Binondo, Manila's famous Chinatown district, is one of the great cultural troves of the Philippines. Well known for its bustling commerce and immense culinary scene, there are several things to see including the 17th century Buddhist temple known as the Temple of the God of War, or Kuang Kong. Here, you can learn the story of the famed general Quan Yin and even have your fortune told by a pious fortuneteller.
Outside the temple are other grand religious structures like the catholic Basilica de San Lorenzo Ruiz and Santa Cruz Church. Built just 12 years apart at the turn of the 16th century, these historical monuments, which are located in the heart of town, both survived several earthquakes, typhoons and even World War II. The Santa Cruz Church had to be more-or-less rebuilt as the result of the war, yet its Baroque architecture astounds visitors to this very day.
Stroll through the sights and sounds of the district and then head over to Ongpin Street, the major business street in town, for some grub. Here, you will find many great restaurants, some serving the tasty Chinese meat dumpling called Siopao. Take a walk down Ongpin and you will also discover some delightful little teahouses and other local shops worth perusing.
Getting to Chinatown could not be easier. Simply hop in a taxi in Manila for a quick trip, take the waterbus from the Pasig River Ferry to Escolta Station, or take the Light Rail Transit to Carriedo Station and enjoy a brief walk.