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Unlock Manila: A 15-Hour-Layover Guide to Hidden Filipino Gems


Transiting through a new city offers a chance to immerse in its culture and rejuvenate both body and mind, adding to the joys of travel.

An 8-hour transit in Manila provides an excellent opportunity to fully experience the vibrancy of the Philippines’ capital.

For those departing from Toronto and heading to Melbourne with an 8-hour layover at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), staying at Camp CJ is highly recommended.

Detailed Transit Schedule

4:55 – 6:00: Immigration and Baggage Claim

Planning to spend all your layover time at the airport?

Venture into Manila and make your journey 100% satisfying with a day-use hotel as your flexible base.

6:30 – 7:00: Moving to Camp CJ

Stay at Camp CJ for this segment.

Use taxis or trains for transportation from the airport to nearby cafes around the hotel, estimating about 30 minutes for the taxi, considering traffic conditions.

There are roughly three types of taxis available: coupon taxis that operate with fixed fares from the airport, making them the safest but slightly more expensive option; yellow taxis, which are metered and generally of better quality; and regular taxis.

Find out the best way to get to Manila

After a graceful breakfast at a cafe, utilize Camp CJ’s [12hrs] Daycation plan ($30 USD) to enjoy comfortable hotel-like amenities.

Access to local cafes, shopping malls, or even using the facility’s pool and gym could be part of your experience.

In-room entertainment options like Netflix, YouTube, board games, and mini karaoke are also available.

8:00 – 15:30: Stay at Camp CJ

After enjoying a sophisticated breakfast at a cafe, take advantage of Camp CJ’s [12hrs] Daycation plan for a hotel-like comfortable experience.

Camp CJ’s location offers easy access to the city, allowing you to explore local cafes and shopping malls as part of your enjoyment.

Alternatively, you can make use of the facility’s pool and gym for free.

For those who prefer staying indoors, entertainment options such as Netflix, YouTube, board games, card games, and mini karaoke are also part of the services, ensuring a fulfilling time indoors.

15:30-17:45: Dining or Shopping at Malls

After relaxing at Camp CJ, consider visiting the nearby Shangri-La Plaza and SM Megamall, two adjacent shopping malls close to the hotel.

Shangri-La Plaza is part of the Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and is directly connected to adjacent Shangri-La facilities.

Upon entering, you’ll find yourself in a spacious area exuding luxury, home to international brand shops, local Filipino boutiques, beauty salons, and spas, alongside a variety of dining options to enjoy.

Additionally, the plaza features cinemas and event spaces, offering entertainment and activities beyond shopping.

SM Megamall, located in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines, stands as one of the largest shopping malls in the country.

With over 800 stores and restaurants, it offers a comprehensive shopping and dining experience.

Beyond just shopping and meals, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as watching movies, bowling, mini-golf, ice skating, and relaxing at a spa.

This diverse range of facilities makes SM Megamall a perfect destination for entertainment and leisure during your stay in Manila.

17:45 – 18:30: Checkout and Transfer to Airport

Enjoy shopping and dining at the two malls before heading back to Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Use a taxi or shuttle service again, allowing about 45 minutes for the trip. It’s recommended to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.

See other spots to visit

Estimated Cost

    • Hotel stay: $30 USD ([12hrs] Daycation plan)
    • Transportation: Approx. $40 USD (round trip between airport and Camp CJ)
    • Meals: Approx. $20 USD at the hotel or nearby restaurants
    • Total: Approx. $90 USD (Note: This is an estimate and may vary based on personal choices.)

Manila’s transit isn’t just a waiting period but an opportunity for a new adventure. A stay at Camp CJ turns this adventure into a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Use this plan to maximize your transit in Manila and immerse yourself in Filipino culture and beautiful landscapes.

Hotel Information

Address: Sunshine 100 City Plaza Tower 3, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines

Reservation Site:


Shangri-La Plaza:https://www.shangrila-plaza.com/
SM Mega Mall:https://www.smsupermalls.com/mall-directory/sm-megamall/information/

Flight Information

*This article was created based on the following flight information:

  • Departure: 1:00 from Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS)
  • Arrival: 4:55 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
  • Transit Time: 15 Hours 35 Minute
  • Departure: 20:30 Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
  • Arrival: 23:10 John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Category: Manila

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