If your Asia tour includes a long stay in the Philippines, we suggest that you add in a visit to Ongpin or Chinatown, which is how most people call it as well, as part of your travel program, especially if you’ll in Manila – the capital city of the country – for a while yet.
Ongpin or Chinatown may not be as popular as other places in the Philippines but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be part of your travel schedule. Not only is a visit to Ongpin guaranteed to be delightful in more ways than one, it also won’t cost you much because prices in Ongpin are more affordable than what you’d find in other cities like Makati or even Quezon City.
Ongpin is also mainly a residential town so it’s easier to tour the place rather than other cities, which would require you to take on huge buses and six-wheeler trucks just to cross the street.
Because Ongpin is not that big a town, the streets are mostly narrow, winding and filled with people. If you’re planning to drive your own car to Ongpin, you might be forced then to park somewhere and walk for the rest of the time you’ll be spending in Binondo. But that’s not really much of a punishment – except for your feet, if you’re wearing high heels! – because a lot of people really prefer to wander around Ongpin by foot.
Fruits – Almost all kinds of fruits are sold in the streets of Ongpin and if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you could try out some of the exotic fruits being offered by street vendors such as the mangosteen or the huge apple-mango. Highly popular with the Filipino Chinese residents of Ongpin are rambutan, longgans, lanzones and chicos. When you get to Ongpin, be sure that you do try all those fruits and more since one can never get fat with fruits, anyway.
Delicacies – When you get to Ongpin, do be sure that you’ll be able to make a pit stop at any of the Chinese food stores of Ongpin. One of the most popular stores of this type is Eng Bee Tin. There, you’ll be able to find all sorts of Chinese delicacies that people back home would surely be delighted with.
Main Dishes – Tired after walking nonstop for an hour or so? If that’s the case, we suggest that you try relaxing your feet on any of the restaurants located in Ongpin. Try out popular Chinese dishes and the exotic ones as well so your trip to Ongpin will be truly memorable.