Chinatown, Washington D.C.

3 out of 5 stars 16 Reviews

Chinatown
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  • Chinatown Gate
    Chinatown Gate
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  • Chinatown
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    Chinatown Gate by night
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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Chinatown

    by solopes Updated Sep 30, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Who says I don't appreciate Chinatown?

    Where else could I buy an umbrella by $5, right exiting the restaurant, to face an unexpected rain?

    (The French group was surprised, thinking I was prepared, and carried the umbrella with me. Shall I tell them the truth?).

    But the rain... I couldn't see much of Chinatown!

    Address: Chinatown

    Washington DC - USA
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    • Architecture

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Chinatown

    by Yaqui Updated May 10, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is called the Friendship Arch a traditional Chinese gate, which was an entrance to a historical neighborhood, but sadely replaced by the Verizon Center and Metro. Yet, there are loads of wonderful Chinese and Asian restaurants. We came here to just see it and we found a neat Starbucks to have some tea.

    They have walking tours of the area, so contact the Chinatown Community Cultural Center

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: Chinatown is located east of downtown Washington, DC between H and I Streets and 5th and 8th Streets, NW. Metro Station Near Chinatown: Gallery Place/Chinatown

    Website: http://www.ccccdc.org/

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    small chinatown

    by mindcrime Written Nov 9, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chinatown in DC is much smaller than other Chinatowns in US because it’s no more than 2-3 blocks that house several Chinese restaurants that aren’t as cheap as someone would expect. Actually, the only Chinese people we met were working at the local restaurants and they weren’t everywhere around like in San Fransisco or New York.

    I don’t really have much to say about the area, it was full of cheap Chinese restaurants and the one and only impressive site was the Chinatown Gate which was right next to the metro station we used many times so we had the chance to take picture of the gate day and night (pics 1-2). The “Friendship Archway” was made in 1986 and it’s decorated with 300 dragons. As our hotel was located there we had the chance to buy from a small store some extremely cheap souvenirs, hats for the sun, and if we had any rain we would buy an umbrella for $3 :)

    In case you saw every museum at the Mall you’ll probably pass from here anyway as some nice museums are located here like the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. It’s located at 575 7th St. NW, open daily 9.00-21.00(Sundays 10.00-19.00). With so many free museums in DC we just skipped the $18 entrance fee they ask for!

    Address: Old Downtown, between 6th and 8th street

    Directions: metro station:Gallery Place/Chinatown

    Chinatown Gate Chinatown Gate by night Chinatown
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    National Museum of Crime and Punishment

    by Tom_Fields Written Apr 7, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Do you enjoy cop shows, including documentaries? Are you a crime victim? Are you or have you ever been in law enforcement? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then check out the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. This museum opened only recently, probably why most people don't know about it.

    Inside are a wide range of exhibits covering the entire history of American crime, law enforcement, prisons, forensics, capital punishment, and the movies about them. See Clyde Barrow's car, where he and his partner in crime Bonnie Parker were killed in a police ambush (remember the final scene from Bonnie and Clyde?). See exhibits on medieval justice, punishments in colonial America, the pirates, the Old West, gangsters, serial killers, America's prisons, a replica forensic lab, fraud, computer crime, and a lot more.

    Address: 575 7th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20004

    Directions: From the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro, take the Verizon Center exit and head south (toward the Mall). It's on your left, near the District Chophouse brewpub.

    Phone: (202) 393-1099

    Website: http://www.crimemuseum.org/contact_us.html

    The Museum of Crime and Punishment Capital punishment Bonnie and Clyde's car Pathology lab A modern forensics lab
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  • doug48's Profile Photo

    chinatown

    by doug48 Updated Nov 5, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    located in old downtown, chinatown is a small area that once was the center of washington's chinese comunity. today this area has been recently renovated and now has a nice selection of bars, restaurants, and stores. pictured is "friendship archway". built in 1986 it was paid for by the city of beijing. the arch has seven tile roofs and is decorated with three hundred painted dragons in the style of the qing dynasty. the "friendship archway" is the largest single span chinese arch in the world.

