Manila, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, is a bustling and quirky place. Though it’s a distinctly eastern city, its Spanish colonial roots show through in such a way that many visitors might forget that they’re in Asia. The area of Intramuros is the oldest and most historic district of Manila, and is home to Plaza de Roma, one of the city’s most popular public squares and the site of the beautiful Manila Cathedral.

Intramuros also boasts an old Spanish citadel called Fort Santiago, a historical gem where national hero Jose Rizal was imprisoned. When you’ve seen where Rizal was held captive, it’s time for a visit to Rizal Park and the grand monument to the revolutionary himself. Other things to see in Manila include the grand Malacañang Palace, official residence of the president of the Philippines, and the district of Binondo, which is the world’s oldest Chinatown. This is a great place to buy some locally-made gifts and taste some Filipino cuisine, usually served on banana leaves and eaten with a clean right hand. Because who needs utensils?


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