FORT BONIFACIO - GLOBAL CITY
Fort Bonifacio or simply 'The Fort' is a new area of Manila. It is privately owned by a large corporation and was an actual fort owned by the Philippines military before being developed. In the Fort you will find many, many high rise buildings and offices, with a few malls, lots of bars and many restaurants. It is looked after very well and is always clean. It centers around High street, which is closed off to traffic with a strip of park in the middle surrounded by bars and restaurants and other high end retail shops.
The Fort has large walls surrounding it to keep it fresh and away from the rest of Manila, with only a handful of ways into and out of this new city. You will see lots of westerners and foreigners in this area, shopping and hanging out. It seems very safe, with loads of workers to be seen. Traffic directors, guards, gardeners, street sweepers to help keep it a fun place to visit.
This large mall always seems a hive of activity. It centers around a large open space that sometimes has kids shows, exhibitions or sales there. The prices are actually okay compared to some of the other areas that ex-pats visit. There is a large department store that takes up a few floors and many of the usual shops you would find in any mall around the world. There is a large, covered, outdoor area that has a food court as well as some stalls selling gardening supplies, florists, plants and fresh fruits and vegetables. There are outdoor stalls with produce from all areas of the Philippines represented. They also have quite a large playground outside for the kids to play in.
This mall is next door to Market Market and only opened in 2014. It is far less frenetic however and caters to a more expensive clientele. There is an IMAX cinema here as well. On the top floor an outdoor sky park can be found. It also has quite a few nice bars and restaurants on the roof that offer a great view of the Fort.
SM AURA on the day it opened
SM AURA with its unique architecture
A world class scientific museum, full of displays and interactive exhibits. Great for a day out with the kids and highly educational and informative.
The Mind Museum - An educational and fun day for the whole family
It is a strip about 400 metres long, where people go to shop and relax. Chef restaurants, fashionable boutiques, interactive art pieces to keep the kids entertained as well as an amphitheatre that often has free shows on. Whether you are there for fine dining, a quick bite to eat, coffee or a drink on a Friday night, there always seems to be something happening here.
High Street is a great area to eat outside
The Fort Strip is a street back from High street and houses a number of restaraunts and bars. It takes up a whole block and is home to a few nightclubs as well. It seems to be quite good value for money and where a lot of locals hang out after work or on the weekend.
The Fort Strip - Image from Wikimedia by Hans Olav Lien
The Fort truley is a huge city in it's own right and has everything you could want. It has some of Manila's most upscale and fun Nightclubs. There are many hotels to choose from, with a new Shangri-La towering above the city and due to open soon. There is a Home Depot for all your hardware needs and a St Luke's Medical centre (Hospital and health services) where you can receive excellent health care on par with any other major city in the world. There are many cinemas to choose from in the malls and even an IMAX in SM Aura. The city has a few smallish parks, but decent enough size to take the kids or dogs to. It is also home to the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, which remembers those who paid the ultimate price in the region during World War II.
The Sky Park on the roof of the SM Aura mall
32nd Street St Luke's Medical Centre on the left
Sculptures in Burgos Circle Park
Track 30th A Park on 30th Street
Terra 28th A smallish park on 28th Street
Rizal Drive with The Mind Museum on the left