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Top Tours

 
San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour
"Meet at Old St Mary's Cathedral to begin your walking tour of Chinatown's most popular sights and hidden locales. Your guide will teach you all about the history and culture of Chinatown explaining how the remarkable authenticity of ancient Chinese culture has been preserved and celebrated in its road to becoming a must-visit San Francisco attraction. As you navigate a historic maze of mysterious sights have your camera out as you admire eye-popping Chinese decorations adorning the streets. Pass pagoda-style buildings and hear about their significance and step inside an herbal pharmacy to learn about the uses of ginseng root for longevity pearl pills for beautiful skin and gecko lizards for energy. Stroll down Stockton Street past busy markets selling some of the freshest and most exotic foods in the Bay Area. Gain an understanding of Chinatown's religious culture as you visit an a where you'll see dazzling altars adorned with red lanterns gold antiques and incense-filled bronze urns. You'll also see a Chinese language school to find out how local Chinese families keep alive language and cultural traditions for their children.At your next stop
From $35.00
 
Chinatown and North Beach Night Walking Tour
"You'll start your walking tour in Chinatown. Explore the area by twilight including tasting dim sum from one of the oldest bakeries in the area. Delve into Chinese mysticism and culture as you explore local sculpture and architecture. Search out authentic Chinese and Italian crafts and pottery and uncover their hidden secrets only intrepid locals know. You'll be astonished by the new finds in secret alcoves and the wonderful arom dim sum and other food on this two-hour tour. ""Best Tour for 2011"" - San Francisco Bay Guardian""""Spend an evening exploring two of San Francisco's vibrant areas for food and nightlife on a walking tour through Chinatown and North Beach. On their own
From $69.00
 
"San Francisco at Night: Segway Tour of North Beach
"San Francisco at Night: Segway Tour of North Beach Chinatown and the Embarcadero""Join a troupe of Segway riders on Beach Street along Fisherman’s Wharf to gear up for your evening ride with a 40-minute safety orientation. Along with a helmet and safety vest you’ll get hooked up with a radio device so you don’t miss any of your guide’s commentary along the way. Once you feel comfortable on your two-wheeler hit the streets to see Chinatown
From $75.00

Chinatown Tips (183)

Chinatown (II): Grant Avenue

Grant Avenue, between Bush Street and Broadway is the main tourist street of Chinatown. The avenue is lined with dragon-entwined lamp posts and buildings that borrow elements from Chinese architecture, with towers and curved rooftops. Grant Avenue is an odd mix of souvenir shops for tourists, restaurants, banks etc. The parallel Stockton Street seems to cater more for the local Chinese community.

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Andraf
Oct 28, 2016

Chinatown (I) : The Gate

The Chinatown gate can be found at the intersection of Bush St. and Grant Avenue. It has three beautifully ornated arches and is guarded by two lions. Its design was inspired after ceremonial entrances of Chinese villages. The materials were provided by the Taiwan government and the design belongs to Clayton Lee. The gate opened in 1970. Once you pass through it, you'll find yourself surrounded by a multitude of shops selling souvenirs, jewelry, electronics, artwork etc.

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Andraf
Oct 27, 2016

Chinatown ~Rich Culture

I've been to many cultural areas, but I would have to say this is a first for me to see. You go to some towns and they might have a historical building or two, but I was amazed how many beautiful buildings or blocks are being preserved. FANTASTIC!!! What a lovely place to walk and explore. So many beautiful and historical businesses, shops, and restaurants to enjoy!

