In the age of interactive exhibits and our obsession over Instagrammable galleries like the Dessert Museum or the Upside Down Museum, the brand new Chinatown Museum in Lucky Chinatown, Binondo takes a step towards history as the first interactive museum dedicated to the history of the world’s oldest Chinatown.
And it does so with galleries that include life-sized vignettes of the old tranvia system, replicas of important church relics, and the kinds of stores you see if you took a time machine back to the early 1500’s. So if you’re planning a trip to Binondo, here’s what you can look forward to at the Chinatown Museum.
Chinatown Museum is a new cultural landmark, recognized by the National Historical Commission and National Commission for the Culture and the Arts. It features 18 galleries, such as the “Alcaicera Gallery,” a vignette of the 6th century silk and trade market, “Mestizo de Sangley Gallery,” a living room representation of an affluent Mestizo family home in the 1800’s, “Flavors of Binondo,” an authentic panciteria set up in the 70’s with Binondo’s most iconic dishes, and other exciting and immersive exhibits depicting the different decades.
Forget your woes on the MRT and LRT, and hop on this restored tranvia, or horseless carriage, and get a feel of what it must have been like as a commuter during that era. These electric prototypes of today’s trains were the primary means for travel until its destruction during the Battle of Manila in 1945, which forced Filipinos to create the jeepney as an alternative.
Hundreds of pages of original historical documents
Get lost reading actual headlines of preserved newspapers. Chinatown Museum has an extensive collection of paraphernalia that will give you an idea of the hottest news and gossip our great grandparents were dealing with. Chinatown Museum also has preserved bank notes and packaging that gives you a fascinating insight on how much things have changed.
History, history, history!
The museum is only 1,542 square meters but it is packed with information and sights to see, making it the perfect cultural pit stop if you’re in the area for a unique experience or you are showing your tourist friends and balikbayan cousins around the city.
The Souvenir Shop
Speaking of tourists, the museum even has its own merchandise and souvenir shop inspired by Binondo, which sells T-shirts, toys and other collectibles for foreign guests.
The Chinatown Museum App
Finally, for a more immersive and interactive experience, Chinatown Museum is working to set to launch its very own app that will provide digital interactivity and easy access to the museum’s gallery information. It utilizes bluetooth technology and allows for a smoother transition between topics and information while inside the museum.
From the founding years of the Chinese settlers, to the shopping habits of Escolta’s rich and famous, Chinatown Museum takes guests on a multisensory glimpse of life in Binondo during the time of our ancestors, all while being perfect for an interesting post on your feed.
Chinatown Museum is located along Reigna Regente St. cor. Dela Reina St., Binondo, Manila. It is also connected directly to the Lucky Chinatown Main Mall via a bridgeway at the fourth level and the newly opened Hotel Lucky Chinatown. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10AM to 6PM. Admission rates for regular visitors are priced at P150, senior citizens at P120 and students at P100. Kids below four feet are free of charge. For more information, please call the Lucky Chinatown Concierge at 567-8139 or visit www.chinatownmuseum.org or send an email to [email protected].