CHINATOWN, San Francisco
China town really did remind me of parts of Beijing. If you are going to SF you MUST visit this area. They tell me Portsmouth Square at Clay and Kearny Streets is generally considered the center of life; residents gather for board games, discussions and solemn tai chi rituals.
If you go in February you may enjoy "Chinese New Year" or Spring Festival.
Fondest memory: get a pic at Grant Avenue and Bush Streets
Favorite thing: "China Town" is very much like every other Different Towns" all over the world. People living and dying and the tourist. The more people understand a different culture, other than their own, the better. Enjoy not only the sites but the smells and sounds. You don't need to know the language to be aware of an argument, schoolgirls giggling down the street or young and old couples in love.
Favorite thing: Chinatown is a great place to buy souvenirs or grab a relatively inexpensive meal. You can also catch a trolley from here or just wander around and be impressed by the authenticity of the place. It's one of the best Chinatowns in North America and accentuates the city's diverse and eclectic bag of tricks.
Perhaps San Francisco's most famous neighborhood, Chinatown is a lot more than a tourist attraction. It is the lifeblood of the South East Asian Community in the Bay Area. On a trade, cultural, religious and emotional level.
San Francisco has been the destination of choice for South East Asian Immigrants since the 1800's and till date serves as a strong reminder of their roots in the US. What Ellis Island is to European Immigrants San Francisco's Chinatown is to South East Asian one's.
Fondest memory: There's lot more to Chinatown than Chinese and Dim Sum Restaurants, Shops seeling cheap wares from asia and herbal remedies.
Chinatown is still very much alive and functional, it is not just tourists who frequent this part of SF, a lot of business is done here, theater enjoys prominence here, people live here, die here.
It is not to be seen from the outside looking in, but instead to be submerged within.
Favorite thing: A few blocks north of Union Square is Chinatown, the most densely packed pocket of the city and one of its most colorful. The tacky curio shops along Grant Avenue are monuments to the role tourism plays in the neighborhood, but the 30,000 Chinese - most of whom speak Cantonese as their first language - live in a tightly knit, distinctly un-Western community. It's a great place for casual wandering through narrow alleys, where on quiet afternoons you can hear the clack of mah jongg tiles from behind screen doors. The most colorful time to visit Chinatown is during the Chinese New Year in late January or early February, with a parade and fireworks and other festivities.
Favorite thing: Visit Chinatown - unlike many US cities, the layout means that it's easy to walk around. You really need half a day at least to do it justice, and make sure you stop for lunch or dinner there - yum!
My favorite part of the trip was visiting Chinatown and the Japanese tea garden in Golden Gate park. Chinatown was a thriving center of colors, sights and smells, and great shopping. The Japanese tea garden was the polar opposite of this, being quiet and serene... and with lovely scenery to take in. And the jasmine tea and cookies they served was a delight.
Fondest memory: My favorite memories of SF are of biking and walking around the city, taking in the hills and charming houses, the bay and the bridges, the atmosphere and energy of the city. There's no one thing I can put my finger on, rather it's a collection of memories that gets my nostalgia stirring for this great city.
Favorite thing: After you have seen the Golden Gate Bridge, then go to Chinatown. Here you will see a lot of 'tourist-tacky', but, if you go off the main streets you will also see stores selling medicinal herbs and foods you've never seen before! The best 'eats' in Chinatown are the small dumplings or 'dim sum.' There are also many stores that sell gold and jade -- be sure to know what a fair price is and be prepared to bargain.
visit Chinatown here at Grant Avenue.
Noticed the huge pagoda-topped, green-tile gate - flanked on both sides of Grant Avenue by stone dragons? Well, that's the loud 'banner' welcoming you to one of San Francisco's most interesting and culturally cohesive neighborhoods - Chinatown.
Do you know that San Francisco has the LARGEST Chinatown in the world?? Awesome, isn't it?
Fondest memory: Since you're here, why don't you have a Chinese meal here. It's one of the CHEAPEST place to eat, if you ask me... Although you can't compare the quality of food to those found in Asia (like Hongkong and Singapore), but hey... it's good enough for me!
I would recommend taking 'tim sum' (as what we Singaporeans call it) or 'yum cha' (as what the Hongkongers) call it. Whatever it's called - you should be able to choose from a wide variety of fingerfood-like stuffs like shrimp dumplings, pork buns, turnip cake, fried bean curd etc... It's absolutely YUMMY!!! Try it.
Go to Chinatown for fabulous Dim Sum at Chinese New Year! Between the great food and the smell of incense in the air,, it is irresistible.....
Fondest memory: The food! I really miss the the shrimp cocktails on the wharf, the clam chowder in the Boudin sourdough breadbowls, the 40 garlic clove chicken at The Stinking Rose.....
Favorite thing: When you go to Union Square, find Grant Avenue and start walking North. You'll come to this landmark, the gateway to China Town. Through the gates, you'll be transported to another world.
Favorite thing: You never know what you will see in Chinatown -- this dragon dance was in honor of a opening of a side-street restored to its orginal brick.
The Chinatown is a must. It is, I believe the biggest in America.
Fondest memory: Look at some jewelers in little shops putting together some jewels. Impregnate yourself in an air of China but in America.