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Yaqui
Oct 23, 2016

~Chinatown Dragon Gate

Dedicated on October 18th 1970. This gate is the only authentic Chinatown Gate in North America. The gate is based on the ceremonial gates that can be found in Chinese villages, called paifang. The gate is adorned with sculptures of fish and dragons and is flanked by two large lion statues or fou lions, which are meant to thwart evil-spirits. The gate has three passageways. The large, central one is meant for dignitaries while the two smaller passageways are meant for the common people. Taiwan provided materials for the gate, but the design is by Chinese-American architect Clayton Lee, whose design apparently won a contest in the late 1960s. The two-tiered, pagoda-style structure was built according to principles of feng shui, which dictate (among other things) that a city’s grandest gate must face south, and — though somewhat dwarfed by the larger buildings around it — that it does. A wooden plaque hangs from the central archway, on which stand gilded characters rendering a quote from the “Father of Modern China”, the revered revolutionary leader Dr. Sun Yat Sen: “ALL UNDER HEAVEN IS FOR THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE”

Usually a male lion is on the left with the right paw on a ball – the symbol of unity of the Chinese empire –
and a female lion on the right with a cub under the left paw – a symbol of offspring. Another explanation is that the male is guarding the structure and the female protects those dwelling inside the building.http://www.artandarchitecture-sf.com/chinatown-san-francisco-may-11-2012.html

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Yaqui
Oct 23, 2016
 
 
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Hotels Near Chinatown

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750 Kearny Street, (Formerly "Holiday Inn"), San Francisco, California, 94108, United States
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935 Kearny Street, (formerly St. Paul Hotel), San Francisco, California, 94133, United States
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500 California Street, San Francisco, California, 94104, United States
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600 Stockton Street, San Francisco, California, 94108-2305, United States
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494 Broadway, San Francisco, California, 94133-4515, United States
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661 Broadway, San Francisco, California, 94133, United States
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Fun To Shop

The streets here are often crowded and the people get reallllllly close to you ... so it's a risk of pick pockets so be careful ... love shopping here. Some good prices and it's common to dicker ... which takes time and patients. my husband hates that but I'm ok with it. Bought some jewery the stones were nice but the setting was cheaply done.

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chattygirl7491
Oct 21, 2016

Chinatown

San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia . It is also the oldest Chinatown in North America. A trip to SF isn't complete without a visit to Chinatown and its array of shops, restaurants and attractions.

Our last visit to Chinatown was in May 2016. My wife and I had an amazing lunch at the R&G Lounge with our friend Mikey. We enjoyed on some of their Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab and S&P Prawns. The crab was amazing and I think it is a must try when visiting Chinatown. We also did a bit of shopping and stopped to get my wife her favorite Bubble Tea.

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cjg1
May 11, 2016

Chinatown

The most amazing colourful buildings in Chinatown. The largest Chinatown outside Asia and the oldest of North America. I've read somewhere that the earliest Chinese immigrants - two men and one woman -arrived in the city of San Francisco in 1848. It is also perhaps interesting to note that the Chinese fortune cookie was invented by one of the town's Japanese (!) residents (source: Mentalfloss).

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egonwegh
Apr 16, 2016

Chinatown

Who saw one Chinatown in America has seen them all.

I saw many, but this one was my favorite. Small, clean, nice smell (well... not so bad!), some beautiful buildings, and as expected, chinese goods at almost chinese prices.

Furthermore, as we met winter in August being prepared for summer, a chinese coat was welcome.

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solopes
Mar 21, 2016

Top 5 San Francisco Writers

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More than Grant Avenue

Take a wander through the park, back streets and alleys for a taste of where the Chinese community lives, shops and socializes. This is not Grant Avenue, with its wall-to-wall souvenir shops and tourist-mobbed sidewalks, but dim little corridors of commerce - and long-ago prostitution, opium and gambling dens. Much of today's Chinatown is elderly and poor, the younger generation gradually migrating to the suburbs, and many live in single-room tenements above street- level shops and markets. Above your head is a clutter of fire escapes and laundry, and through open windows and doorways is the clatter of countless mahjong games. You'll pass by tiny groceries, herbalists, tea rooms, restaurants, fraternal halls, temples and even a fortune cookie factory.

