Manila is one of the busiest cities in Asia, evident with the congested highways and crowded metropolis. It’s easy to get around Manila as long as one follows EDSA, the most important arterial road of the city. The avenue passes through six major settlements in Manila namely Caloocan, Quezon City, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay. The best way to escape traffic is to take the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system which runs length of EDSA. It is also important to remember that the MRT is crowded on the rush hours of 7:00 to 9:00 in the morning and at between 5:00PM to 7:00PM.
There are also plenty of air conditioned buses. Signages are placed on the windshield of the bus so that passengers can easily identify which ones to take. For an authentic Filipino mode of transportation, taking the jeepney is an interesting way to go around Manila. Jeepneys are not allowed to go through EDSA. Instead, they travel through the inner routes of the suburbs. If you’re still unsure of how to get to your destination, there are taxis who can take you. Taxis are supposed to issue a receipt to all passengers.
The biggest and most famous mall in Manila is Shoe Mart or SM as the locals call it. There is practically one SM mall in every Manila town. Where there’s an SM, there’s likely to be a bus, jeepney or taxi station. The inside of an SM mall is organized according to clothes and accessories, food items and small shops that carry branded items. One can even do a bank transaction in SM, pay bills, watch movies and many other things. It is basically a one-stop shopping place where household errands can also be done. Other popular shopping malls are Greenbelt, Landmark, and Glorietta located in Makati. One can also enjoy bargain shopping in Divisoria, located just around Chinatown. Another shopping center is in Greenhills in Mandaluyong City.
When wanting to get away from the city, travellers have many options: Tagaytay, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal. These places surround Manila and they’re often the nearest vacation spots for Manileñas. Laguna is famous for its hot springs and teeming flora. People flock to Tagaytay for its cool mountain breeze and fresh produce. Bulacan is famous for its cuisine and rich historical monuments so it is always crowded during festivals. Rizal is a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts for its scenic mountainous terrain that’s still untouched by modern infrastructure.