”, most of them will answer it’s horrible, some says it’s dirty (even the Hollywood actress Claire Danes once said that), and one friend says, “It’s a hell on earth!”. I could not blame them for tagging our country that way, because even if I am a Filipino, I too, find it so true. It’s sad, but that is what’s happening around the metro.
Metro Manila is home for more than 14 Million people! Most of my friends will skip Manila as soon as they can and go to the islands or provinces where things are more calmer, breeze are fresher, people friendlier, and so on. Also, most travel friends I met are nature lovers, so no doubt why they will not stay longer than 2-3 days in the city.
Although for those who wants to stay longer, enjoy the crazy difference of Manila to the rest of Asian cities there are places where you can go to like Mall of Asia. The mall is 3rd largest mall in Asia and 4th in the world. It is located at the Bay City, Manila.
(Ice Skating Rink: Image courtesy of Nick Tam)
TRIVIA: Do You Know Why It’s Called ‘Bay City’?
It is called Bay City because it was once a part of Manila Bay, they covered it with land and became the ground that is where the Mall of Asia and several condominium buildings are built.
What To Do in Mall of Asia?
Just like any other malls, it has all the shopping boutiques and restaurants inside. Movie theaters, department store, supermarket, and all that common things you can find from any other malls. Perhaps you would ask, “Why do you want it so big if it’s just like any other malls?”. Well, its not just like any other malls.
Zip Line. At the bay view area of the mall, there is a zip line you can enjoy for 150 pesos ($3 USD) without a photo and 200 pesos ($4 USD) with photo. That is cool enough to try.
(Zip Line: Photo by Nick Tam)
Ice Skating. I know we are a tropical country but that does not stop us to enjoy ice skating, the mall has an ice skating rink with 390 pesos (less than $8 USD) and 30 pesos for a locker (for your stuff while you skates). The fee includes unlimited use of ice skating rink, ice skates until 8:30 PM.
Fireworks Watching. There’s a firework show every night at 7PM, it takes 10-15 minutes long and sometimes longer (depends if there’s a celebration).
How to Get There?
Those are the highlights of the mall so far (they might put up something more interesting in the future). So you wonder, how will I get there from the backpacker’s area? I would suggest to take a taxi instead of jeepney for those westerners travelling around without local friend(s). Always ask for the meter and if they refused, just get off and find another one (there are plenty of taxis everywhere in Metro Manila).