I had free time in my hands so I grabbed Chace the camera and did a little stroll in downtown Manila. I haven’t set foot in the capital for quite a while after I graduated from college. Manila City for me is a chaotic place but it has its charms – and most of it lies in the old nooks. The charm of this urban hyperreality is when it transports you back to its heydays.
Binondo is the oldest Chinatown outside the mainland. In this little cramped neighborhood, your senses will be entertained by the sights, smells, and sounds of a bustling neighborhood. Business looks good and every street features a distinct feel of being in another place aside from Manila as we have known it. Honestly, though it could use a more precise urban planning. In the same time, the chaos here seems part of the daily life. Everyone looks so used to it.
What is a trip to Chinatown without dimsum! Everytime I think of Chinatown, all I could ever think is dimsum and tea, dimsum and tea, and repeat! I’ve had a bad case of craving for dimsum for a month now so this is a much-needed part of my trip. I just wished Wai Ying had beancurd rolls then, because in my book it’s the best dimsum!
I spent a rather short time in the area and I walked back to the train station to go back to Makati. I’d love to spend more time in Chinatown though y’know and maybe explore more of Manila. The old city has so much to offer if you let her.
Quick note: to get to Binondo, one can simply ride LRT-1 to Carriedo station. Head towards the direction of the old BPI building and you can see Escolta. Walk straight through and turn right at Yuchengco/Nueva street. When you see Ying Ying teahouse – it’s definitely time to slow down for some tea and dimsum… and many more will ensue if you’ll walk some more! From there, you can get to Divisoria, U-belt, or Ermita (for the National Museum and Intramuros!) I have yet to walk some more, though.
Jeez how much longer til the weekend, eh?
I made some art prints you can order from Society6. Let me know what you think!