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17.5hr stopover in Manila

5 posts
17.5hr stopover in Manila

Hi all, I am planning a trip to New York and by flying Philippine Airlines I can save AUD$1200. The only issue is the return flight has a 17.5hr stopover in Manila (following a 16.5hr flight from NYC). We would land at NAIA at 6:15am and depart at 11:45pm. I am interested in doing an exciting day trip rather than just spend the whole day at a hotel resting but I can't really see anything exciting on TripAdvisor top sites to see. Can anyone suggest anything. Our fitness is OK although I don't want to trek for hours after 16.5hr flight. Not overly interested in shopping, although local markets could be interesting. Adrenaline activities such as bungy jumping, jet boats could be good. Nature activities would also be good. Watching a dance show with a dinner could also be good. I'm probably looking for a cheap hotel where we can freshen up and then go out for the day activity before returning to rest for a short period and then departing. If we can't find any activity we are interested in, then we would end up doing the hotel rest but maybe look for a spa area or local massage so any advice on good local hotels near the airport which are cheap but clean would be greatly appreciated too. Thanks in advance.

Edit...stopover would be around 18th October 2023

Edited: 24 January 2023, 13:17
7 replies to this topic
Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
32,514 posts
3,533 reviews
3,771 helpful votes
1. Re: 17.5hr stopover in Manila

These are my favourite 3 day trips in Manila.

1. Pagsanjan Falls is a great day trip. You shoot some rapids then when you reach the waterfall a bamboo raft takes you under it. Its a really good experience.


2. Tagaytag mountain is another great day trip. Fantastic views of Lake Taal and there are some nice restaurants with great views.


3. Corregidor Island is great for war history. Sun Cruises no longer operates trips there but there is a new operator.


Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
218 posts
78 reviews
42 helpful votes
2. Re: 17.5hr stopover in Manila

Whilst the day trips tommo has listed up thread are fantastic, I wouldnt recommend going one one of those on a day trip when you have a flight the same day. You dont really have 17 hours, because you will need at least an hour or so when you arrive to get through into the country, you will need to be at the airport 3 or 4 hours before your departure, and you have to factor in the traffic - Manila has some of the worst in the world. So I would suggest you stick to sights within Manila. However these wont really be the nature, trecking or adventure stuff you are looking for. If you had at least 1 night (24 hours) then a day trip out of the city would be good, but in the time you have i would prefer to stay in the city area. Check out the attractions listed on tripadvisor for ideas.

Puerto Galera...
Level Contributor
11,217 posts
27 reviews
65 helpful votes
3. Re: 17.5hr stopover in Manila

I would go with Tommo's suggestion. I did something city based in Sydney and after a mornings sleep took in all the famous sights, the Opera house, the Bridge, the Harbour ,Kings Cross and had qand a half hours spare for a best of Australian culture tour.

With a 11.30 pm departure you will miss the rush hour and heading south away from Metro Manila I would book a driver for the day and my personal choice would be Tagaytay and Lake Taal for the stunning view from the edge of the extinct volcano rim where Tagaytay is located .

If you are shattered after an overnight flight maybe 3 or 4 hours in a cheap ( or not if you want to splash the cash) hotel before setting off may be advised. The ultra cheap 400 peso choice is a shortime hotel which may seem seedy but isnt such as a nearby Hotel Sogo. Driver gets paid regardless.If not just set off or ask the driver for suggestions.

Tourist driver is frequently recommended do an advanced search for contact details

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
53 posts
303 reviews
255 helpful votes
4. Re: 17.5hr stopover in Manila

Alexis at #2 is spot on.

2 posts
1 review
5. Re: 17.5hr stopover in Manila

There are no ferry’s to Corregidor. The only option is a pump boat from Villa Carmen Beach Resort in Cancaben, Bataan. I did this on 1/19/23. Contacted these folks and they arranged everything, including a bus guided tour on Corregidor. Totally worth it. paid $PHP1,500 per person for four (4) people; that was all this boat could bring over. The entire day trip was 3.5 hours on the island plus two 30 minute boat rides.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,379 posts
6. Re: 17.5hr stopover in Manila

A 16.5 hour flight, arriving at 6.15am, and departing again at 11.15pm.

I personally would not be wanting to do very much in that time to be honest, especially that i am never able to sleep on planes, and i wouldn't want to be going far from Manila to be honest, just in case something might happen whereby you could somehow miss your flight home.

For me, i would book a room at a cheap hotel in or near Makati, or some place similar, freshen up and take a sleep for a few hours, then hit the streets until 6pm, back to hotel, freshen up, and then take a taxi/grab to T2 for your flight home.

If doing something like the above, you will be traveling to T2 at around 7pm, and i am not really sure what the traffic will be like at that hour, so allow plenty of time to get there from the hotel.

Another option would be to book the cheapest room at the Belmont Hotel opposite T3 and just hang out there, take a sleep until early arvo, and then head to the wonderful rooftop bar and pool to chill out and relax, and the last time i was there, they had the massage tent set up next to the rooftop pool as well, or you can book a massage in your own room.

If i was more inclined to just take a day trip somewhere without the need for a sleep or freshening up, it would definitely be to Tagaytay, but i would only do this if i also had a full night stopover as well, and was flying out the next morning.

Imus, Philippines
Level Contributor
8,176 posts
6 reviews
44 helpful votes
7. Re: 17.5hr stopover in Manila

I'm with Greg and Alexis, whilst Tagaytay is fab place to visit and I would heartily recommend it however, you won't really have chance to enjoy it on such a short stop. The traffic is *always busy* unless in the dead of the night. I live about half way from Manila to Tagaytay and to and fro can take an between an hour and an hour half. I would be allowing two to two and half hours each way, its quite a schelp.

I'm with Greg get somewhere to get your head down in Makati or the Belmont, there is plenty to do and see in both areas without the worry of getting back to NAIA.

Edited: today, 09:12
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