Travel

5 Tips To Celebrate Chinese New Year In Binondo

Yeah I know, if this is a news article it’s no longer relevant but it would have been weird to squeeze this in my Baler series so I had to put this off just a bit. Anyway, I still want to make a post about this simply because, it’s the first time I actually celebrated Chinese New Year and where else can you do it best but in the oldest China town in the world, Binondo. So here’s 5 tips to celebrating Chinese New Year in Binondo.

1. Do not bring a car

To say that Binondo is crowded in this time of the year would be an understatement. There are lots of people, Filipino and foreigners alike, that if you bring a kid, the chance of you losing the kid is high. Dragon dances are being performed at every corner, the streets are lined with fruits, charms, and other things that Chinese believe to bring good luck, and of course, the foods, oh my they are everywhere. So unless you want to spend hours trying to find a spot for your car, I suggest that for this occasion, just take the commuter’s way.

chinese-new-year-binondo-dragon-dance-coffeehan

2. Bring your camera

The Chinese sure know how to greet New Year; everybody looked like they were having a great time. There are so many things to see, it’d be a shame not to photograph them. The fascinating dragon dances alone will make your camera busy. My friend and I had a blast taking photos. The dragons come in different colors, but the most prominent, of course, are the red ones. Incidentally, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.

chinese-new-year-binondo-incense-coffeehan

3. Carry a small bag

Many people gather in one area especially when there are dragon dances. If you are carrying a big bag, it will make things extra difficult for you. So settle with a small bag, specifically one you can put in front of you because you never know if there are some pickpockets lurking about. Only bring the essentials then you’re good to go.

4. Go on a food trip

This is Binondo so you don’t pass up a chance to go on a food trip, and the food, they are everywhere! You don’t even have to go to the restaurants because the streets are already filled with food stalls. Even some restaurants have set up their own take-out stall outside. There’s the dumplings, siopao, noodles, hopia, chestnuts, tikoy, the list is endless.

We went to Baker’s Fair in search of that diced hopia, which according to my friend is for the win. To my dismay, two Baker’s Fair branches we’d been to had run out of the coveted hopia. I was impressed (and of course disappointed), if they’d been sold out that early then they must be really that good. I just settled with the hopiang ube, PHP25 for five pieces. Whatever disappointment I may have been feeling was gone the moment I sunk my teeth on a piece of this hopia. They were freshly cooked so they were warm, soft, and smelled real good.

chinese-new-year-binondo-chestnut-coffeehan

5. Take home a souvenir

It doesn’t matter if you believe in good luck charms or not, at least bring home one item to serve as a souvenir. I was quite amused seeing the charms that were being sold on the sidewalks. Who would have thought that pineapples and ginger tied with red ribbons can be used as good luck charms? There are also bead bracelets, dragon figurines, and Chinese coins. Or a box of tikoy, if you are really not into souvenirs.

chinese-new-year-binondo-figurine-coffeehan

Lastly, just have fun! Take lots of pictures, light an incense, observe the scenes, dance with the dragons, watch the program that showcases Chinese culture, and most of all, eat lots of food. The Chinese New Year is a fun and colorful festival and even if you are not Chinese, you can enjoy it, the way my friend and I did.

 

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Comments (20)

  1. Glentot
    Glentot

    One word: siomai. SOLVE NA AKO hehehe

    Reply
  2. Marge G
    Marge G

    nga lang namali ako ng nabiling siomai, hindi masarap eh.

    Reply
  3. Senyor Lakwatsero
    Senyor Lakwatsero

    i was there too! hehe. we went to benavidez st. for lunch. dami pala restaurants dun 🙂

    Reply
  4. Marge G
    Marge G

    tama, kaya nakakatempt talaga magfood trip.

    Reply
  5. Marge G
    Marge G

    it really is fun sis, wala bang chinese new year celeb in spain? 

    Reply
  6. Krizzy_kalokangPinay
    Krizzy_kalokangPinay

    OMG. if I'm there baka sama ako sa Binondo food trip! Papa E & I used to go there a lot syempre dahil sa food, hehe. We love going to Masuki for their mami, giant siopao at siomai. =)

    Reply
  7. Marge G
    Marge G

    Masuki? masubukan nga yan pagbisita ko dun. 

    Reply
  8. Zherwin Perion
    Zherwin Perion

    when in Binondo, a visit to Dong Bei is a must, home of best and most affordable dumpling in chinatown, and they prepared it right before your eyes. how affordable? P100 for 14 freshly made dumplings…

    Reply
  9. Marge G
    Marge G

    wow that's cheap! and if you said that it's good, i don't see any reason why i shouldn't give it a try. i'm adding it to my must-eat foods list in my upcoming binondo trip. thanks for the suggestion 🙂

    Reply
  10. u8mypinkcookies
    u8mypinkcookies

    melona ice cream! my fave 🙂

    Reply
  11. Bee
    Bee

    Diced hopia are really good! I always buy from Baker's Fair Cubao whenever I'm in the vicinity. 🙂

    My friends and I had a Binondo food trip a few months ago and twas fun! When you do it, don't miss the Fried Chicken from Sincerity! It's a must-try. 🙂

    My latest post: http://beforeiturn25.blogspot.com/2012/02/no-freedom-nor-love.html

    Reply
  12. Sey
    Sey

    I'll go for siomai and the cup noodle. Haven't tried going to Binondo for the Chinese New Year. It looks fantastic. I'll try that one day.

    Reply
  13. Marge G
    Marge G

    it was my first time to taste one and i gotta admit it was really good.

    Reply
  14. Marge G
    Marge G

    Ok, will keep that chicken from Sincerity in mind 🙂

    Reply
  15. Marge G
    Marge G

    i checked your link, the foods look good, so i'd probably consider it in my upcoming binondo food trip.

    Reply
  16. Marge G
    Marge G

    I assure you it was fun 🙂

    Reply
  17. Rhoda Salas
    Rhoda Salas

    melona and baker's fair diced hopia ftw! 😀

    Reply
  18. Marge G
    Marge G

    ay naku kailangang matikman ko yang diced hopia na yan

    Reply

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