One of Intramuros's main tourist attractions, Fort Santiago and its beautifully landscaped grounds on the bank of the Pasig River make for a wonderful escape from the bustle of the big city. Originally built by the Spanish in 1590, the citadel today includes gardens, plazas, fountains and a lily pond. The Rizal Shrine museum features displays of memorabilia relating to national hero Dr. José Rizal, executed by the Spanish in 1896 for being one of the leaders of the Philippine Revolution. The fort includes a re-creation of his cell and the courtroom where his trial was held.
Riding the Kalesa
I used to love to ride on these kalesa's when I was a kid. They are not widely available throughout Manila though, so we only get to ride them in Manila's Chinatown, where this is still used as regular transport up to this day.
These days, you'll also find them in some tourist areas like Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Luneta Park.
Reprieve From Metro Manila
But there is a place for reprieve and you can find it in Intramuros. Intramuros is the oldest district and historic core of Manila, so there is a lot of history here. The walled city is the only district of Manila where old Spanish-era influences are still plentiful.
There is Fort Santiago and Rizal Shrine which are definitely sites worth touring. José Rizal, the Philippines' national hero, was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896.
There are wide open spaces and when you are on the grounds of Fort Santiago the hustle and bustle of Manila seams to disappear.