Health & safety
With a total population of close to 11 million people, Manila has earned a reputation for being overcrowded. Traffic, crime, noise and air pollution are also major annoyances, though the last plays a critical role in producing Manila Bay's legendary sunsets.
As in any big city, crime is a part of life in Manila, with foreigners seen as easy prey by pickpockets and petty criminals. As much as possible, avoid walking around on your own at night and in deserted places.
A charity hospital, the government-funded Philippine General Hospital (521 8450; Taft Ave, Ermita) tends to be overcrowded but it does offer full service.
Reliable private medical services are provided by the following large centres:
Makati Medical Center (815 9911; 2Amorsolo St, Makati)
Manila Doctors Hospital (524 3011; 667 United Nations Ave, Ermita)
Manila Medical Center (523 8131; 1122 General Luna St, Ermita)
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