The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Eight — The World’s Oldest Chinatown, Manila, Philippines, by Kristie P. Flannery

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy

The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Eight — The World’s Oldest Chinatown, Manila, Philippines, by Kristie P. Flannery

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is home to the oldest Chinatown in the world. This urban Chinese enclave has existed at the same site along the Pasig River at Binondo since the late 16th century.

In the months before I made the long journey from mainland USA across the Pacific to the Manila, I spent a lot of time reading and writing about what Manila’s Chinatown was like during the time when the Philippines were a Spanish colony. I was very excited to finally have the chance to wander through the neighborhood I had read so much about.

When I first arrived in Manila’s Chinatown, I was struck by how it looked and smelled like Chinatown in Sydney, Australia, the city where I grew up.

First of all, visitors enter…

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