I didn’t have work yesterday (Monday) so I decided to explore another part of Manila which is really in Manila — Binondo. My friend, Pirkko, and I wanted to try this allegedly yummy noodle place, but we decided to look for that legendary Xiao long pao first. We commuted because that’s how adventures work (lol we just didn’t have a car). We took the LRT 1, got down at Carriedo Station, and from there, we trusted our instincts. Literally. He had the address with him, but, for some reason, we just went to the nearest Chinese-looking place and thought that maybe it’s just somewhere there. It wasn’t my first time in Binondo, but it was my first time to get lost there.
In exploring Manila, you cannot fail to see contrasts. You see the authenticity and remains of a once lively Manila and also the reason for its demise. It’s just really cool capturing all that in pictures. Ah, Manila. Forgotten yet unforgettable.
First stop: Chinatown
See what I mean? Oh you’ll see a lot of that later on.
Looking for that xiao long pao place was exhausting. I didn’t know Binondo was that big. Haha We were walking aimlessly under the sun for more than 30 minutes, and yesterday, it was just really hot.
We asked people for directions, and it became confusing when some of them would say different things. It made us explore the whole town (was it the whole town? I don’t know. Probably not, but it felt like it haha). It brought us to streets that would amaze us at how genuinely chinese they are. But what did we expect, right? Haha!
We were both so hungry that we decided to use my phone for a map of the place (just now?!). After passing through so many narrow streets, nearly getting hit by motorcycles and cars, cursing at the thought that we were probably still kilometres away, we finally found it. And I tell you, it was worth it.
Just look at my friend so proud of our small victory. Haha
In case you don’t know how to read Chinese characters, the place is called Dong Bei Dumplings. I’m not actually sure if that’s what’s written on the door, but that’s the name of the place. If you’ve ever been to Binondo, there are a lot of places like this. I’m not sure, but I was told that places like this have the most authentic food.
That’s the yummy xiao long pao.
The drink tastes like Gulaman, but I think it’s a healthier version.
Food coma begins.