An on-line ballot of backpackers has named Manila as the worst place to go to in Southeast Asia.
According to readers of web site southeastasiabackpacker.com, the Philippine capital is affected by air pollution, poor infrastructure, lack of security and overcrowding.
Although some travellers praised town for its “friendly” and “lovely humans”, it was the clear chief in the ballot with tales of theft and harassment cited.
Author of the ballot, Nikki Scott, defended Manila, saying: “As always, it depends on the experience that you have whilst you are there, the people you meet and the choices you make of which neighbourhoods you visit. Every city has its dodgy parts.”
Also coming in for criticism was Cebu, which was named as the tenth worst place in the area. Travellers described the Queen City of the South as “dirty,” “noisy,” “polluted” and “all shopping malls and no culture.” One customer stated the meals obtainable was “bland and Americanised”, regardless of Cebu being justly well-known for its lechon roast pork and different Cebuano specialities.
Again, Ms Scott defended town, saying: “We discovered ourselves in Cebu City for the annual pageant of Sinulog, when town was alive with a carnival ambiance, full of colors and brimming with tradition.
“We can’t imagine what it’s like on a normal day, though we did see some grey bits of concrete in-between the floats and dancing angels.”
The second and third worst locations have been named as Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, each in Cambodia.
The nation that featured most prominently on the record was Thailand, with Koh Samui, Khao San Road, Pattaya and Phuket all singled out for criticism.
Other unpopular locations included Kuta in Bali, Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Pak Beng in Laos and Medan on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.