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Mall of Asia

Whether we admit it or not, the malls in Manila are now officially part of the tourist attractions in the country. Foremost is the Mall of Asia where there are hundreds of shops and the property actually extends to a kilometer in length. The place is actually visited by both foreign and domestic visitors and they are all awed by the immense size of the behemoth! Heck, my mouth was wide open when I first explored it on the first week it opened.

Its really a bit disorienting when you walk its wide halls, specially when there are few people inside. But when the throngs of people fill the mall, then things can get a bit crazy. Ey, if you want to enjoy the mall with the least number of people, go there when its doors just opened. And stay there, say until lunch time. If you want to experience real Filipino mall culture, go there on a Friday - Sunday afternoon, you'll see what I mean. Oh, there's a bonus on Fridays and Saturdays. At exactly 7 in the everning, an amazing fireworks display goes off at the bay side of the mall. Yeah, I just put in the word, "amazing" for the kids and guys like me who would like to think that we are not yet jaded on the old-style fun things.

The best way to get to the MOA is by cab (talk about.... okay, hit me!).

But if you want to save on money or just want to experience local transport, one of the best options is to take the elevated rail (MRT or even LRT line 1). Get off the Taft Avenue station (the last station of MRT), then get on a (very small) jeepney stationed near the steps of the MRT. If you're using the LRT1, you can either get off in Taft Ave. or Buendia (aka Gil Puyat) station. Same thing, there are small jeepneys (actually called multicabs) near the Buendia station going to MOA. Buses along EDSA going to Baclaran also pass by the mall. If you take a bus (air-conditioned, never ordinary - you'll know what I mean when you try the ordinary bus), you must bring a lot of patience as those buses really take their time moving to earn more fare.


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