Metro Manila · Flying to another Megacity
As Manila is the capital of an ocean-locked country, the only way to get to other Megacities is via airplane. This is often much cheaper and easier than you might think. Regard your stay in Metro Manila as a base-camp for exploring other Megacities and Global Cities in Southeast Asia!
Flight routes exist between Ninoy Aquino International Aiport and almost all big cities in the region, with several flights per day, seven days a week. Start looking for flights early and you can easily find promos starting as low as 3000 pesos for round-trip tickets to Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and other places.
If you are only in the Philippines on a toursist visa and you leave for another Megacity for a couple of days, make sure you bring your return ticket to your home country with you. Even though you will get a free 30-day VISA on arrival in Manila, they will not let you leave your current Megacity if you cannot show proof that you are either a resident alien in the Philippines or have a return ticket back to your home country for some point in the future.
South Korea's capital is a bustling Megacity of 10 million people, with a metropolitan area of more than 25 million. However, crowdedness, noise and traffic are not as bad as in many other cities, thanks to an excellent transport infrastructure and a high number of recreational areas and quiet temples. Korea and the Philippines have strong ties, with many Koreans coming to the Philippines to study English, work, or enjoy the beaches. 90,000 Koreans live in the Philippines, and 45,000 Filipinos live in South Korea, and there are many flight connections between Seoul and Manila.
Jakarta is well-known for batik design clothes and being the hub connecting Megacitizens on their travels to Bali or places of cultural heritage such as Jogjakarta. The country in general is famous for their (spicy) delicious cuisine, clothes and beautiful beaches. Jakarta itself though is, as many other Megacities, a vast area of traffic jams, air pollution and an international crowd. The Megacity is home to the ASEAN Secretariat.
Hong Kong is one of the top weekend get-away destinations for a lot of Megacitizens in the Philippines. This city of eight million people is a mere two-hour flight away and its efficient public transportation system leaves everyone in awe.
A lot of Megacitizens travel from Manila to Bangkok and back. Bangkok is well-known and well-established as a prime tourist destination in Southeast Asia and as a hub to Thailand's beautiful beaches.The city itself is host to several national and regional headquarters of international organizations and companies. The nightlife, shopping malls and close proximity to Pattaya complete the list of reasons that might make you want to leave Manila for Bangkok.
The Kansai Airport serves the three cities Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, which together form the Keihanshin Metropolitan Region with nearly 20 million people. The airport is the door to Japan for visitors from the Philippines, but most tourists will go straight to Kyoto: with dozens of temples, palaces and shrines, 14 of them declared as World Heritage Sites, the country´s former capital is a treasure box of Japanese culture and history.
The island nation of Taiwan - also known as the Republic of China - is the Philippines' nearest neighbor in the north. Its capital Taipei offers guests fascinating temples and museums, delicious food at the nightmarkets, and an uplifting visit of Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world.
Singapore is interesting for various reasons. First, it's a city state in Southeast Asia. Second, it is the most developed region in Southeast Asia. Third, it is a hub for travellers across Southeast Asia. Not being a Megacity, Singapore has clean air and streets. Traffic rules are (most of the time) followed and everything looks and feels neat. So even if you don't have any business in Singapore you mind end up spending a day or two there as part of an extended overlay between two connecting flights - voluntarily.
One of the most inexpensive journeys out of the Philippines via airplane is to travel to the global city Kuala Lumpur. With a population of about 5.6 million and its southern location in East Asia, ‘KL’ is a cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures, religions and foods. The city with the two identical towers, namely the Petronas Twin Towers, is definitely worth a weekend-trip. KL has evolved from a British Colony Capital into one of Asia’s richest global cities today. The city is young, vibrant and enjoys a wide variety in music, art and events.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the country’s major airport. It serves as the hub for the Philippines’ flag carriers. Also known as the Manila International Airport, NAIA is the point of entry for most international visitors of the Philippines as well as returning Overseas Filipino Workers from all continents.
Until quite recently there were no direct flights at all between the Philippines and Europe, due to airline bans, taxes, and economic reasons. Now the EU has finally lifted its 2010 airspace ban on all Philippine carriers. Philippine Airlines had already been removed from the blacklist in 2013, followed by Cebu Pacific in 2014.
Clark is a rapidly growing airport, located roughly 80 kilometers north of Metro Manila. You can get some cheap flights from CRK, but you should think twice if it is really worth the hassle.