Tuesday, September 07, 2010

5 things to do in Manila shopping malls for travellers

This is a cross-post of my contributed article at TravelDudes.org

Metro Manila, Philippines in known to host three out of the 10 biggest shopping malls in the world. Shopping malls may not be an ideal destination for any travellers to the Philippines, but it doesn’t mean that you have to miss it out. Aside from shopping of course, here are 5 things that you can do to make your trip to the mall more interesting.

1. Go on a gastronomic trip

Philippine shopping malls hosts a number of restaurants – with lots of food variants. You can sample Filipino, Brazilian, Chinese, Japanese, British, Spanish, Ethiopian, Jamaican, Thai, Indonesian, French food (the list goes on…) from one shopping mall alone. Prices are quite cheap with food choice starting at 100 PHP (1,5€).

TIP: If you want to sample some cheaper Filipino snacks, head down to the supermarket and sample some cheap food that can go as low as 15PHP (0,25€). These stalls can be found usually on SM shopping malls.

2. Enjoy some local music

Head down to a mall’s activity centre or food court and there’s a good chance that you’ll catch a performance from a local (or sometimes foreign) music band. Watching the performances are free of charge.

TIP: Performances are usually done in the late afternoon from 4-6PM

3. Watch the famous Manila sunset

Head down to SM Mall of Asia (the largest mall in the Philippines spanning 4.2 million square feet) and get a table with the view of the coast. On a clear day, it’s one of the best place to catch the sunset and enjoy a good dinner as well.

4. Do your souvenir shopping

The malls’ department stores & some specialty shops offers great choices for souvenirs – from wardrobes, postcards, shirts, food & liquor. Admit the price can be a bit higher than a local seller but lower than airport sellers, but if you are ever on a rush – the malls are the most reliable place to get them (Malls open usually from 10h00 – 22h00 – Monday to Sundays)

5. People watching

I admit this is my favourite activity from the list. Going to malls is one of the favourite past-times of Filipinos (instead of going to parks for example). So, malls are a good place to people-watch as you can see good facets of the people’s everyday activities. Be mindful though that the malls gets very crowded in the afternoon to the night – especially during Fridays, the weekend, and on the 15th or 30th of the month.

How to do you find the activities? Do you have an activity that you would like to add? Feel free to comment and add them below.

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