Buddha Bar Manila

Last night I went to the Buddha Bar. On some level I knew places like this existed here but since I don’t go out much I don’t really know what Manila has to offer. Buddha Bar is really nice. When you first walk in you are struck with beauty of the interior design. It’s a calming and inviting space with soft red lights, dark wood and an assortment of Buddhas throughout. I hear it has a nice rooftop bar too, but it was raining cats and dogs last night so I wasn’t able to check it out.

I ordered a drink called The Majestic for P350 (about $8). Though on the expensive side for Manila it was worth it to me for the delightful mix of pineapple juice, vodka, coconut and Thai basil. It’s no surprise I loved it since I already have a love affair with Thai food. I already knew that Thai basil added a deliciously unique flavor to food but last night I discovered it also does that to drink. We also got some sushi which was tasty but not particularly extraordinary. I ended up spending $40 which I felt badly about because I am on a debt-reducing plan but I liked the fact that being there gave me a new outlook on what there is around Manila. This year I vow to hang out more and find more things to do around this city!

Now for the negatives. Buddha Bar is a gorgeous, chic bar and I had a good time but it’s so disappointing different to hang out in spots like this in Asia. Why? Because bringing your own entertainment is required to have a good time. In the US when I hang out I always meet new people; folks talk to one another and laugh and have fun. Bars here? Everyone here kind of keeps to themselves, no one offers to buy you food or drinks, no one flirts, there’s no eye candy and the music isn’t anything to write home about. Clearly this isn’t Buddha Bar-specific. This is how it is everywhere here. (Well, okay, I don’t go out much but the few times I have this has been my experience.) At least it wasn’t overrun with old foreign men and their teen age Filipino girlfriends. That’s a huge plus in my book!!

Overall it was a good experience and I will be going back–with a required crew of friends.

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