The old downtown Manila is alive and bustling.
Technically, it’s the center of the LRT train line but in all honesty, it is the jump off to the center of Manila. When you want to go to Sta. Cruz, Recto, Divisoria, Quiapo and Escolta, you only have to go to Carriedo and everything’s and anything’s a stones throw away. When you board down the train you only need to have keen eyes and nice pair of shoes as you’ll be treated to a montage of interesting places to go: Chinatown ( for tasty dumplings), Hidalgo (camera center of Manila! Woot!), Raon ( for lights and sound madness).
The Pasig Ferry Line, Quiapo Church, Jones Bridge and a lot of small weird bits that make Manila absorbing. Jeepneys and pedicab (pedaled bicycles) are the choice of transport but walking is recommended. Savor the street food if your tummy is brave for battered squid, light a candle at the first church you enter and make a wish, buy stuff, all kinds of cheap fun stuff, and suck up the life that this city breathes with much love.