Manila is the capital and second largest city of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities which, along with the municipality of Pateros, make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, whose overall population is around 12 million.
The city of Manila is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is bordered by the cities of Navotas and Caloocan to the north; Quezon City and San Juan to the northeast; Mandaluyong to the east; Makati to the southeast, and Pasay to the south. It has a total population of 1,652,171 according to the 2010 census and is the second most populous city in the Philippines, behind Quezon City. The populace inhabit an area of only 3,855 hectares (9,525.91 acres), making Manila the most densely populated city in the world.
Fourteen cities and three municipalities make up what is officially known as Metro Manila, referred to by most residents and visitors simply as MANILA, a massive, clamorous conurbation that covers 636 square kilometres and is home to almost 10 million people. To add to the confusion the old part of Manila - the area near the old walled city of Intramuros - officially remains the capital and seat of the Philippine government.
At first sight Manila is intimidating: noisy, unkempt and with appalling traffic. There are few open spaces and only a handful of remarkable buildings. Signposting has improved in recent years, but is still woefully inadequate or misleading.
Finding your way around is made even more difficult by the absence of significant modern or historical landmarks-most of the buildings are low concrete structures built in a hurry since the end of World War II. Skyscrapers have gone up in some of the business districts, but none is as notable as Hong Kong's Bank of China or Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers.
Manila also prides itself on the quality of its nightlife and the ability of its residents to kick up a good time. For many tourists, this will be their enduring memory of the place: funky bars and nightclubs in areas such as Malate and Makati whose attraction stems from their egalitarian nature. It doesn't matter who you are or what you are, you will have fun in Manila.