While it can’t quite match Macau as the resort Mecca of Southeast Asia, Manila has become a major hub for entertainment and recreation. With world-class casinos, hotels, and other attractions, it’s a place that now draws tourists from around the world. If you’re considering traveling there to take advantage of summer in the Philippines, these are some of the highlights.
Entertainment at City Of Dreams
When we talk about world-class casino resorts in the Manila area, the discussion has to start with the City of Dreams. This is not a title ostentatiously given to a single resort, but rather the name of a full-fledged entertainment complex, almost like a small city in itself.
Three hotels, a dazzling variety of restaurants, and more make up the area, such that it’s far and away from the entertainment center of Manila, if not the Philippines as a whole. Here, you’ll find absolutely everything you might want to enjoy: pools, spas, fine dining, casual dining, bars, clubs, shows, and of course, casinos.
Gaming At Resorts World
A lot of traditional casino activity now exists on the internet. You can find slots and poker games online, and even sports betting has become somewhat universal through casino platforms. That said, this is one of the places in the world where live casino gaming is still worth the trip. City Of Dreams has its own casino facilities, but the gaming feels more like a focus at Resorts World. Jackpots, tournaments, VIP offerings, and all the traditional games make it a great place to try your hand and see if you might get lucky.
Manila Ocean Park
The casinos may be the main attractions for people visiting Manila these days, but they aren’t the only ones. The Manila Ocean Park is a good example of a sort of side attraction that’s actually incredibly fun for visitors. Effectively a large aquarium, it allows you to look at different aquatic animal displays, pet stingrays, and small sharks, and even get into the water yourself with an “aquanaut” oxygen supply set up. It’s a great place to explore during the summer, when a dip underwater might be particularly appealing.
The seafood markets get a lot of attention in Manila, but it’s really the broader street food scene that should be of interest to tourists. To begin with, it’s home to one of the oldest and most authentic “Chinatown” areas in the world, where you’ll find incredible dim sum among other dishes. But various additional street food options traditional in Manila (such as unusual preparations of chicken, pork, and beef) make for a lot of interesting opportunities to try new food too.
“Manila’s walled city,” as it is sometimes called, is a relic of the Spanish colonial era and something you should definitely see if you’re in the area. Walls, streets, and cathedrals largely from the 16th century still stand in varying degrees of ruin (with much of Intramuros having been decimated during World War II). The effect is that the entire walled city feels like a sort of living monument to a past era. It’s a beautiful place to explore, and fascinating for anyone with an interest in history.
Sunsets by the Water
We wouldn’t be giving an accurate picture of Manila in the summer if we didn’t talk about its legendary sunsets as well. Naturally, there are plenty of places to view a sunset, but if you get the chance to take an evening cruise (perhaps complete with champagne and/or dinner) or rent a boat to be out on the water while the sun goes down, you’ll catch a glimpse of heaven on Earth.