It's easy to forget that Manila is actually a coastal city. The inside roads hide a seafront boardwalk that entice residents to walk, amble, cycle, sit and eat by the sea. It's more reminiscent of Guerney Drive than it is of Langkawi. The sealine is dominated by cargo ships and the cranes of the docks to the north. The Manila Yacht club lies to the south but the yachts are all safely anchored up. Seagulls look for food by the quayside, competing with local anglers, so there must be something living in these waters. The smell of the sea is present (the smell of the seaweed sometimes mixed up with sewage, actually - never been a favourite of mine!).

It's tougher than I expected to look for touristy t-shirts here in Manila. I expected the sea-front to be dominated by the usual array of cheap knick-knacks and bric-a-brac, but it's mostly pavement with the odd cafe. The presumably prime seafront estate is taken up by five star hotels. It feels odd to go in and ask "Is there anywhere I can be cheap, corny, touristy souvenirs?".

There's a statue on a bench near here that I think is perfect for Ed to sit on for a photo, but it is currently being occupied by a couple. I'm waiting for them to get up and go so I can take my photo-op, but they seem engrossed in the scenery and one another.
posted on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - permalink
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