CNNGo picks Binondo one of the World’s Best ChinatownsPosted on September 19th, 2012 under Beauty of the Philippines
CNNGo.com has named the Philippines’ Binondo as one of the World’s Best Chinatowns.
In an article written by Simon Ostheimer, the travel website of international news organization CNN ranked Binondo in Manila 4th on the list which includes other scenic Chinatowns in Cuba, India, South Africa, the United States and England.
Here’s CNNGo.com Simon Ostheimer description of Binondo and why it is a Chinatown to visit:
Binondo is the world’s oldest Chinatown, established in the 1590s by the Spanish as a settlement for Catholic Chinese.
Located across the river from the walled city of Intramuros, it was positioned so that colonial rulers could keep a close eye on their migrant subjects.
Although almost 20,000 Chinese were killed following a revolt in 1603, Hokkiens continued to flock here from Fujian and today Binondo is an integral, thriving part of the Filipino capital.
The best place to start a tour is on Carvajal Street, otherwise known as Umbrella Alley (so-called for the multitude of umbrellas that protect the small street stalls), which offers some of the best street food in the city.
For a knowledgeable guide on your culinary adventure, the Big Binondo Food Wok tour is run by Old Manila Walks (oldmanilawalks.com), co-owned by local Ivan Mandy.
Each participant on the guided walk is given a souvenir Big Binondo Food Wok Map, which lists restaurant and shops, as well as coupons for businesses in the area.
Stand-out feature: Built in 1596, the landmark Binondo Church is home to the Santo Cristo de Longos or Crucified Christ, believed to be miraculous. In the 16th century, a deaf-mute Chinese supposedly regained the power of speech after finding the image.
Must-visit restaurant: Café Mezzanine above the Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli (famous for hopia ube pastries) in Ongpin Sreet. A part of the restaurant’s income goes to Binondo’s fire department, whose iconic purple truck is parked beside the Binondo Church.
Dish to order? The infamous Soup No. 5, made from a bulls’ testicles.
Here’s the complete top 9 list of Chinatowns around the world:
- Havana, Cuba
- Kolkata, India
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Manila, Philippines
- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Melbourne, Australia
- Vancouver, Canada
- San Francisco, United States
- London, England