The World’s Best Chinatowns to Explore

The World’s Best Chinatowns to Explore

Pork dumplings? Szechuan chicken? Braised noodles, sticky rice and mango pancakes? We hope your mouth is watering! If it is, we recommend getting your chopsticks ready and stopping off at one of these world-famous Chinatowns on your next trip.

San Francisco, US

San Francisco, US

Reputedly the oldest Chinatown in North America and the biggest outside of Asia, San Francisco’s Chinatown stretch is one of the best in the world. Excellent dining options, as well as boutique shops and attractions like the Bank of Canton, can all be explored here. There are also lots of hotels if you want to stay in the area.

Manila, Philippines

Manila, Philippines

Say hello to the oldest Chinatown in the world. Known as Binondo, this Chinatown was founded in 1594 by the Spaniards alongside the Pasig River. Mooncakes are especially good here and eating at food stalls is popular too. Other attractions in the area include the Chinese Buddhist Temple, the Binondo Church and the Arranque Food Market.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Watch as everything Chinese and Thai comes together at this Chinatown strip, which is located along Yaowarat Road. Brightly coloured temples, gold shops, diverse markets (check out Sampang Lane if you love shopping) and street stalls and restaurants make this Chinatown worth visiting. The Wat Traimit temple also houses a gigantic gold Buddha!

New York, US

New York, US

In the bustling midst of Manhattan, you’ll find the largest Chinese enclave in the western world and a thriving Chinatown that boasts around 100,000 inhabitants. Situated next to Little Italy, this Chinatown features cuisines from almost every destination on the Asian continent as well as great opportunities for shopping. For a history lesson, check out the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).

Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru

You wouldn’t expect to find a Chinatown all the way down in Lima, but you’d be pleasantly surprised! Known as Barrio Chino and spread across several blocks, this Chinatown might be small but it is a wonderful reflection of Chinese-Peruvian cuisine, with a plethora of restaurants to boot.

London, UK

London, UK

Like a breath of fresh air, London’s Chinatown springs out of the streets, offering everything from Chinese meals to Japanese cuisines. Shopping for Chinese cakes, groceries and souvenirs is popular here too and spending the Chinese New Year here will mean great food, vibrant parades and unforgettable celebrations!

Paris, France

Paris, France

If you’re venturing through France, it’s worth noting that Paris is home to the largest Chinatown in Europe – Quartier Chinois. Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants are easy to come by here, as are Chinese bakeries and supermarkets. You’ll find the Quartier Chinois in the 13th arrondissement, in the triangular block bordered by Avenue d’Ivry, Avenue de Choisy and Boulevard Masséna.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa

This cool Chinatown, in the suburb of Cyrildene, is a fairly new addition to the city of Johannesburg. While the older, more dilapidated Chinatown can be found in Newtown, the Cyrildene location is now considered the place to be for Chinese eats. Almost every restaurant here is BYO wine too, so grab a bottle before you go eat!

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Head down Dixon Street in Haymarket and you’ll be stepping into Australia’s largest Chinatown. Yum Cha here is ever-popular on the weekends and food markets can be found on Friday nights in the summer. If you also circle around to Goulburn and Sussex streets, you’ll find an array of other cuisines including Malaysian, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese.

Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, Canada

With a strong Asian population that dates back to the late 1800s, Vancouver’s Chinatown is an exciting melting pot of restaurants, shopping spots, bars, clubs, and heritage sights. In addition to dazzling Chinese New Year celebrations, the Vancouver Chinatown Festival is held in August each year to celebrate the multiculturalism of the city.

Photo credits: magtravels, Mh, xianl2, twostepsbehind, Geoff Stearns, Luis Padilla, Ian Britton, benymarc, book_wallah, Enochlau, Xicotencatl