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: old downtown. 6th to 8th street & g to h street n.w. metro: gallery place-chinatown

    friendship archway
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  • gilabrand's Profile Photo

    Arch Support

    by gilabrand Updated Mar 13, 2007

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    Lots of cities have arches. Paris has its Arc de Triomphe, Rome has its Arch of Titus, Barcelona has its Triumphal Arch, London has its Marble Arch, New York has its Washington Square Arch. So it is only fitting that the American capital, Washington D.C., should have one, too.

    Washington’s arch, a Chinese arch on H Street in Chinatown, is not your ordinary marble paean to a military victory. It is a multicolored friendship arch, with lots of red and gold, as befitting an arch in the Chinese style. In the middle is a panel emblazoned with Chinese characters that says “Jungwa” – the Chinese word for “China.”

    The arch marks the entrance to Washington’s Chinatown, which is probably one of the smaller Chinatowns around. It consists of a block or two dotted with Asian restaurants and a few buildings with pagoda-style roofs. Chinese immigrants moved into the neighborhood in the 1850s, when the German immigrants who originally lived there moved on to bigger and better things.

    Nowadays, the Chinese population is dwindling. City planners hoped that a traditional Chinese arch would attract tourists and revive business. It was designed - aptly, I think - by a “local” architect named Alfred H. Liu, who clearly sounds like a man with feet in two worlds.

    Since the arch went up in 1986, it has been a focal point for festivities marking the Chinese New Year. Because the Chinese calendar is lunar (like the Hebrew calendar), holiday dates are not fixed. If you are planning a trip to Washington D.C. in January-February, check the calendar to make sure you don’t miss the Chinese New Year Parade that passes under the arch.

    In the few minutes I stood at the bus stop, I witnessed at least two collisions at this intersection. The sirens wailed, street entertainers were banging away on metal bowls – in short, it was a very noisy and chaotic place.

    Address: H Street, Chinatown

    Directions: “Gallery Place-Chinatown” is a major transit hub. The metro stops here, as do a whole range of buses. I caught the bus to Maryland on the corner, and this is the departure point for the buses that deliver you to Chinatowns in Philadelphia, NY and Boston.

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  • ReinaMorena's Profile Photo

    Chinese New Year Parade

    by ReinaMorena Written Feb 19, 2007

    Going to see the parade and bringing in the Year of the Boar(Pig) was such a good time. I suggest going early and getting some lunch and a good spot on the street to get good view of the parade. This event is great for the whole family, and kids of all ages will get a kick out of sites and sounds. Remember it is winter time so dress in layers and be aware of possible snow and ice on the street,(the police had the part of the walk way blocked off cause of dangerous ice melting off the roofs). The event is free but bring money for food and maybe to by a hat from the vendors:)! Overall Id rate the whole deal about an 8 of 10. Mostly cause I didnt get a place to make for great pics and I was standing on ice. But that was my bad. But I love the dragons so I will be going back next year. But the next time new years fall on my Birthday Im going to China to do it up Big! Check out my shopping, resaurant tips and transportation tips as well. Photos to come later this week. Gozalo!Enjoy!

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: 7th and H street in downtown Washington DC.
    Metro stop Gallery Pl/Chinatown(green, yellow, red lines)

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Chinatown

    by chewy3326 Written Dec 31, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To tell the truth: Washington's Chinatown is small, nondescript, and uninteresting. It occupies all of two blocks and has almost been completely overrun by non-Chinese stores and restaurants. Most stores that originally were here have packed up and moved to areas where the Chinese population is now higher (Rockville, Maryland and Falls Church, Virginia). This Chinatown is really not worth your time to visit; the only 'attraction' is a tall, dragon filled Friendship Gate on H Street.

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: Metro Stop: Gallery Place-Chinatown

    Chinatown Gate

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Chinatown

    by Tom_Fields Written Oct 3, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Washington's Chinatown is modest compared to that of San Francisco, or Oakland. However, it does have the main feature that most people really desire--some fine restaurants, modestly priced. It's centrally located, just a few blocks north of the Navy Memorial, next to the Verizon Center.

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: Centered on 7th and H Streets. Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown (Red and Green Lines).

