What can you buy with $100 in Manila? The following guest blog post from blogger Gem Muzones offers some insightful tips on this very subject. Gem is the author of www.travelswithahobo.com and you can also find her at the links below.
What can $100 buy in the Philippines?
When planning an out-of-town trip, it’s a given that you’ll probably be keeping a tight eye on your finances. As a traveller, more so as a budget traveller, it’s normal to want to get great value for your money and ensure you make the most out of your adventure without spending too much.
One hundred dollars may not seem that much, but here in the Philippines, it can go a long way. Want to what you can spend with $100? Here are some suggestions on how to spend your cash for a great travel experience.
For relaxation and recreation: A luxury hotel room in the capital
For $100, why not book yourself into a luxury hotel in the centre of Metro Manila? With access to the swimming pool, spas, free Wi-Fi and an amazing view of the city, you can be sure of a peaceful and relaxing staycation.
Check out hotels in Alabang like Parque España Residence Hotel, Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila, and The Bellevue Manila. Alternatively, The A. Venue Hotel, Armada Hotel and Hotel Jen in Metro Manila make great choices for a base in the city. Make sure to explore your options! Discover the best of Manila and the surrounding vicinity by booking a local tour with the people who know best!
For the shopaholics: Head to Manila malls and markets
Who can say no to a spot of retail therapy? Filipinos are known for having coined the word ‘malling’, which shows how much we love to go to the mall, and of course, to shop!
With many shopping malls and bazaars situated around every corner, your $100 can get you bags of everything you can think of. Bargaining is also encouraged in local markets in Manila, so don’t be shy and be sure to haggle for a good discount.
Shopping centres such as Greenhills, the market in Divisoria, and other bazaars in the city are places where you can find cheap, yet great finds. You’ll be surprised at just how much stuff you can buy with your money.
For the adventurous: A day trip to some of the best spots around Manila
Get the most out of your trip to Manila by experiencing some of the Filipino culture on offer.
Take a tour of the historic site in Intramuros, and try riding a horse-driven carriage or kalesa. A 30-minute tour around the city costs around PHP350 ($7; €6.50; £5.50).
If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not explore the beaches that are just a few hours away from Manila? Zambales, Pampanga and Batangas have some hidden gems and are accessible from the capital. If you prefer some temporary escape from the heat, head to Baguio or Sagada for some breezy relief. Of course, you could also visit the wonderful island of Boracay and see its great beaches for yourself.
If you’re on a budget and want to explore beyond Manila, I’d definitely recommend commuting by bus than taking a private car.
For the foodies: A taste of everything Filipino
Filipinos, in general, love nothing more than to eat! Many snack stands (also known as merienda) are situated everywhere. Try some rice cakes, turon (banana in spring roll and deep fried), banana cue (sugar-coated banana on a stick) or camote cue (sugar-coated sweet potato on a stick).
There are also the local food carts serving up classic Filipino street food such as fish balls, kikiam, squid balls, and calamares that go around every street in Manila.
We love eating as much as cooking, which is why you must try the local Filipino restaurants and experience exotic and native dishes that the Philippines has to offer.
For well under $100, you can dine in a buffet, eat as much as you can, and probably do it all over again another 20 times! Try out Kamayan-Saisaki Dads; it will give you a true taste of everything ‘Pinoy’.
Tip: order like a tourist, but eat like a local and get one of everything! For those travelling the Philippines may be interested in seeing lesser known places. One of these might peak your interest.
For the nightlife seekers: Clubbing and more
Manila has a great nightlife, particularly when it comes to partying and clubbing. With $100 in a city that never sleeps, it’s very easy to have a good time.
Reserve a private area in a nightclub with an expensive bottle of vodka, followed by plenty of dancing to some of the most sought-after DJs. Some hotspots include Valkyrie, The Palace Pool Club, Revel, Black Market, and House Manila.
Whether or not you’re travelling on a budget, having a great experience doesn’t require much. As long as you have a good pair of walking shoes, the will to explore the outdoors, and plenty of energy, your $100 USD can go a long way. Every dollar counts, so make the experience worthwhile!