A first time trip to Manila should always have Intramuros in its itinerary. It should be passed through on kalesa.
Intramuros, also called the walled city, is the oldest district in Manila. It was from here that the spaniards governed the country, when the Philippines was a part of the spanish empire, from 1571 to 1898 (that’s over 300 years, bloodly long, if you ask me).
Riding a kalesa through Intramuros reminded me that when this mode of transportation was introduced in the 18th century, it was only the spaniards and the ilustrados – the rich and educated Filipino class – who could use it. Tsk, tsk. Now kalesa is not used anymore, except to drive tourists around in Intramuros.
I like this historical trip in Intramuros, it’s a much better alternative than what single male tourists looking for “fun” go for in Manila.