Manila makes an enticing stopoverManila, Philippines
Take advantage of a seriously under-appreciated Southeast Asian stopover, with Philippine Airlines flying from Sydney to Manila then on to London. Packed with personality, the Philippines capital is also a little easier to get your head around on a first-time visit than, say, Bangkok. No stop here is complete without a stroll around Intramuros, the old walled city housing most of the Spanish colonial-era landmarks, like San Agustin Church, Plaza de Roma and Casa Manila. The best way to do that is on a walking tour with Carlos Celdran, who is reason alone to visit Manila.
There are also plenty of historical World War II sites – many of them, including the spot where General MacArthur bunked until the Yanks scarpered, are located on the island of Corregidor in Manila Bay. The dining and nightlife scene here is really sophisticated too, with spots like Blackbird, Scottish chef Colin Mackay’s contemporary fine-diner set in the old air-traffic control tower, and hidden cocktail bar Proof setting the scene.