It is always interesting to learn about the different culture and heritage of a particular community, whenever we are visiting other countries or while on holiday. One idea, if you do not have plans during the summer months, is to travel to each of the Chinatowns found in various cities, globally. If you happen to be in any of the cities during Chinese New Year, you will find these neighborhoods even more lively, as the Chinese communities gather to gear up for the festivities. From Kobe to Manila, these are some of the unique Chinatowns you need to visit.
1. Perth's Chinatown - Australia
This Chinatown is worth a visit and it is located on Roe Street, in Northbridge, Perth. Perth’s Chinatown dates back to the 1980’s and is adorned by two lion statues near its main entrance. Perth is very popular among Chinese migrants, as the city is not as densely populated as other major cities in Australia. You will find various Asian restaurants here, as well as grocery stores. Although Roe Street is the official Chinatown of Perth, William Street, in Northbridge, has even more Asian businesses. Time to explore Chinatown in Perth and be surprised.
Address: Cnr William/Aberdeen Streets | North of the Railway Line, Perth, Western Australia 6003, Australia
No visit to New York City is complete without a stop in Chinatown. It is the largest Chinatown in the whole of the United States but, as one of the most famous Chinatowns in the world, it is not like a Chinatown you have seen or visited before. This is the Chinatown from Hollywood movies and TV series, such as Year of The Dragon, The Godfather Trilogy and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It is not hard to find this Chinatown, as it is located in the lower east side of Manhattan.
Besides making a visit to Chinatown, Little Italy and SoHo are also nearby. They are many tours you can take, while here. From a food tour to a street tour, there are plenty of amazing things to do, while you are in New York City.
New York's Chinatown
Address: Canal Street to Bayard Street, New York City, NY
3. Liverpool's Chinatown - England
You may already know that one of the world’s best-known football clubs is based here. But did you know that there is a Chinatown in Liverpool, too? Liverpool’s Chinatown is a must for everyone, whether you are a seasoned traveler or first-time tourist. This place is the home of the oldest Chinese community, in Europe.
You will notice the huge arch when you are near the entrance of Chinatown and the arch, itself, is the main attraction, here. It is the tallest arch in Europe and is 13.5 meters (44 feet) high. At night, you will see it lit with multi-coloured lights, so make sure you don’t miss out on this spectacular attraction. The arch also boasts a total of 200 hand carved dragons, which are indeed unique. They are meant to symbolize good fortune between the city and Shanghai. If you are hungry, there are plenty of Chinese restaurants to choose from. Or, you can shop at the supermarkets and grocery stores, here.
Address: Nelson Street, Liverpool L1 2OH, England
Opening Hours: Daily from 8 am - 8 pm
4. Rotterdam's Chinatown - The Netherlands
Just like Chinatowns in other cities, around the world, Rotterdam is also a place where you can see various migrants, be it Chinese, Africans or Antillians. Rotterdam’s Chinatown is the place for everyone, be it tourists or locals. While walking around, you should visit its specialty shops, restaurants and supermarkets. The Chinese food is delicious here and you can satisfy your taste buds with the dim sum, vegetarian dishes and many others. If you happen to be here during the Chinese New Year, you will have a chance to join in the celebration.
Address: Kruisplein area, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Time to head over to Manila. The Chinatown in Binondo, Manila, is rich in history and is the oldest Chinatown in the world. Established in 1594, this district is the center of trade and commerce, in Manila. Therefore, you will see many Filipino Chinese here. You will easily find this place, without asking the locals, as it is located across the Pasig River, opposite of the Spanish walled city, Intramuros.
The Chinese Goodwill Arch here is also huge and unique and is the main icon of the area. Remember to bring your camera, while taking your tour. There is another prominent feature you will come across, here. You will see many fire engines, which are managed by Chinese volunteer organizations. The street signs here can help tourists and as they are in two or three languages. This is definitely one of the most popular Chinatown in the world.
Address: Chinatown Walk, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
The Chinatown in Belgrano, Buenos Aires, is another sight to behold and it is also known as Barrio Chino, to the locals. Due to the massive immigration of peoples from other countries to Argentina, there are many communities concentrated in Chinatown. Among them are Thais, Taiwanese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and many others.
