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  • Day134

    Day 134: Back to Manila

    October 27, 2016 on the Philippines ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Time to leave the bustle and cosmopolitanism of Hong Kong for the crumbling concrete canyons of Manila. Due to flight prices for our next destination (Palawan), we've decided to basically spend the entire weekend holed up in Manila catching up on work and stuff.

    So after our last hotel breakfast, we spent a bit more time before heading for the airport. Enjoyed Hong Kong's transport system one more time by catching the MTR then the Airport Express - about 35 minutes from our hotel door to the airport terminal which was pretty great.

    It's a huge airport so we took a while getting to the gate but as usual we had plenty of time left. One last fill of baked goods for lunch before our flight took off on the now-standard uneventful journey. Grabbed an Uber when arriving which was a bit difficult to find since we arrived at terminal 3 - way larger than terminal 4 but eventually we tracked him down and hopped in.

    The ride took ages like usual because of Manila traffic - it's honestly amazing how bad it is. According to our driver, Uber and Grab are a big part of the problem because they offer really low interest, low deposit loans to new drivers. So you basically get a new car and a new job, though obviously a big chunk of your profit goes to Uber/Grab. Obviously that sucks, though if you ask me the disregard for the road rules and a total lack of infrastructure are probably bigger problems!

    Our hotel this time was in Makati, a slightly more modern district to the south-east of the old town, and one of the main commercial areas of Manila. Unfortunately for us we were staying right in the middle of the red-light district, so surrounding us on all sides were go-go bars, "massage" parlours, hookers and Western sex tourists. Alas.

    Checked in and retreated to our room to rest up for a bit. Wandered out for dinner to a Mexican place a couple of blocks away which was highly rated on Foursquare. Tasty food though the service was a bit crap. Back to the room for an early night, though I stayed up a bit late playing video games - I've just bought Civilization VI and am keen to really sink my teeth into it. Hard to believe I've been playing this series of games since the early 90s!
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