6 Experiences you will enjoy when you go there
A travel magazine of the Chinatown in Manila, Philippines
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Going around Chinatown
After visiting the Chinese district, I am sure these experiences will make you always want to go back. By Angel Luke Bagano
I went to Chinatown for the first time because we had to make a documentary for a travel magazine as an assignment in class. The crowd, noise and traffic was deadening, because it was different from the usual experience in any of the crowded streets in Manila. Chinatown breezes with businessmen selling their wares, tourists going around looking for fancy but colorful trinkets and gift items in the numerous shops around, devotees going in and out of the old yet elegant Binondo Church. Binondo Church -it is one of the oldest places of Christian Worship in Manila. The Church is home to the Our Lady of China and in front of the church is the Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz .
Various wares and jewelries are found mostly in Ongpin Street where you find tourists and buy-and-sell traders flock to go buy items to display in their own shops anywhere in Manila and other cities or provinces. What most attracted me is the colorful designs that speak truly of Chinese art and design - red, blue and orange dominate the colors with designs of dragons, snakes and scallops of lanterns on chandeliers and lampshades.
Jewelry shops and commercial centers are bedecked with trinkets, fancy jewelries, gift items and colorful decors that tell stories of Chinese art and design. 2
Exotic foods are served in restaurants and diners, the first time I saw them in the menu book I almost puked but then I saw a group of Chinese eating with gusto at a table opposite where we sat. In this instant, I felt respect for other peoples tastes and culture. I wanted to try their dish of innards fried to a crisp and filled with garlic oil. I realized that the taste is not as disgusting as the taste. Other exotic foods are snakes, pigeons, rabbits, frogs cooked in delicious ways as meat or soup and crisp fries. Besides the exotic foods are the familiar dumplings, sio-pao, sio-mai and lots of noodles and soups. The Chinese are said to be the best This exotic food is from the innards of animals, cooks in the world. cooked to a crisp with garlic oil, or barbecued. Going around the Chinese district is not a problem. While anyone can go there on his own car, tricycles, jeepneys, taxis and calezas are everywhere. I love riding the caleza because you are given the chance to maneuver the horse, if you ask the driver. For P150.00 to any destination around Chinatown, you can go through narrow streets and alleys and to anywhere you want to go to. The tricycle drivers charge P25 for a minimum of two passengers. It can also take you around the district wherever you want to go to. Other places you might want to enjoy at this Chinese District is he Buddhist temple; Kuang Kong is open to the public and is worth visiting as it shows the roots of the ChineseFilipino, you can burn incense sticks and utter your prayers. There is also these red wooden half moons you can use to have your fortunes told. Kuang Kong is the patron of Scholars and Martial arts as well as the God of War; it is known as the protector of Quan Yin; the Goddess of Mercy. The old art deco style buildings are found in Escolta Street, this used to be the home of many luxurious fashion brands and slowly declined in the 70's after the growth of malls. Tricycles, calesas, taxi, jeepney - the mode of transportation around. 3
How to get there
Chinatown in the Binondo district has a lot of narrow and small streets. It stretches from Santa Cruz Church in the east all the way to Binondo Church in the west. It is overcrowded with buildings as well as people. Getting there is easy...
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