    Chinatown's arch, on 7th St Chinatown by night Gallery Place The nearby Verizon Center
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  • Chinatown or no Chinatown?

    by BlazeX Written Aug 22, 2006

    Indeed, it is very small Chinatown. But quality over quantity right? However, it doesn't have neither. Let me explain. Not all of the commercial establishments in the Chinatown is chinese. It has a McDonald, Starbucks and a Hooters. The street has more tourist than Chinese people. The restaurants are not cheap...like they're expected to be... Overall, it's more of a tourist trap/Chinese supply sort of a place. You will be disappointed if you've been to other Chinatown in North America.

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: PI Gallery Chinatown Metro Station on red line

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  • smschley's Profile Photo

    Chinatown

    by smschley Written Feb 13, 2005

    If you don't notice you're entering Washington's compact Chinatown by the Chinese characters on the street signs, the ornate, 75-foot-wide Friendship Arch spanning H Street might clue you in. Though Chinatown's main cross-streets may appear somewhat down-at-the-heels, this area borders many blocks undergoing revitalization, and it's still the place to go for Chinese food in the District. Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan, and Mongolian are among the regional styles you'll find here. Nearly every restaurant has a roast duck hanging in the window, and the shops here sell Chinese food, arts and crafts, and newspapers. Most interesting are traditional pharmacies purveying folk medicines such as dried eels, powdered bones, and unusual herbs for teas and broths believed to promote health, longevity, and sexual potency.

    Chinatown in Washington, D.C. appeared as early as 1885 on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 4th streets, N.W. In 1890, the U.S. government started to buy Chinatown property to use for government buildings, so the residents had to move. In the 1930’s they moved to the heart of the District of Columbia, near the corner of 7th and H Streets, NW, an area that was formerly populated by German immigrants There they marked the area with decorative metal latticework and railings as well as Chinese signs. At its peak, Chinatown was deemed to extend from G Street north to Massachusetts Avenue, and from 9th Street east to 5th Street.

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown

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  • jlee008's Profile Photo

    Dimishing Chinatown

    by jlee008 Updated Nov 6, 2004

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    As far as Chinatowns across the country and Canada, I would say that this one is probably the smallest that I have ever encountered. There isn't alot to see other than the really neat arch that they built years ago when I was young. With the exodus of the Chinese to parts of the Maryland suburbs and the encroachment of large money generating facilities, this Chinatown has never expanded much beyond its current state.

    However, there are a few redeeming points. With the construction of the MCI center and the new DC convention center, it is starting to offer many of the more modern amenities nearby. Unfortunately, much of the colorfulness of the Chinese culture has been lost to the effects of modernization. There are still some neat Chinese grocery stores in the main part and some really good restaurants. You can see the roasted duck and pork hanging in the window, much like you see in Hong Kong, China, and other big Chinatowns. I would just recommend having lunch or dinner there before heading out to wherever else you want to go. By all appearances, the places look in need of repair, but put aside your displeasure and step into the Washington Chinatown world. Try Tony Cheng's Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown if you drop by. They have a wide assortment of Chinese food available such as Hunan, Cantonese, and Szechuan. They also serve dum sum from 11am-3pm.

    N.B. There is a first rate bus service that can take you to NYC chinatown from Washington DC chinatown for about $20.

    Address: Chinatown - H Street NW and surrounding area

    Directions: METRO: Gallery Place-Chinatown

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  • More like Chinablock

    by MarissaGan Written Jul 30, 2004

    Granted, Chinatown isn't that big (only a block or two), but it's quickly growing into a hot spot as part of a new area called Penn Quarter. It's a quick walk up from the National Mall and you can find a lot of cheap lunches up here. One favorite is a place called Matchbox -- it's not Chinese food, but their pizza and mini burgers are excellent.

    Address: Chinatown

    Directions: Chinatown

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  • chenglinlee's Profile Photo

    DC is full of things to do

    by chenglinlee Written Dec 18, 2007

    Summer time is one of the best time to visit DC. There are many festivals that takes place during the summer time.

    Address: Chinatown

    National Monument A shot of the Lincoln Memorial from the monument Capitol Hill

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  • rundoyle4's Profile Photo

    Chinese Lunar New Year

    by rundoyle4 Written Mar 1, 2007

    Enjoy a bit of Chinese food and a crowd of cheering people with dragons amongst the festivities. Firecrackers will go off and will put a smile on your face.

    Address: Portrait Gallery / Chinatown Metro Stop

    Dragon Dragon and 5 Story Firecracker Chinatown Gate crowd having fun DC's mayor
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