The popular city of Pasay is part of the greater Manila metro district, and it's a wonderful base from which to discover Luzon. The largest island in the Philippines, Luzon is the country's financial and business hub as well as the heart of its tourism industry.
There are 7,107 islands in the Philippines, and Pasay's central location makes it the ideal choice for adventurous types who want to explore the surrounding districts. You'll find lots of fabulous beaches and resorts less than an hour from central Pasay on the San Narciso coast as well as unspoiled islands for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Everything is less expensive in Pasay, so your money will go much further. Make the most of low prices by upgrading your hotel or planning outings and trips to the mountains or some of the nearby beaches and smaller islands.
Everyone can find something to enjoy in Pasay. Discover its quirky buildings, spend the day at an unusual museum, or take the kids to an amusement park. And, the city is even more lively after dark when its glamorous casinos, nightclubs, and rooftop bars attract both local and international party lovers.
When it comes to shopping, Pasay rivals anywhere in the world. The city is a prime retail location boasting massive malls like the SM Mall of Asia and the City of Dreams shopping mall and casino complex.
Pasay is surrounded by the sea and mountains. The district is home to a huge number of species including animals, birds, sea creatures, insects, and plants. Take a guided jungle tour to spot some of the over 600 types of birds that live here or the Philippines Tarsier, one of the smallest and cutest monkeys in the world.
Whether you prefer fine dining, karaoke, live music, or dancing till dawn, you'll find lots of great places to satisfy your passions in Pasay. If you drink alcohol, be sure to sample locally produced drinks such as Boracay Coconut Rum or Red Horse beer.
Some of Luzon's most dramatic natural scenery can be found within a 70-mile radius of Pasay City. Climb to the top of Mount Batulao, one of the most popular hikes in the region, or see the world's smallest volcano at Taal.
Pasay is a gourmet lover's dream destination. Although Filipino cuisine isn't internationally famous, it certainly appeals to foodies. The country has so many bananas that local specialties like banana ketchup have been invented to use them up. If you prefer something a little less unusual try pancit, a tasty vegetable, meat and noodle dish, or sinigang, a tangy soup made from tamarinds.
The enormous SM Mall of Asia is one of those places that everyone should visit while in Pasay. Combining shops with an amusement park, restaurants, theaters, and conference center, it's equally popular with locals. It can't be covered in a day, so serious shoppers should plan to visit more than once. Be sure to take a spin on the MOA Eye for the spectacular city and coastal views.
In a city that's filled with stylish galleries and upscale exhibition centers, the Upside Down Museum is a breed apart. 1,700 square feet of topsy turvey illusions and giant leaning and floating exhibits that will leave you gasping in wonder.
Kids of all ages will adore Star City. The huge amusement park complex is filled with the latest adrenaline rush rides. Other attractions include a haunted house, paintball and laser tagging, and there is even an indoor snowfield.
A local institution, this long seafront walkway is the ideal place to see the sun set over Manila Bay. Linger with a refreshing drink at one of the open-air cafes as you watch the people pass by.
The Coconut Palace is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. The main materials used for the octagonal building were coconut shells and wood. And that's just on the outside. Venture inside and you'll find that even some of the furniture is made from coconut shells.
The most popular times to visit Pasay include from December until February, when the air is cooler and less humid, and from April to May for the Holy Week celebrations. It's always hot in Pasay, with average temperatures of 78 to 89° F throughout the year. Pack light clothing made from natural fibers like cotton and stock up on sunblock.
Tourists normally fly to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. It is the country's main gateway and its busiest. Airlines like Delta, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Philippine Airlines offer connections from major cities around the globe. Once you arrive at the airport, you'll find yellow metered taxis near the exit doors. It costs about PHP150 for the trip to Pasay.
Hire a car at the airport for as little as PHP1,190 per day and drive to the city center in around 20 minutes, depending on the traffic.
If you're traveling from other cities on Luzon, you can take a Victory Liner bus. The company operates in various towns on the island including popular beach resort Zambales. As a rough guide, the single fare from Zambales to Pasay in an air-conditioned bus is PHP450 and the journey takes around 70 minutes.
If you'd like to be close to those designer stores, book a stay at the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila or Nobu Hotel Manila. Or, opt for luxury and oceanfront glamour at Solaire Resort & Casino. If you're looking for something a little less ostentatious, the Hotel Jen Manila or Midas Hotel & Casino are pleasant and well located. Travelers who are on a fixed budget can choose from lots of economy hotels including Rodello's Bed and Breakfast and Atrium Hotel. The best areas to stay include Bay City for the SM Mall of Asia and chic luxury hotels or Malibay for good mid-range accommodation.
Public Transportation: Buses, taxis, and trains are readily available. The main MRT and LRT light rail systems link the city to Manila via the Pasay Interchange, while local Victory Liner buses will take you to any part of Pasay and beyond. A short local journey costs from PHP10.
Choose yellow or white metered taxis for local and airport trips. Alternatively, take a jeepney. Fares start at around PHP8 for a short journey within the city.
Lots of visitors hire a car when they arrive at the airport. At just PHP1,190 per day, it's the smart way to ensure that you don't miss any of Luzon's sights and attractions.
SM Mall of Asia is an essential stop. It's the country's second biggest mall after SM City North EDSA and the fourth biggest in the world. You'll find everything from the latest designer clothing and electronics to books and home accessories. Pasay is known for the quality of its local arts and crafts. Pick up leather goods, art, and jewelry from street and flea markets in Tiendesitas.
Shop for everyday items at the supermarkets that dot the city. Popular options include Metro Supermarket and Savemore Market, and you should pay approximately PHP90 for 2 lbs of potatoes or PHP96 for 12 large eggs.
It's easy to dine in style for less in Pasay, and you can sample Filipino, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Malay, American, and European food in a host of great locations. The "all you can eat" buffet is incredibly popular. Fill your plate as many times as you like from a massive array of seafood, sushi, salads, rice, noodles, meat, fish, and vegetables at Vikings Luxury Buffet or the Four Seasons Buffet & Hotpot in the SM Mall of Asia. Visit Crisostomo for the best in Filipino cooking or opt for Chinese at family-friendly favorite China Blue. A basic lunch in the center costs around PHP270 while a European-style meal for two with wine is about PHP2,570.