Liverpool as the oldest Chinese community in Europe. A Chinese quarter is known since 1834 and grew due to increasing silk trade. Of course, this is the place to go out if you like to dine out in a Chinese restaurant or want to buy Chinese food. The arch at Nelson Street, erected in 2000, is the largest in Europe.
The Chinese Arch which stands proudly at the entrance to China town is a spectacular sight. It was designed by a Mr Zhang and was built in Shanghai then dismantled and shipped to Liverpool. It was then reconstructed by eight craftsmen who worked every day for three months to put the Arch back together. It stands at a height of 44 feet and is the largest such arch outside of China. There are 200 dragons carved into the arch, 12 of which are pregnant as this is considered a sign of good fortune.
Chinese New Year is celebrated here each year with Dancing Dragons, the Lion Dance and firecrackers, fairground rides and a bazaar type atmosphere.
This is the gateway to Liverpool's Chinatown. Not the most exciting of Chinatowns, but it has some nice little touches as well as the usual array of restaurants etc. This arch is pretty impressive, but plans are afoot to build the biggest chinese arch outside of China here!
Readers of my other pages will know I am a great lover of all sorts of Asian food and it was therefore natural on a spare evening in Liiverpool that I would head to Chinatown. I am not unrealistic and was certainly not expecting anything on the scale of the Chinatowns in, say, London or Sydney, both of which I have visited.
I followed the well-signposted route to the area, caught sight of the Chinese ceremonial arch (pictured) and knew I was in the right place. The arch itself is impressive and at almost 50 feet high it is reputed to be the largest of it's type in Europe. It commemorates the twinning of Shanghai with Liverpool. Unfortunately, the general impression I got was that the place was completely dead. Several of the restaurants were shut, which I though unusual on an early evening midweek, and those that were open were almost empty.
I read the menus of several of the establishments that were open and they all appeared to offer fairly standard fare of the type available in any Chinese restaurant in the country. Nowhere really appealed to me and somewhat disappointed I returned to the centre of the City where I did find a bite to eat.
I was so surprised with this situation, having heard so much about Liverpool's Chinatown, I actually returned in the afternoon the next day but I have to report it was much the same story.
Made in Liverpool's sister city Shanghai and transported to Liverpool and was opened during the Chinese New Year Celebrations in 2000, Chinatown is dominated by this spectacular gate that has 5 roofs and 200 dragons. At 15 meters tall its the largest arch outside of China. The Chinese community is one of the oldest in England, and the neighbourhood shows much signs of this despite its run down appearence. Dual language street signs and an overdose of Chinese restaurants.
Liverpool has a quite large Asian community, many of it settling around the spectacular Chinese Arch in Chinatown. The area along Nelson Street does look English - however, with a Chinese touch: The street signs are in two languages, many of the shops and restaurants bear Chinese names, the parking ticket machines are designed to look somewhat Asian and much more. The main hint that you are in a Chinese neigbourhood, however, is the spectacular Arch. Opened only in 2000 during the Chinese New Year celebrations, it has become one of the most interesting sights of the city. Moreover, it is the largest arch of its kind outside China!
Take a look at the fine carvings which shimmer in the sunlight. All of them were made in Shanghai and then transported to England.
For some more impressions of Liverpool's Chinatown check out my travelogue!
The structure of the Arch is amazing - it's the biggest arch outside China and represtents the oldest chinese comunity in the UK.
I strongly recomend a stroll to this place and just take a look to the chinatown - it's not that different from others, but the arch is beautiful, with it's 15 meters tall, the ornate Dragons and the 5 roofs, make this place a must.
Well, it's really large and very colourful. It's a bit oversized in my opinion, as the Chinese quarter itself doesn't look so large really. I like the fact, that all street signs around here are in Chinese too, and that all ticketing boxes and phone boxes are in a Chinese style as well.
This gotta be one of the more disappointing Chinatown that I have been to.
Although I was there at about 3pm, there was hardly a single soul around.
All the restuarants owners seemed be hiding in their shops sleeping or playing mahjong.
The Chinatown district around Berry street is no more that two or three roads, but it does contain an assortment of Chinese resturants (no surprise there), a pub 'The Nook' , and from the year 2000 a massive ceremonial arch. Some claim this arch is the most impressive outside of China, it is certainly alot more imposing that the one in London's Chinatown.
This district is in fact the second Chinatown in Liverpool, the original stemming from around the 1870's was nearer the port area.
Since Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in the UK (some people say in Europe), this Chinese tradition is celebrated every year on the first Sunday after the Chinese New Year (or Moon New Year).
A lot of activities take place like Martial Arts demonstrations, Dragon and Lion dance and loads of fireworks. There is usually a small concert with local bands following the events of the celebration. The streets are filed with people to see this oriental tradition. Well, ok, maybe i'm exaggerating a bit. It probably isn't as spectacular as in other bigger cities than Liverpool, but i enjoyed it a lot this year since it was the first time i saw these festivities.
The Chinese Arch was a Liverpool initiative completed in 2000 and built by craftsmen of Liverpool's sister city - Shanghai. It is reportedly the biggest Chinese Arch outside of Asia.
It is the gateway to China Town's many restaurants and Chinese monuments and art.
China Town can get quiet, but it is worth checking out for the Chinese New Year, there are many events in the street, fire crackers, and also craft events like Chinese writing workshops, free acupuncture and insights into Chinese history, food and medicines as well as a not so Chinese funfair!
There's also the Europe's biggest Chinese arch in Liverpool! And it's not only big - it's colourful and beautiful as well!
I have read that the archway was placed and designed with all Feng Shui rules in mind. In 2000 it was imported piece by piece from Shanghai, China - Liverpool's twin city - and erected at Nelson Street.
See more pics of the archway in my travelogue!
Liverpool has one of the oldest established Chinese communities in Europe (The first wave of Chinese immigrants arrived in 1866. There was a line of steamers with a direct connection from Liverpool to China!).
That's why there is a wonderful Chinatown area full of interesting features such as Asian style lampposts, litter boxes, parking ticket machines (my favourite :), street signs etc etc. See my travelogue for pics!
Bilingual sign and chinese grocery stores are signs of the chinese community in Liverpool but there's no mistaking this colourful arch, the gateway to China Town, which deserves closer inspection - check out the travelogue please ;-)