Binondo continues to fascinate Filipinos today with its vibrant Chinese culture. Part of its charm is its wide array of restaurants and kiosks that serve traditional and modern Chinese food.
It is no wonder that all year round—not just Chinese New Year!—many flock to Manila’s Chinatown to get a taste of what it has to offer.[READ: Eat your way through Chinatown for P500 or less]
Equally fascinating though is its history. Established in 1594 by the Spaniards to house Chinese migrants who converted to Catholicism, it is considered the world’s oldest Chinatown.
Both facets of Binondo (food and history) are the subjects of Old Manila Walks’ “The Big Binondo Food Wok” that resumes this month. Starting this week until August, you can book a tour that lasts about two-and-a-half hours, covering Binondo Church, Ongpin St., Carvajal Alley Market, and the restaurants and shops that pepper its streets.
For P1,750 per head, you will learn about Binondo’s history through a culinary walking tour. Just register through their website.
The tour is conducted at a leisurely pace, too, so everyone, including older audiences, can enjoy it. The fee includes food as well as a tasting menu of meats, nuts, dairy, and seafood. Vegetarian options can also be arranged.
Heritage advocate Ivan Man Dy leads Old Manila Walks’ tours, which also cover Intramuros, Malacañang, and the Chinese Cemetery. If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he was famously Anthony Bourdain’s guide during the latter’s visit to Manila for his documentary travel show “No Reservations.”
Old Manila Walks has been conducting heritage walking tours of Manila sites since 2005.