A very rich culture, decades-old Chinese restaurants, and having historical churches and temples...Well having said that, it is not surprising why Binondo, Manila is now becoming a popular destination for travel bloggers, food bloggers and even to History Buffs (and Historians). People who'll visit the place will not only be feed on the visuals they may see in this place but they'll also make their stomachs full with all the restaurants and food stalls Binondo has to offer. Plus, roaming and eating around Binondo is affordable and budget friendly!
Note: This Binondo tour will require you lots of walking so you better prepare yourself. :)
How to get there?
There are so many ways to reach Binondo or the Chinatown. One way I know is by riding LRT-1. From Taft-Edsa Station, buy a ticket going to Carriedo Station. Ticket costs 15 pesos. From Carriedo Station, walk from Isetan Mall until you reach the old building of BPI. Just across the old BPI building is the Sta. Cruz Church which is one of the places this blog will feature. This also denotes the start of Binondo tour!
|Start of our Binondo Tour!|
|One of the transportation you can choose on exploring Binondo|
|Selfie mode! Full arms extended!|
1) Santa Cruz ChurchThe church was named after the Holy Cross and has been founded by Gov. Alfonso Fajardo de la Tenza on January 9,1724. Later on, the Church of Santa Cruz was re-built and managed by the Jesuits until 1768. The patron saint of Sta. Cruz Church is the miraculous Nuestra Senora del Pilar (or the Our Lady of the Pillar) in which its statue was brought from Spain prior to 1763.
|Sta. Cruz Church|
|Those candles represent prayers from the people who visited Sta Cruz Church|
2) Ho-Land Chinese DelicaciesNext stop, Holand Chinese Delicacies. A family owned business, Ho-Land is known for their varieties of hopia. Some of their hopia flavors are Hopia Mongo, Hopia Baboy, Hopia Waxgourd, Hopia Ube, Hopia Ube-Langka, Hopia Ube Macapuno, Hopia Pandan-Macapuno, Hopia Pineapple, Hopia Kondol, and a lot more! A pack of Holand's hopia costs 40 pesos which contains 5 to 6 pieces of hopia depending on the flavor.
3) Sincerity Cafe & RestaurantIt was passed lunch time and we haven't ate something heavy yet. So the group decided to look for a place or restaurant that serves heavy meals but it should also be budget friendly. Then our feet brought us to Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant which is one of the famous destination in Binondo in terms of food hopping. It has been featured many times on television shows, magazines, food blogs and celebrities. Pia Arcangel and her family was actually in Sincerity the day we visited it.
|I believe he's the big boss of Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant|
|The famous "Sincerity Chicken"!|
|Sincerity's version of Patatim|
|Sincerity Spinach for vegetarians!|
|Its really worth to wait|
4) This unknown templeI totally forgot the name of this temple. Sorry. If it happens that you know the name of this place, please use the comment section below. Thanks in advance! It is near Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant.
|No entrance fee but you can donate on their donation box|
5) Binondo ChurchBinondo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, was founded in 1596 by Dominican priests. This church is iconic as it stands and witnessed the dark years of the country. Binondo Church was destroyed during a British onslaught in 1762. And on the same site, it was rebuilt in 1852. However it was extremely damaged again during the Second World War, leaving its octagonal bell tower untouched. Its renovation lasted from 1946 until 1971.
|Repainting of Binondo Church|
|It reminded me of Basilica de Sto Nino of Cebu|
6) Lucky Chinatown MallLocated in the heart of Binondo and behind 168 Mall of Divisoria is the Lucky Chinatown Mall. The 108,000 sqm development from Megaworld Lifestyle Malls brings a top-class shopping, entertainment and dining in this Filipino-Chinese heritage of Binondo. One of the highlight in Lucky Chinatown Mall is its so called "Chinatown Walk". An exciting concept street that recreates the famous old Chinatown with pre-Spanish inspired architecture.
|I believe the tree behind us is a money tree...|
|Who's the fairest of them all? Hehe|
|Date Date din pag may time... eh may time po kami :)|
7) Eng Bee TinOwned by Chua Chiu, Eng Bee Tin was established in 1912 in the street of Ongpin, Binondo, Manila. Known for its hopia, tikoy and glutinous balls, Eng Bee Tin has became a reputable stalls that sells traditional Chinese delicacies.
|Tikoy! tikoy! tikoy!|
8) Dong Bei DumplingsOur next and last destination during this visit in Binondo received a high praise on Trip Advisor and a well known Hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Binondo -- the Dong Bei Dumplings. The place is quite small and hard to find. It is just around 10-15 sqm of dining place but since it is a very known place in the neighborhood of Yuchengco Street, Binondo, just ask the locals for easy direction.
Dong Bei Dumplings' offers homemade chinese-style dumplings at affordable prices. You can actually see how these dumplings were done since they prepare their foods in one of the dining table in the restaurant. Some of their best-sellers are kuchay dumplings and xiao long bao (soup-filled with pork dumpling).
|Scene you can expect at Dong Bei Dumplings|
Overall, I had a great time roaming and exploring around the streets of Binondo. There are still lots of spots that I missed so a chance of another blog post about this place is possible. I'll definitely visit this place some time and hopefully soon. I am very much excited to see more spots and restaurants that Binondo has to offer!