Makati has many "one way" roads.
It's pretty easy to tell if a road is "one way" or not. If there's a black-and-white sign with the words "ONE WAY" on it, or if all the cars seem to be heading towards the same direction, then you're on a "one way" road.
Granted, these kinds of roads can be frustrating. After all, if you're unfamiliar with Makati's roads, and you accidentally drove left when you should've gone right, that can present all sorts of problems. Still, for pedestrians who need to get from one side of the road to the other, "one way" streets are a godsend — since they only have to look, well, one way to safely cross the road.
Makati has a "plastic ban" in place.
Since June 2013, Makati has prohibited the use of plastics for the packaging of food, groceries, and other products. In other words, if you're shopping in Makati, it's a good idea to bring your own shopping bags — preferably the ones that are reusable, and/or made of cloth and other durable materials.
However, the ban doesn't apply to everything. If you're shopping for ice cream, raw meat, and other "wet goods," you'll find most of these wrapped in plastic. Until someone finds a way to create a packaging material that's as durable as plastic, but as biodegradable as paper, expect to find these sorts of exceptions around Makati still!
The malls aren't the only places to shop.
When you think of places to shop in Makati City, you think of Glorietta, Greenbelt, Power Plant Mall, and Century City Mall. Actually, there are many other shopper's paradises in Makati that are not only hidden, but also better than their larger, more commercial counterparts.
For example, you have the A. Venue Mall along Makati Avenue, which hosts live performances by bands every 6 to 7 P.M. You also have the Alphaland Makati Place, a new mall situated a couple of blocks away from the corner of Buendia and Ayala Avenue Extension. And then you have the Makati Cinema Square, which is Makati's answer to Manila's Divisoria.
Makati is a bargain hunter's haven (if you know where to look).
Despite popular belief, Makati doesn't cater only to people with fat wallets. If you do a little poking around, you'll find a lot of places that allow you to get the most bang for your buck.
For instance, if you want to read books for free, you can drop by The Reading Club 2000 at 1454 Balagtas Street, Barangay La Paz. If you want to watch high-quality movies from around the world, you can choose between the Alliance Française de Manille’s Cine Club, the Japan Foundation Manila and the Goethe Institute Philippines, all of which hold free screenings every now and then. And if you like browsing discount stores, Makati has the Japan Home Centre, the American Bazaar, and so much more.
Makati is a foodie haven too.
Love Japanese food? Drive over to Little Tokyo along Pasong Tamo. Looking for international street food at reasonable prices? Drop by the streets of Barangay Poblacion. Craving for a quirky lunch, without straying too far from the Makati Central Business District? Try one of these hidden treasures in Legaspi or Salcedo Village. Makati bursts with so many dining options, you can't do them all justice in a single paragraph!
Makati is chockfull of entertainment options.
Bar-hopping and movie-watching aren't the only ways to tickle your fun bone in Makati. You can also:
- show off your shooting skills at the archery/gun ranges in Makati Cinema Square;
- go kart racing at the Circuit Makati Lane;
- solve a mystery at the Century City Mall; and
- so much more.
Luckily, most of these activities are designed to be done in groups. If you're going with friends to Makati, don't forget to bring them to these joints!
It's easy to get around Makati via public transportation.
Between those one way roads, and designated "Loading/Unloading" areas, how can you get by as a newbie in Makati? You can ride taxis, of course, but those are a lot more expensive compared to buses and jeepneys.
Most buses travelling to Makati City pass through Buendia, then make a right turn along Ayala Avenue. The jeepney routes are a little more complicated: Some pass straight through Buendia towards EDSA, while others take a detour along Ayala before going to EDSA. If you want to go to/travel from the Ayala Malls, you can take the MRT3 to/from the "Ayala" station.
So far, we've covered some of the things about Makati City that every newbie visitor should know. If there's any more info about Makati you wish to know/share, share them with us in the comments. In the meantime, enjoy your visit to this awesome metropolis!