While in Buenos Aires, you will find hundreds of shops and supermarkets featuring Asian animation and decorative objects. It is more like a lively carnival for everyone to hang around, shop and explore the whole of Chinatown. The arch at this Chinatown is controversial by nature as it is installed without consulting the other communities of Buenos Aires. You should come here during Chinese New Year, as it will be a grand celebration.
Buenos Aires' Chinatown
Address: Calle Arribenos 2100, Buenos Aires C1428AOF, Argentina
7. Antwerp's Chinatown - Belgium
The Chinatown in Antwerp is more like Asiatown, instead of Chinatown, and includes traders from countries, such as Nepal, Thailand and other Asian countries, who have set up businesses here. There are still many Chinese here, too, so you will still get to enjoy Chinese food, as well as other Asian food.
After World War II, Chinese immigrants started to come here and set up their businesses. As it is strategically located and within walking distance from Central Station, you will not find it hard to locate. You can see the main arch from the train station. At the entrance, you will notice two stone lions, guarding the street. Apart from martial art schools, shops and supermarkets, the biggest Asian supermarket in Belgium is also located here.
Address: Van Wesenbekestraat, 2060 Antwerp, Belgium
8. Kobe's Chinatown - Japan
There is another popular Chinatown in Asia, that everyone should visit and it is located in Kobe, Japan. This major tourist attraction, in Kobe, has a lively and unique atmosphere and will allow you to take a trip down memory lane. After the Kobe earthquake of 1985, the city and Chinatown were damaged, but it was quickly rebuilt.
If you come here, you will be awed by its three archways. At the south entrance, you will see Nanluo Gate and at the east entrance, you will see Changan Gate. Xian Gate is at the west entrance. If you need a place to stretch your legs, you can take a break at its pavilion. The pavilion is also a great place for you to snap photos and admire the stone carvings of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. The Mid-Autumn Festival and the Chinese New Year celebrations at Kobe’s Chinatown are also widely celebrated and you should head here, the next time you visit Kobe.
Address: 〒650-0023, Hyogo Prefecture, Kobe, Chuo Ward, Sakaemachidori, 1 Chome−３−１８, Japan
Opening Hours: Daily
Website: Kobe’s Chinatown (in Japanese)
9. Karachi's Chinatown - Pakistan
Images are currently unavailable.
Not many people know that Karachi also has a Chinatown. During the British occupation in Karachi, Karachi became a popular port for merchants, from around the world. Most of the Chinese immigrants here were either involved in trade or industry. That is why you will see numerous businesses here, established by them.
Did you know that most Chinese families in Karachi used to live in Tariq, in the Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society (PECHS) area? Later on, they started moving to the higher end Defense and Clifton areas. You can find a lot of Chinese restaurants here, as they are so popular in Karachi. If you walk along Empress Market, you will come across many Chinese dental clinics. See it for yourself and get excited by visiting this Chinatown.
Address: Clifton and Defense areas, Karachi, Pakistan
Website: Karachi’s Chinatown
10. Athens' Chinatown - Greece
Athens’ Chinatown is one of the newest Chinatowns in the world and not many tourists and visitors know about it. Chinese entrepreneurs began setting up their businesses here, in the 1990s, and a Chinatown grew from this point. Even though this Chinatown is still very new and can’t be compared with other established Chinatowns, in other parts of the world, it is still worth coming here.
While walking along the streets, you will see red lanterns at some of the shops. Up until now, there are no archways, temples, or other features normally seen in Chinatowns, at this place. Who knows, in the near future, you might see these things. In the meantime, if you are here, try some of the Chinese food at some of the restaurants, nearby.
Address: Gazi, Keramikos, Metaxourgio and Psiri areas in Athens, Greece
A melting pot of peoples and cultures
In every major city around the world, there are many different Asian communities living together and it is here where you will see various Chinatowns, on different continents. From the oldest Chinatown, in Manila to the newer Chinatowns of Karachi and Perth, all are magnificent, in their own way. Time for something different this coming holiday season - explore these Chinatowns.
Get Trip101 in your inbox