Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Manila: The Binondo Big Food Wok Map - A Taste Drive through Chinatown's Eats and Sights

Along with good friends, Ironwulf and BattlefieldMan, I set out one Saturday afternoon to taste drive this art map concocted by renowned Manila travel guide (or should I say streetwokker), Ivan Man Dy.  Since it's 2010, I thought of 10 things I can say about this "culinary" creation:
1 Ready t0 eat - not literally, of course, rather it offers a good serving of style and substance, ready for use out of the pack
2 Filling - the size maybe small but the map is filled with bite-sized info and trivia on important Chinatown haunts not limited to food, of course
3 Yummy - the use of simple, crisp language makes for easy consumption and reading; no high-fallutin' words here, just no-nonsense tidbits
4 Appetizing - the listing of eating places is comprehensive -- from institutions like The President to the new kids on the Chinese block. Think of over a hundred shops ranging from noodlehouses to fastfood and you're in for a delightful food trip
5 Chunky - the map labels are big and easy to read; the info easy to digest; the number labels are quite easy to spot with their bright colors
6 Tasteful - the graphics are attractive and so are the fonts; even the choice of colors is elegant
7 True to the taste - it's got a Chinatown vibe; one read and you know the one who created the map knows his Chinatown well
8 Flavorful - it has a sprinkling of really helpful traveler's tips, a dash of heritage trail pointers (for the D-I-Y Binondo tourist) as well as bits and pieces about Manila Chinatown
9 Light - both on the pocket (only P100) and your bag/backpack (only 4" x 10.5" folded); one qualm about the paper stock though -- my copy is already wearing out at the folds
10 Artsy - this is still first and foremost, an art map so I'll forgive some important omissions like the missing bridge along Alvarado Street near Reina Regente.  We were looking for the Seng Guan Si Temple coming from Benavidez (near the Basilica Menore) and the Hong Bon bridge was not indicated in the map nor the relative distance reflected a bit more accurately.  Happily, the location of the eating places, especially around the immediate periphery of the Binondo Church are fairly accurate and easy to spot.
Where to get a copy: email fun@oldmanilawalks.com or call 0917.3291622; also available at the Filipinas Heritage Library in Makati and Bahay Tsinoy & La Monja in Intramuros, Manila • Important Note: This is not a paid review for The Big Binondo Food Wok Map; while a copy was generously provided for by the author, Ivan Man Dy, as a courtesy/complimentary copy at the request of the blog author, this does not constitute remuneration for a positive review nor will mean a positive write-up. • Attribution: Lagalog and Map at the Binondo Plaza image taken by Ironwulf
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