As soon as I wake up, I start drinking as much water as possible. The day before, I made a trip to 7-Eleven and stocked up on large bottled water. If you’re planning on going out drinking, pre-planning your water the next day is necessary. That’s how the pro’s do it. I check out of Tune Hotel and walk across the street to St. Giles Hotel where I’ll be staying for one night. Luckily, they accommodate me with early check-in, but I have to come back in an hour while they clean the room. I kill an hour at the local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and a rooftop bar.
It’s always Adventure Time on vacation.
After I check in, my friend picks me up and we head off to the airport. Sooo much traffic.
Driving in the Philippines is really all hope. You just gotta hope no one hits you.
All heart from this guy. It looks like we’re in a parking lot, but this is the highway. This guy really wanted to get into the far left lane.
After an hour (the distance between the hotel and airport is 5.5 miles) we arrive in the airport parking lot. There is a strange sign that just says “No” that I had to take a picture of.
We see a bunch of people exiting the airport but we don’t see our friend. After about 15 minutes she finds us. She always finds me in a crowd of Asian people with no problems (I’m also generically Asian), while I have problems telling Asian people apart. I grew up with too much diversity so my attention to detail wasn’t as necessary as someone who had been living in Asia.
From here, our group proceeds to the Mall of Asia. They say it’s one of the biggest malls (if not the biggest) in Asia. The parking lot was the size of a football field. When we got there, we went directly to the top floor to avoid searching for parking. It was very empty when we arrived. Even though it was empty, my friend parked his car diagonally.
I thought he did that just for fun, but realized that it was necessary when we returned to the car 2 hours later.
The mall is pretty damn big. When I was there, it happened to be around Chinese New Year so there were a lot of Chinese New Year related displays and live performances. From what I could tell, the mall has several different sections. There is the inner mall – air conditioned (which was my favorite), an outdoor mall (just no air conditioning) that surrounded the inner mall, beyond that there was a Mall of Asia Concert venue, and beyond that was the oceanside mall strip which was situated along the coast.
I might just have to take a trip to Mall of America to compare notes. But I heard MoA has a roller coaster so that sounds like an automatic win.
After the mall, we head for a tour of the city. My local friend takes us from the slums and squatters area (no pics as I didn’t want to exploit them) to the richest part of the city,
Just a really rad looking jeepney
Fort Bonifacio. The distance between the poorest places and the richest places is not very far. Fort Bonifacio was definitely the nicest looking place I saw in the Philippines. It was better than most of the places I’ve seen in Los Angeles.
“HEROES” is a hobby store and cafe. As soon as we found out they didn’t serve beer, there was a simultaneous “Awwww,” from our group. We then immediately left.
After our tour, we take a breather and head back to St Giles hotel in Makati where I’m staying. We check out the rooftop view and it’s amazing! We also get to catch some of the fireworks in celebration for Chinese New Year.
We then proceed to drinking in another part of town for a few hours then call it a night. I didn’t really document the rest of this night properly so I’ll leave it at that.