Swiss-Belhotel Blulane in Binondo, Manila sits at the heart of the city of the nation’s capital. Its location puts it amid the world’s oldest Chinatown, Ongpin, and old historic Manila.
This hotel property, which offers contemporary comfort and modern amenities, presents a fusion of Sino-Filipino cultures when it comes to its design and cuisine offerings.
It is also a fantastic jump-off point for sightseeing, making it one of Manila’s best places to stay. Here are some of the top things to do and see around the Swiss-Belhotel Blulane in Manila:
1. BINONDO FOOD CRAWL
Scouring for delectable bites is one of the first things you can do in your exploration of this part of the metro. As the world’s oldest Chinatown, dating back sometime during the 1590s, the district is teeming with foodie finds that you can only find here in Binondo.
Some notable mentions are Dongbei Dumplings, Sincerity Café and Restaurant, Café Mezzanine, Shanghai Fried Siopao, and Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli. A suggested itinerary for a memorable food trip in Binondo can be found here: https://outoftownblog.com/binondo-food-crawl-best-places-to-eat-in-manilas-chinatown-2018-edition/.
2. VISIT PLAZA LORENZO RUIZ
Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz is a major public square and is considered as the center of Binondo. Adjacent to it is the Binondo Church, also known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and formerly known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish.
Together with the fountain in the middle of the square, it is known as the most notable landmark of the vicinity. The plaza is flanked by Quintin Paredes Street (formerly Calle Rosario) to the east and Juan Luna Street (formerly Calle Anloague) to the west, parallel to the Estero de Binondo.
A picture-worthy venue, with the historic architecture of the church and the iconic fountain, making it one of the must-visit spots in the area.
3. SHOP IN DIVISORIA
As of November 2017, approximately 1 million shoppers have visited Divisoria. Those are the numbers, according to the Manila Police District. If you’re into shopping and scouring for budget-friendly finds, Divisoria is the place to be. The most popular places for shopping are the 168 Mall, as well as the Divisoria Market.
Almost all kinds of merchandise can be found in this famous shopping district. The place itself coming recently into the metro spotlight for a current clean-up undergone by the city government of Manila. Here is a helpful guide on how to shop in Divisoria: https://explora.ph/note/13/where-to-shop-at-dirt-cheap-prices-in-divisoria.
4. EXPLORE INTRAMUROS
Also known as the Walled City at the time when the Spanish Empire was synonymous with the City of Manila, Intramuros used to be the center of economy, religion, and commerce in the country.
In World War II, during the Battle of Manila in 1945, the city was devastated by the Japanese Imperial Army- destroying houses, churches, government buildings and universities. Most structures that were destroyed dates back from the Spanish Colonial Period.
After the war, what was left of it was restored and Intramuros was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1951.
5. VISIT RIZAL PARK AND WATCH THE MANILA BAY SUNSET
Approximately 2 km away or less than a 10-minute drive from the Swiss-Belhotel Blulane is the Rizal Park on Roxas Boulevard. Also known as Luneta Park, this urban historical spot is one of the largest public parks in Asia.
It features the monument of the country’s National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, whose execution ignited the flames of the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Kingdom of Spain. After some sight-seeing in the park, proceed to witness one of the best sunsets that can be seen from Roxas Boulevard Bay walk, just across Rizal Park.
This seaside spot is the perfect viewing point for watching some of the world’s most beautiful and dramatic sunsets.