"Chinatown" Chinatown Tip by MDH

Chinatown, San Francisco: 181 reviews and 324 photos

  One of the entrances to Chinatown
by MDH

Chinatown, like North Beach and the Haight, is one of San Francisco's most famous neighborhoods. It's probably one of its most colorful, yet also the most commercial. The Chinese first began to come to the city in the 1840s and '50s hoping to profit from the Gold Rush and to escape the Taiping Rebellion, a war that left 20 million (!) Chinese dead.

Once in America, they faced much racial descrimination from the city's predominantly European community. But despite laws, race riots, and union strikes against them, and even an earthquake that destroyed all of their community the Chinese persevered and made a little corner for themselves here in Chinatown. Today, Chinatown is one of the city's most visited places, where the Old World definitly meets the New. Walking around some of the alleyways and small shops makes you think you're in Shanghai rather than San Francisco. By far, it's the largest Chinatown on the North American West Coast.

Here you'll find great restaurants, temples, small shops selling everything from fresh seafood to illegal fireworks (believe me, students take advantage of this all the time).

Chinatown's a must for all travellers in San Francisco, who want different sights, smells and culture in an already very diverse city.

Address: Bordered by Broadway, Bush, Kearny, Stockton sts.
Directions: Ornamental gate at Grant and Bush intersection.
Phone: 888-212-3203
Website: http://www.sfchinatown.com/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 13, 2003
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