Looking to travel to Manila? Get all the information you need to have a safe, enjoyable andunforgettable trip while there, courtesy of GoBear Malaysia. We’ll present you with things you need to keep it mind before and during your time there, especially the need to get travel insurance for Manila
About enchanting Manila
Maligayang pagdating! Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, and is a busy, bustling metropolis with Spanish and American influences, having previously been a colony of both powers. Manila observes the same time zone as the rest of the Philippines – ours (UTC+8).
It is a pretty safe place, so most Malaysian travel insurance policies include Manila, as part of the Philippines, in Area 1 (usually the cheapest band), but you should check your specific plan to make sure you’re covered if you decide to go. Its currency is the Filipino peso (PHP).
People in the Philippines mostly speak Tagalog (officially, Filipino), English and Spanish, as a result of the various powers that have ruled it. The former two languages are the official languages of the Philippines, while Filipino is the Manilan version of Tagalog, much like Received Pronunciation is the ‘British’ version of English. Filipino Chinese generally all speak Hokkien (albeit the Philippines version of it). Language-wise, you should not have difficulties in contacting the emergency services concierge provided by your travel insurance in Manila.
Being the capital city of the Philippines, and having hosted both the Spanish Empire as well as the USA, Manila showcases the very best of an international cuisine line-up. From the native Filipino cuisines (heavily influenced by Spanish and neighbouring Asian cuisines) to Western ones, you can just about find every sort of restaurant offering a multitude of dishes that cater to every palate. Be adventurous!
Metro Manila, of which Manila is a part, is home to San Miguel Brewery, and has a number of excellent lagers. Try the Filipino version of tapai (tapuy) while you’re there as well.
Food safety standards are generally quite high here, but just in case, GoBear Malaysia recommends travel insurance for Manila.
What to buy in Manila
Including Metro Manila, there are plenty of choices when it comes to shopping. From the modern shopping malls to street markets, from international brands to local handicrafts, there’s something for everyone here. The more adventuresome will find handicrafts, clothing and some pretty unique products available. Don’t forget to haggle at the flea markets (it’s expected). VAT will not be refunded when you exit the country, and it’s likely that if you bought from the smaller shops, you won’t be charged for it anyway.
GoBear Malaysia recommends checking whether your credit card covers lost or stolen purchases while overseas, or you can buy travel insurance for your Manila shopping spree.
Things to do when in Manila
Given its long history, Manila is chockful of interesting places to visit. Spanish architecture is evident everywhere, especially in its older churches. But why stay here only? The beautiful island of Cebu is just a short hop away, or Boracay with its white sandy beaches. Just make sure that your travel insurance for Manila covers you for all the things you intend to do.
There is also a very vibrant artistic – especially musical and theatrical – community, with concerts and plays almost year-round in Manila and Metro Manila.
Manila travel advisory & checklist
Have a hassle-free trip! International travel, especially to Manila, has its own set of issues that you should prepare for, so that you can properly enjoy your holiday overseas. Aside from travel insurance for Manila, GoBear Malaysia recommends you consider the following:
Passport & visa requirements for Manila
Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity after the dates you intend to go; you may not be allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. Malaysian passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Philippines (including Manila) as tourists for up to 30 days.
In the event that your passport or other travel documents are lost or stolen, make sure you know the emergency contact details for your travel insurance concierge in Manila, so that you can be assisted as quickly as possible.
Electricity & water in Manila
While Malaysia uses the Type G power socket, you will instead see Type A, Type B and Type C sockets in Manila, as these are the ones used throughout the Philippines. This means that you will need a universal travel adapter. However, its 220V/60Hz electrical system is close enough to Malaysia’s that you can otherwise simply plug in your electrical items. If you have many items to plug in, just bring a Malaysian extension board and plug that into the travel adapter.
The tap water here is generally safe to drink, although you may also choose to use a water filtration jug.
Manila’s telecommunications & Internet coverage
The telecommunications network in Manila covers most of the city, with strong mobile network coverage throughout. Mobile phones bought in Malaysia should work seamlessly with Filipino pre-paid SIMs, but do check the specific frequencies your phone uses against the ones your preferred Filipino telco supports. Wi-Fi is widely available everywhere you go in Manila, as is 4G LTE. The emergency number is.
Healthcare & medical facilities in Manila
While you are within Manila – indeed, within the greater area of Metro Manila – you are well within the reach of the Philippines’s health system. Private healthcare is the major provider of health-related services in the Philippines. However, as a tourist, you will likely have to pay foreigner charges for admission even into public hospitals, so GoBear Malaysia recommends travel insurance for all Manila (and general Philippines) travel.
Manila’s credit card facilities
International credit card networks that are present in Manila include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. UnionPay is also widely available throughout Manila in larger departmental stores, hotels and the like, and ~90% of all bank ATMs. Credit cards are accepted by major retailer and food outlets, but cash is still king in the flea markets.
Ready to start planning your Manila travels? Stay safe and protected while overseas! Try out GoBear Malaysia’s travel insurance comparison services for a quick, comprehensive and easy-to-use look at all the insurers and the travel insurance policies they offer for Manila.
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