Yes, Brisbane does have a China Town.
My view.....This would be the worst China Town I have ever been to!
It is located in Fortitude Valley which is only a short walk from the Brisbane CBD. There isn't a lot here, and on a weekday, it's extremely quiet. I believe that in the evenings and on the weekends, it does get busier.
There are Chinese supermarkets, and of course, plenty of Restaurant's to enjoy Chinese food.
When entering Chinatown Mall, we passed under traditional Chinese gates which had traditional stone guard-lions, and a little further on was a large fish.
I was disappointed and really thought it wasn't worth coming to.
Both tourist sights are side-by-side so it really make sense for me to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
I must confess...I was totally underwhelmed. Maybe it's because I visited both places during mid-morning Saturday but I can swear, away from Brunswick Street, the place was as quiet as a tombstone.
Brunswick Street Market wasn't as perky or mildly interesting as the Lonely Planet made out to be...either that or there is another Brunswick Street Market elsewhere in the 4th dimension.
The Market occupies Brunswick Street, but of course, which is not opened to traffic. Lining the streets are some shopping arcades and restaurants/eateries. On the weekends, stalls sprung up like mushrooms along the street selling knickknacks...of which plenty I personally think, unfortunately had as much appeal as a soiled toothbrush. I actually walked through the street twice (which really don't take more than 10 minutes 1 way) just to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Nope. Check. Nope. Check. Nope.
Then there is Chinatown...which always doesn't hold much of an appeal for me....who goes travelling to seek back exactly the things one left behind? The usual galaxy of Chinese restaurants and stores selling splashes and gashes of red all spilled into pagodas, masks and medicine. I did however, had a lovely shrimp dumpling noodle lunch at one of the Hong Kong-style eateries which was teeming with business.
To get to this spot, take the train and get off at Brunswick Street Station. Both locations are a mere 5 minutes walk away.
Brisbane's Chinatown Mall on Duncan Street is the hub of Asian commercial activity. The streets entrance is guarded by pairs of stone lions, presented as a gift from the People's Republic of China. The 320kg stone carvings stand as a symbol of friendship and cultural respect. They also function as sentinels - protectors whose mere presence is said to guard against evil spirits. Sadly the stone carving don't keep out the wandering homeless and street beggers.
Shops and markets: I really didn't find much of interest here. Mainly, the shoppers here were people looking for the traditional Chinese supermarkets, which also stock Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Korean and Japanese products.
They did have some stores selling traditional oriental garments and traditional Asian jewelry but hardly at discount prices. If you have never been to any Asian country before this may fascinate your mind, however it seemed like just another Asian food market to me.
Various food vendors to explore if you go here, however not a must place to visit.
This is a very popular place for so many people to visit - Saturday morning markets, which start as the clubbers drag themselves home - and both weekend days, you will see plenty of people sitting around the many al fresco restaurants, enjoying a leisurely breakfast, brunch, lunch or whatever! The meeting place for so many different types of people.
Brisbane's China Town area is not large, but there are two mall areas, and plenty of restaurants and Asian shops to make this a great weekend outing place.
Some caution is required in the evenings, due to the presence of crime in this area. The ugly part of the area's diversity.
Brisbane's Chinatown is located in the Fortitude Valley area of the city, about 1km north east of the CBD and city centre.
In truth, Brisbane's Chinatown consists mainly of one street, Duncan Street, and is tiny compared to some of the sprawling Chinatown's I have visited in cities such as Sydney, Toronto and Singapore.
Large ornate Chinese gates and stone lions guard the entrances at each end of Duncan Street, and there are a handful of pagodas and small water features along the street.
Duncan Street is dominated by Asian restaurants (not just Chinese, but also Vietnamese, Thai, Singaporean etc), but there are also Chinese grocery stores, herbalists and accupuncturists.
There is a large Chinese Cyber City complex (containing an Internet cafe, pool tables and a restaurant), which seemed to attract a largely Chinese/Asian clientele and acted as a focal point for the local community to meet.
As with any Chinatown, the main appeal to me is the wonderful food. Brisbane's Chinatown is no exception in this respect. There are plenty of restaurants in which to enjoy good value Chinese fare and many restaurants offer special value lunchtime menus.
As well as Duncan Street, there are a few other Asian restaurants on parallel Brunswick Street and nearby Wickham Street.
Don't expect to see rickshaws here, and there aren't many red lanterns either, but be sure to visit and try the good quality food!
Brisbane's Chinatown Mall was established in 1987 in Duncan St, Fortitude Valley, an area where Asian traders had long been based. The Mall was refurbished in 1996, with rotunda's, pagoda's and lions in the style of the Tang Dynasty. A water garden was also added, with the fountain and pond symbolising good fortune. Chinatown is the hub of Asian trade in Brisbane, with a variety of supermarkets, restaurants, trinket and clothing shops, Chinese medicine specialists and markets on the weekends. During Chinese New Year, the area comes alive with celebrations and performances. If you're after a Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai or Korean meal, Chinatown and the surrounding area has a myriad of delicious choices.
Some people might recognise Chinatown from some scenes in Jackie Chan's movie First Strike.
Parallel to the Chinatown Mall is the Brunswick St Mall, which has markets on Saturday's and a variety of pubs and restaurants worth looking at. A short drive away is New Farm Park, which is great for a barbecue or to kick a footy around. There is also a nice river walk and an expensive cafe.