It was a typical Chinese New Year weekend in Chinatown in Binondo, Manila.
I've always wanted to explore the area, but I was always apprehensive because I speak/understand minimal Chinese. With several Chinese languages used here (Mandarin? Cantonese? Fookien?), I'm doomed. I asked a friend to accompany me, being he's Chinese and a graduate of Hope Christian High School, I'm pretty sure he'll be a great help in navigating the place. We met up in SM Manila and rode a jeepney going to Sta. Cruz. I showed him the list of where I wanted to go... and so the trip began.
First (and my favorite, too) stop: Wai Ying Fast Food
|The branch in front of Hope Christian High School|
|Wanton Mami/Bihon 100php|
This is so filling! Great for sharing :)
|Curry Beef Brisket Rice 120php|
A must-try for all the rice lovers :)
|Ham Soi Kok 60php|
I think this is a spin-off of Empanada(?)
My favorite Chinese dessert!
Second stop: Binondo Church
|I hope getting married on New Year's eve will brig them luck and joy :)|
|I'm at awe with this artwork. Come on, a hand-painted artwork on a ceiling? A CEILING!|
Third stop: Temple in Masangkay
|I will definitely come back to this temple. The keeper is sooo nice :)|
Chinatown at it's finest: (photos by Rexter Andrew Urquiola)
|Chinese New Year 2012|
We also dropped by Polland to buy some hopias as pasalubong, but I wasn't able to take photos. It was the branch that doesn't have a security guard, and I'm just too scared to take out my phone. :(
All in all, I had fun exploring Chinatown. It was tiring, yes, but I wouldn't mind doing it again. It's actually nice to immerse myself in Chinese culture (though that was just a slice of it, really).
TIPS: If you're planning to do a photowalk, its best you do it as a big group. You don't want muggers messing with your gadgets.
Wear comfy clothes and shoes 'cause you will walk (you will have to, no kidding).
Restaurants are usually jampacked during lunchtime, so if you don't want the hassle of waiting for a table, eat early or after lunchtime.
Lastly, keep an open mind. Appreciate, enjoy, and have fun! :)
What is your Chinatown experience? I would love to hear them. :)