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The bustling scenes in Manila, Philippines, are a world apart from the scenes of Chicago. Departing from O'Hare International Airport (ORD) is typically a seamless process from train or car to the boarding gates. It takes about 17 hours, depending on layovers, to get to Manila. This city is steeped in history as evidenced by the Walled City of Intramuros, a 16th century bastion of Spanish rule. Luneta Park, an urban park popular as an open-air entertainment venue, is nearby.
Roxas Boulevard is the scenic route out of the airport, providing gorgeous sunset views over Manila Bay. Epifanio de los Santos Highway traverses the Metro area to points north and south of the airport. Manila is a shopping hub for cheap goods, ideal for those looking to partake in some retail therapy.
Chinatown in the Binondo area is an exhilarating display of goods and gastronomic treats, but the Divisoria market provides as much adventure. The glitzy shopping venues and commercial developments, are in the financial district in Makati where you can visit the Ayala Museum for a comprehensive lesson in Philippine history.
Landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) from Chicago might be a shock for the uninitiated. Manila's climate is humid and hot all year. November to April is the dry season, but it rains year-round in this tropical city.