Fast-paced and endlessly fascinating, modern Manila is one of the most densely packed cities in the world. Characterized by intense contrasts — soaring skyscrapers next to shantytowns, atmospheric food markets as well as air-conditioned malls — it’s also an impressively multicultural city, with a swirl of languages, cuisines and cultures. To catch some historic atmosphere, you can head to Manila’s oldest neighborhood, the fortress enclave of Intramuros, to learn about Filipino heritage and history. Manila’s Ayala Museum, with a noted archaeological and art collection and cultural center, is worth focusing on. It is scheduled to reopen in 2020 after renovation. World War II buffs can visit Corregidor Island and learn about the fierce WWII battles in the Philippines, the Japanese occupation of the country, the loss of life, the heroism of the Filipinos and the efforts of American soldiers.