MANILA NINOY AQUINO AIRPORT
Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, or simply NAIA, is the main international airport serving the Manila metropolitan area, with the other unofficially being Clark International Airport that operates a number of budget airlines. NAIA is located between Pasay and Paranaque cities, approximately 7 km from the Manila city center. It is a huge international travel hub with heavy air traffic and 4 terminals. Terminals 1 and 3 serve all international flights except for Philippine Airlines, while Terminal 2, called the Centennial Terminal, operates Philippine Airlines flights only. Terminal 2 is split into the North Wing for international flights and the South Wing for domestic flights. The fourth terminal, the Domestic Terminal, handles all other domestic flights. As of 2015, the government is in the construction stage for a new terminal that will handle budget airlines. Within the airport itself, there are free 24-hour shuttle buses running every 15 minutes that ferry passengers between terminals. Although NAIA is not known to have as many amenities or services as other airports of a similar size, they have a number of dining options that includes cafes, and restaurants serving local and Japanese cuisine. There are also two memorials for Benigno Ninoy Aquino, Junior, the assassinated politician that the airport was named after. All airport terminals have free wireless Internet and Internet computer terminals are located at Terminals 1 and 2. Dayrooms are also available at Terminal 1, and there are several hotels located just a shuttle bus ride from the airport complex.
Due to its close distance to the Manila city center, NAIA is very accessible by bus, jeepney, or taxi. Visitors are advised to take only official, metered, or pre-booked taxis, and not accept rides from drivers that approach you on the side. Each taxi ride should cost 150-200 pesos, and will take approximately 20 minutes to reach the city center, although the duration could be much longer depending on traffic. Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are directly connected on the bus network, but visitors arriving at Terminal 4 will need to take a shuttle bus to another terminal first. Each bus ride typically starts at 12 pesos. A slightly cheaper option is a jeepney, which starts at 8 pesos, but these may not be a good option for people with bulky luggage as it tends to be cramped and less comfortable compared to a bus or taxi. Once you make it to central Manila, a convenient way to travel around is via the Strong Republic Transit System (SRTS) train system, which has multiple lines operated by two different companies. Passengers looking to buy a stored-value card should note that some cards may only work for the line under a particular company. However, the SRTS Flash Pass was recently introduced to integrate the transport system and can be used for multiple lines.
Manila is sometimes overlooked as a tourist destination due to its reputation as a congested urbanized city. However, as the capital city of the Philippines, Manila has much to offer in terms of its rich history, and sites such as the Bonifacio Shrine, the National Museum of the Philippines, and the Mabini Shrine will give visitors deep insights into the revolutionary shifts in politics experienced by the country over the years. Manila is also home to many Spanish colonial churches that have been around since Spanish colonial rule. Most importantly, visitors should try to immerse themselves in the vibrant and charming Filipino culture, which is a true melting pot of cultures and ethnicities!
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