Manila, Philippines

Iv had a good five days mongering in Bangkok and its the morning of the day I leave Bangkok and fly to Manila in the Philippines.  Im reading my emails and the BBC worlds new is on the TV in the background.  Then I hear marshal law has been declared throughout Thailand, there has been a military coup, shit!

No need to panic, Thais are used to military takeovers, happens all the time, even so Im glad I am leaving for Manila.  In Bangkok now there is a curfew, all the bars now have to shut at 10pm.  I have a return flight to Bangkok in a weeks time, but maybe I will fly straight back out to Phnom Penh in Cambodia if the curfew is still in effect.

The plan is Manila, Angeles then return to Thailand Bangkok and Pattaya and then Cambodia. I have unfinished business in Bangkok. The girls from Dali down soi 33 and that cute girl in the Mandarin Gogo in the Nana Plaza.

Bangkok to Manila

Its costing me 500 baht to get to the Suvarnabhumi airport,including tolls, I see no sign of a military coup.  My flight is with Philippines Air and goes well, on time and takes approx 3 hours from Bangkok to Manila.  As we come to land into Ninoy Aquino airport there is a fantastic sunset over Manila.  Im excited, its the first time I have been mongering in Manila.

There have been some bad stories in the rumour mill about Manila airport, queues delays but I went straight through customs and not have to wait long for my baggage.  I find an ATM and withdraw 10,000 pesos which is about $230.  I not bring any local currency with me, but if the ATMs had not been working or something I have UK and Thai currency to exchange.

I find the public taxi rank outside and have to join a queue.  There are also rumours about being kidnapped by bogus taxi drivers at Manila airport, I did notice one or two dodgy looking characters driving pass the taxi rank, looking at the queue.  Cannot take any chances no matter how much I hate queues.  I nearly take private taxi for 950 pesos but they wanted me to wait also so stayed in the queue.

Eventually after about 30 minutes get into metered taxi.  Im staying at the Rothman hotel,  along Adriatico Street Malate side of Manila, right in the heart of the red light district and a stones throw away from the Manila bay cafe formerly LA Cafe, where I intend to do alot of my hunting.

mean streets of manila
malate manila

Takes around 45 minutes to arrive at the Rothman hotel, the traffic is quite bad in Manila.  Meter was 390 pesos so gave him 500.  As we pass the Hyatt hotel taxi driver tells me girls inside charge 150 dollars, so will take a peek in there one night.  Check in to the Rothman hotel and I really like it, very girl friendly.  I unpack and then go down to the hotel restaurant for some san Miguel and food, before heading out onto the mean streets of Manila….



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