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Manila during Chritmas 2006

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Malaysia
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Manila during Chritmas 2006

My family and I (5 of us with 2 children age 11 and 13) ) will be in Manila during Christmas 2006 for 5 days. Will arrive from Malaysia using Airasia. Thinking of moving around on ourown as we used to do in Bangkok and Bali. Air Asia have arranged bus from Clark Airport to drop off at SM Mega Mall. Please advise:

1. How much is taxi from Clark airport to Manila, say SM Mega Mall area? and how safe is it?

2. how safe is it for Chinese to move around on our own in Manila?

3. what are the recomended hotels (2 to 3 stars) within walking distance to SM Mega Mall?

4. Understand LRT/MRT station is near by SM Mega Mall. Which is nearear Ortigas MRT Station or Shaw Boulevard Station?

5. Where are places of interest/events durng Christmas eve?

6. If I wish to get a local tour, any recommended agent?

Thanks,

Edp

Manila, Philippines
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1. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Days toward Christmas will be chaotic in manila because of the people shopping. Manila will be very quiet on Christmas Day. Malls will open late, I think by noontime on that day.

I don't know about taxi rates but the shuttle bus that will take Air Asia passengers to SM Megamall will cost 300 Pesos per passenger.

As long as you don't flaunt your wealth, you will not be easy prey to people with bad intentions. Just try to blend in with the crowd, anyway you're Asian. As in any country you visit, exercise caution. I see a lot of foreigners in Megamall - expats and tourists so I don't think it's an unusual sight for people in the area.

SM Megamall is between the two stations, the Shaw station connects to the Shangri-la Plaza Mall while the other station is near the ADB HQ and Robinson's Mall. SM is between these two Malls.

Christmas Eve probably will have most of the action in malls rushing for last minute gifts and maybe the hotels.

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

We're headed to Manila in July from Singapore then KL & are also taking Air Asia. We plan on taking the $3 AC bus ride from Clark to Mega Mall & again have booked ourselves at the Holiday Inn Galleria . Check out their webpage www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/hd/mnlgl. I am not sure if there are any other 2-3 Star hotels CLOSER to SM Mega Mall since this is our favorite. We have stayed at the Shang & perhaps because of its size, apart from the really nice swimming pool area & excellent Spa service : Shang in my opinion cannot top the smaller, cozier Galleria's attention to guests' needs, (we returned to the hotel after being gone for a week & when the valet opened the door for my husband, he was greeted by name!) , AM buffet ( included in the room rate we choose), room size & value for money.

It's rated a 4 star by TripAdvisor. They now have the special weekend internet rates & we got the Twin 2 queen sized beds for our family of 5 (3 kids, 14, 12, 8) for about $80 or $85 per night nett. We have always asked for the room at the end of the wing since the corner room gives you more space. We live in Tokyo so my 12 yr old son would be more than happy to sleep on the floor but he fits in the couch so we don't get the extra bed. It is centrally located with the Robinson Mall attached to the hotel. You can find shopping, movie houses, game center, kids amusement indoor park, lots & lots of restaurants, a beauty salon, a gym , the spa etc etc all under one roof. Check out their rates from time to time. In June the special hotel offers will be updated.

Hope that helps. We were back in Manila for Christmas /New Year's about 4 years ago & it was a blast. Have a great vacation.

Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Sorry !!! I meant - $5-6 AC bus ride not $3.

Malaysia
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4. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Thanks for you adivse pepperchip

Malaysia
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5. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Thanks bmttokyo. Your adivise are very helpful indeed.

Manila, Philippines
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6. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Edp

You choose the perfect time to visit the Philippines. It is very colorful and festive in the country during Christmas and people are always wearing a smile because to Filipinos, Christmas is the most important holidays.

For your querries.

1. It is not practical to take a taxi from Angeles to Manila. You should take a bus like pepper suggested.

2. Chinese coming from the mainlands are basically safe in Manila as there are lots of Chinese here. In fact, most of the business establishments are owned and operated by Chinese. Anywhere you go in the Philippines, you will most likely bump into a Chinese or Fil-Chinese. And since your Chinese, I recommend that you visit the Chinatown in Binondo, Manila.

3. The two hotels that are walking distance to SM MegaMall are the Shangri-la Hotel and Robinson's Galleria. But I recommend Robinson's Galleria because it is adjacent to Robinson's Mall. Actually, you can access the mall thru the hotel so it's very convenient for shopping and dining as there are lots of good restaurants in the mall.

The said hotels are also near the Ortigas center and there are other malls and restaurants within the vicinity. There are also other hotels and condotels there so check them out also.

SM MegaMall is not the only big mall in the Philippines. There's the Greenbelt and Glorietta in Makati and the SM Mall of Asia along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

4. SM MegaMall is between the Ortigas and Shaw Blvd Stations of the MRT.

5. There are lots of interests on Christmas eve. Most hotels here offer some activities. But I recommend that you stroll the Baywalk in Roxas Boulevard and the nearby Malate area or the Fort in Makati.

6. If you want a local tour, I may be able to recommend a friend who does not charge much.

I hope this helps.

Manila, Philippines
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7. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

As you are coming on the busiest season in the Philippines, I suggest you rent a car during the times you will want to take in some sightseeing and just walk or take the cab during the times you will go shopping. It may be frustrating since taxis are all full during the Christmas season so if you have the budget just rent a vehicle throughout your stay.

The hotel within walking distance to Mega Mall is Discovery Suites. This is just across The Podium, an upscale mall in the area. The Podium is just back to back with Mega Mall. Holiday Inn Galleria is beside the Robinson's Galleria Mall but could be quite a long walk to Mega Mall. Another good hotel within the Ortigas area is Astoria Plaza. This is nearer Shagrila Mall and the Shaw Boulevard MRT station (walking distance) but they have shuttle service to bring you to the malls. Astoria has bigger room area (a choice of 1 or 2 bedroom suites) with kitchen and separate living and dining areas and the price is just right (about 4,000 and 6,000 for the 1 and 2 bedroom suites respectively)

Mega Mall is nearer the Ortigas station although the 2 MRT stations are quite near each other.

There are many places to visit and events to catch during the holiday season. Get a schedule of events during your stay or go to www.clickthecity.com to help you plan ahead.

Manila
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8. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Hi, edpedp

Here are some hotels in Ortigas Center :

1. Discovery Suites

http://www.discoverysuites.com/main.htm

2. Crowne Plaza Galleria

www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hd/mnlcp

3. Linden Suites

http://www.lindensuites.com

There's another one, Richmonde Hotel. Unfortunately, don't know their website.

Of the above, Discovery Suites will suit you more if you want to go to SM Megamall. From the hotel, cross the streets towards Podium, you will pass St. Francis Square then cross the street towards Megamall.

You can arrange local tour with your hotel.

Hope this could be of help to you.

Tokyo, Japan
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9. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Am a little concerned about the"crossing the street" idea in Manila because the few times we have done it with our kids, it has felt like playing Russian Roulette with all the jeeps & cars, what ever two or other 4 wheeled vehicles are vying for the same space the pedestrian lane is located at. ;)

Manila, Philippines
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10. Re: Manila during Chritmas 2006

Ortigas Center is very pedestrian friendly. Crossing ADB Ave from Disccovery Suites to Podium mall and from St. Fraancis Square to SM Megamall is not much of a hassle.