From a bastion of pickpockets and hooligans, Manila Baywalk is now a haven of leisure, where you can indulge in seaside jogging or dining as you watch people and yachts come and go. It is a cobblestone-paved lane, with benches and sculptures to stop by while sampling traditional Filipino street food like balut (premature duck egg) and taho (caramelized soya drink). While Baywalk teems with concerts and other weekend amusements, the main event here is not the loud music or the street magicians, but the famous sunset embracing the whole of Manila Bay.

(Photo by Stefan Munder)

Fun and leisure

Baywalk is made iconic by the colorful lampposts that are lined along its two-kilometer stretch, which spans from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, to Manila Yacht Club, and to the US Embassy, fronting the hotels and condominiums of Malate and Ermita.

Early morning exercise (Photo by Stefan Munder)

Every morning, fitness fanatics can be seen walking, jogging or biking by Baywalk’s tiled footpaths, while every weekend, over 200,000 tourists and locals flock to the site, either to join in a mass tai chi or to indulge in free entertainment such as open-air concerts, street magic shows, and circus-like acrobatic stunts.

Cafés and restaurants

Just across the street, along Roxas Boulevard, are a number of cafés and restaurants that overlook Baywalk and its famous sunset. Among these are Aristocrat and Banana Leaf, which take pride of serving time-honored traditional Filipino recipes.

(Photo by Stefan Munder)

Battling it out in presenting the best of China’s 5,000-year-old Cantonese and Szechuan cuisines are Szechuan House, Dragon Gate Seafood Restaurant, Sky High, Chinese Place, Tong Yang, Century Seafood, HK Golden Pavilion, and Emerald Garden. Other restaurants are Thai, Korean, international Western, or take-away fast food franchises. Amid these dining hubs are small KTV bars and night clubs that seemingly have a world of their own.

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