October 1, 2023
LEY - Manila Binondo

Leylander in Manila: From Binondo to BGC

During my most recent trip to Manila, I was finally able to visit the famous and very well-loved Binondo, Manila’s very own Chinatown. You see, I’d been to Manila several times in the past. But I never had the chance to explore on foot some of its most well-loved local tourist destinations. So when I found out that we got the whole afternoon to roam around on our first day, I knew what needed to be done!

Hello, Manila!

First of all, let me thank Airasia for this trip. They were going to launch their new Airasia SuperApp at the Mall of Asia and I was one of the lucky Cebu bloggers who got to cover the event. How awesome!

I got an aisle seat (thankfully) so I was able to take this nice shot.

Here’s the entire Cebu town an hour later in Manila!

Upon arrival, we headed straight to our hotel (Hotel 101) so we could freshen up and unpack our bags. While the others had to share a room, I got a beautiful room all to myself! Thank you, airasia!

Off to Binondo!

After lunch, it was time to head to Binondo with the rest of the Cebu team!

So, what exactly is Binondo? To give you an idea, Binondo is a district in Manila that is also often referred to as the city’s Chinatown. Known for its various stores selling Chinese products, the district is particularly popular for its restaurants selling delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine.

Since we didn’t know exactly where to go, we asked our Grab to drop us off at a popular spot – the Binondo Church. Isn’t she a beauty?

We stayed for a short while to say a quick prayer and light some candles.

Outside the church, I saw this beautiful hop-on/hop-off bus parked across the street. Bearing the new Department of Tourism catchphrase Love the Philippines, the bus looks really nice. I hope we’ll have something like this soon here in Cebu.

Now that we’re done with church, it was now time to explore the district! Look at all those lanterns!

Our first stop was the Eng Bee Tin store. Seeling local pastries, cakes, and other favorites, Eng Bee Tin is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to pasalubong items.

A quick pose outside the store with my haul.

On our way to our next stop, we saw this vendor selling these bananas. We had to stop to take a photo! Aren’t they gorgeous?

Our next stop was the Shanghai Fried Siopao along Ongpin Street.

Aside from the usual treats, the store is famous for this specific siopao. It’s so popular that people from all corners of Manila come here to enjoy this yummy treat.

It was my first time so, naturally, I would have to give it a try!

Next, we walked a few more blocks to check out this fresh lumpia place. The place was quite difficult to find so we had to ask for the help of Google Maps! 🙂

This doesn’t look appetizing, but with the sauce, I must say that it tasted really good!

It was getting late, so we decided to have a full meal before our main meal at 7 pm. You see, one of our friends had to go elsewhere and we all decided to meet up for dinner at BGC in Taguig. I didn’t know how far that was from Binondo but my friends told me that it was best that we ate first. And I trust them. Haha.

So we visited this nice restaurant that was on top of another quite busy restaurant. I’m not sure if this was popular, but we had to wait for a minute or two to be seated.

For our orders, we decided to order one or two dishes each and share them with the rest. Here’s what we got:

I’m not a big Chinese food person but I must say that I really enjoyed this experience.

We decided to retrace our steps and head back to the Binondo Church where we got a cab.

And we’re thankful that we ended up staying until after dark because the lights looked amazing!

And seeing the gloomy highrises in the back, you’ll easily enjoy the beautiful lights more!

Around an hour later, we finally reached the much-talked-about Bonifacio Global City. And indeed it was beautiful! It has everything you could ever want in a city. It has parks, highrises, restaurants, activity centers, and more!

That a look at this lovely 3D screen!

One group shot while waiting for the others to arrive.

We had dinner at this lovely food center located in the basement of one of the towers here. We got Korean and were all so full!

When went outside, however, we saw this burger place that wasn’t in Cebu yet. So, of course, we had to give it a try!

We also tried these tacos. They were heavenly!

We even dropped by a Starbucks to get this pink drink!

And finally, some donuts to enjoy as we sat on one of the benches.

A few moments later, a friend from Cebu (who now lives in Manila) arrived and invited us to Burgos – BGC’s most happening district.

Let me end my Manila blog with this photo. We were all smiles because it was truly a wonderful experience.

See you on my next adventures!

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