The Malate district of Manila in the Philippines is a testament to the rich and complicated history of the country. The area was first developed by Spanish conquerors and eventually taken over by Americans, who tried to turn the area into an exclusive and trendy neighbourhood for expatriates. Although Malate still maintains some of its posh feel, it changed in the 1970’s into a commercial and entertainment hub and one of the centres of gay nightlife in this vicinity. By day the area is a bustling centre of commerce and at night neon lights and thumping music take over.
- Gamble the night away at the grandiose Hyatt Hotel and Casino, one of the new upscale establishments that are turning Malate into the entertainment hub of Manila.
- Head to the area bounded by Maria Orosa and Julio Nakpil streets, which turns into a street party at night where revellers enjoy al fresco drinking and often take their dance parties into the streets.
- The Manila Zoological and Botanical Gardens offers a welcome respite from the nightlife. Here, the unique plant and animal life of the Philippines can be enjoyed in tranquil natural surroundings.
Visitors to this district are best serviced by the Light Rail Transit that rolls along Taft Avenue and stops at one of the three stations found in the area. Since Malate offers some of the most exciting nightlife in Manila, many people choose to explore the area by foot so they can stop where they please. Passengers arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport should just take the quick taxi ride to Malate, but beware of rip-offs and always choose taxis that use a meter, as they are more likely to be legitimate.
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