Portsmouth Square is to this community what the piazza is to Italians. Once a Spanish plaza, this green space above a massive, underground parking garage is the gathering spot for grandfathers to throw games of dice, grandmothers to stretch though morning tai chi exercises, children to run the playground and others to just chat in the sunshine. You might run into a festival or flea market here and it's a fun spot for watching the activity over a take-away dim sum lunch.

Alleys/backstreets: see website for complete list but a good walk is to head north on Hang Ah St. at Stockton, jog 1/2 block right to Spofford St. at Clay, and another small jog right at Washington to Ross Alley. Also the 2 blocks of Waverly Place - next block east of Hang Ah.

Portsmouth Square: corner of Clay and Kearny or Kearny and Washington.

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goodfish
Oct 03, 2015

My first time in China town

I've never been to china town in New York but this was very interesting. It's crowded with oriental people rushing around and speaking there language. The shops had some really different thing ... dead duck in the windows, One shop had bins of things you make into tea ... all these died flowers and mysterious stuff ... how fun. I had some .. I guess it was a pastry in a shop there .. .It wasn't very good.

My favorite thing there was shopping for jewelry ... I bought some lovely pieces for very good price. Often the settings were thin but the stones are very nice. They had so huge stones if you like large jewelry. There are several places for pearl necklaces .. .you pick the size and colors of the pearl and what length and style you want the necklace to be .. they string it for you. Got souvenirs there for both our moms. They love their colored pearl necklaces a lot and the prices were very reasonable. In most of the jewelry shops the price is not in stone ... if you have the time and patients you will get the price down considerably.

chattygirl7491's Profile Photo
chattygirl7491
May 13, 2015

A Chinatown alley


get off the path & streets and walk into the alleys

If you want to know more about it.. ask an expert... not me..

I just wander around blindly like a tourist, listening to the sounds,
peeking thru windows, and digging on the smells of food cooking.

(Check out tiny 10 Old Chinatown Ln across Washington from Spofford St.)
Juanita Lee was @ 10 Old Chinatown Ln. Gone.

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davequ
Mar 24, 2015

Dim Sum Delight

Another great tourist spot is San Francisco's Chinatown. We new we had to give this a go, we were hungry again.

There are hundreds of places to eat here, and so many great shops to buy bit's and bob's to take home, cheaply, well cheapish, compared to elsewhere in the City.

We spent all evening here, bobbing in an out of all the shops, and we bought an item that was 1/10th the price of the same item being sold in a shop on the Pacific Coast Highway, and it was the same item, for sure.

Anyway, like I said, we were hungry, and we wanted Dim Sum, so we called into a large restaurant and ordered a huge selection of Dim Sum, and they were great.

Well worth spending time in Chinatown.

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Madasabull
Dec 16, 2013

Things to Do Near Chinatown

Things to Do

Transamerica Pyramid Center

Located off Montgomery Street on ground level is the visitor center and gift store. It includes historical displays Chronicling the Pyramid from Conception to its Importance to the Skyline today,...
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Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption

In stark contrast to the traditional, old-world style of the nearby Grace Cathedral, the Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption is built in an ultra-modern style. The design, by Pietro Belluschi and...
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Nob Hill

Just in front of Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill stands Huntington Park. This was once the site of the mansion of Collis P. Huntington, who helped build the Central Pacific Railroad. The mansion was...
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North Beach

Beach Blanket Babylon Musical Revue Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon was recommended to us by two friends independently. one currently living in San Francisco and the other had just returned from...
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Cable Car Museum

The inventor of the cable car, Andrew Hallidie came to the US in 1852 from England. He worked as a blacksmith and surveyor in the gold fields of California. At the age of 19, he designed and built...
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Grace Cathedral

Along the main walls are beautiful murals by Polish-born John De Rosen (1949-50) and Bolivian-born Antonio Sotomayor (1982-83). De Rosen’s unfinished series features world church and Anglo-Episcopal...
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Getting to Chinatown

Address

Grant Ave. and Bush St. San Francisco, CA 94101

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