Baywalk pulsates with life from daybreak until the early hours. Transformed from a down-at-heel stretch of Marina Bay seafront, this two-kilometre promenade between the US Embassy, the Manila Yacht Club and the Cultural Centre of the Philippines has become a favourite leisure haunt for locals and visitors alike.
The action starts early in the morning, when walkers and joggers arrive for their daily workout. Open-air aerobics and Tai Chi classes get the blood pumping, while those who prefer a gentler start to their day simply enjoy the fresh air and sea views from the comfort of a bench, before heading off for breakfast in one of the plentiful cafes that line the promenade.
During the day, take a walk along the palm-fringed boulevard to admire the statues of important local dignitaries and other notable Filipinos, including Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., assassinated in 1983 for his controversial opposition of the Marcos government. Pick up a charming traditional souvenir from the well-stocked shops, sample local street food such as balut (premature duck eggs) or taho (caramelised soya drink), or take a ride on the Eye of MOA, a giant Ferris wheel with air-conditioned gondolas offering fabulous views over the city.
Baywalk really comes into its own at night, when people bag a table on the restaurant terraces or congregate along the seafront to admire the spectacular sunset, while street artists, acrobats and musicians lend a bohemian atmosphere to the natural beauty. As dusk falls, watch the famous lampposts light up in a myriad of kaleidoscope colours, which will have you reaching in amazement for your camera. For an impressive panoramic view of the whole promenade, treat yourself to a romantic night cruise along the bay.
Manila Bay is easily reached by public transport, and many hotels also offer a shuttle service to the nearby Mall of Asia, a short stroll from Baywalk.