Manila is the capital of the Philippines and is known as one of the oldest cities in the world. The city is now filled with modern architecture, high-rise buildings, and has outstanding medical centers. It is the prime medical tourism destination in the Philippines. Some of the factors that contribute to Manila’s booming medical tourism are its affordable prices, state-of-the-art medical equipment, doctors with international certifications, excellent infrastructure, and superior post-surgical care.
Manila offers outstanding tourist attractions and the most popular attraction is perhaps Fort Santiago. It is a 16th-century citadel situated near the mouth of the Pasig River off Manila Bay. Before the fort was built, it was originally a site of a Muslim Kingdom. The area has seen many important historical facts, such as the defeat of Rajah Sulaiman by Spaniards, the invasion of the Chinese, and the start of American rule. The National Museum of the Filipino People is another popular site and it houses a varied collection, including the skullcap of the country’s earliest known inhabitant from 24,000 BC. Tourists should also visit the Rizal Park, known as Luneta, and wander around its 60 hectares of open lawns with ornamental gardens, ponds, wooded areas, and paved walks.
Manila NAIA International Airport is the main gateway to the city. It serves many domestic and international flights, including flights to Tokyo, New York, and Dubai. For inexpensive travel, opt for budget airlines such as AirAsia and Cebu Pacific. Taxis, jeepneys, buses, hailing apps, LRT, MRT, and car rentals are the transport options to get around the city.
Visa-free entry is granted for citizens of Singapore, the US, and numerous other countries. Visa on arrival is available for citizens of certain countries including China and India. All visitors are allowed to stay for 30 or 59 days. To learn more about the visa requirement, it is best to check at your nearest Embassy of the Philippines.
Manila experiences a tropical monsoon climate, with constant average temperatures of 27 °C all year round. There are two distinct seasons: dry from December to May and wet from June to November. Although rain showers do not occur every day and the temperatures are cooler, the wet season is very humid. Be aware that the city is prone to typhoons, particularly in the months of June and September.
- Local Currency: The local currency is the Philippine Peso. 1 USD converts to approximately 51 PHP.
- Money & Payments: Many ATMs in the city accepts international cards, usually with a minimal exchange fee. Credit cards are widely accepted. Tipping is sometimes necessary, such as in a restaurant and a taxi.
- Local Language: Filipino and English are the official languages, so tourists will find many people who speak fluent English.
- Local Culture and Religion: Christianity, especially Roman Catholic, is the major religion in Manila.
- Public holidays: Manila celebrates Christmas, Eid al-Fitr, Independence Day, and several other public holidays.