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The Chinatown in San Francisco is the oldest Chinatown in North America and home to one of the most significant Chinese communities outside of Asia. It is so big that it takes up five entire zip codes in downtown San Francisco and is a mile long and over a mile wide.

Chinatown has played a major role in the history of Chinese- American culture and immigration to the United States. It has been an important starting place for thousands of new Chinese immigrants; most notably the waves of Hoisanese and Zhongshanese Chinese immigrants from the Guangdong Province between the 1850s to the 1900s, and those coming from Hong Kong in the 1960s.

San Francisco City  -  Atractions in San Francisco - Chinatown

Chinatown has retained much of its culture and is an important hub of preservation of the Asian and Chinese cultures in the United States. It is known as a city within a city and with a population of more than 100,000 it is the most densely populated neighborhoods in San Francisco. It has its own post office, hospitals, government structures, tons of shops and restaurants.

Chinatown is located in the North Beach and Telegraph Hill neighborhoods, but recently with overpopulation and poverty, other Asian-American neighborhoods have been popping up in other places such as Richmond's Sunset Districts and Visitacion Valley.


Still, Chinatown remains at the center of Asian American culture and it is one of the most visited attractions in all of San Francisco, drawing in more people than the Golden Gate Bridge. So if you are visiting San Francisco, be sure to make some time to explore this fascinating neighborhood and get fully immersed in Asian culture.

San Francisco City  -  Atractions in San Francisco - Chinatown

One of the best things to do in Chinatown is to go shopping. There are many shops that sell almost anything you can imagine at dirt cheap prices. Look for clothes, wallets, purses, dishes and cookware. While you may not be getting the best quality, you can usually find something unique to bring back home. Look for Asian artifacts, fabrics, figurines and interesting trinkets for home décor. You can also shop various stores and buy authentic Asian food products and produce. Also if you're into Chinese medicine, check out the many herbal stores peppered all around Chinatown.

While in Chinatown, you should definitely try out some authentic Asian cuisine. With over 300 restaurants to choose from, it can be hard to know where to eat. Check out the highly-rated R&G Lounge, Capital Restaurant, Great Eastern Restaurant, Hing Lung Restaurant, Ton Kiang, Yank Sing, Utopia Café and Tommy Toy's.

While in Chinatown, you should definitely visit Grant Avenue which has the Dragon gate and a statue of Sun Yat-Sen which commemorates Chinese war veterans. If you want to feel like you're in the middle of Hong Kong, then you should head over to Stockton Street which has the character and feel of Hong Kong. Another place to visit is the vibrant open space of Portsmouth Square which is always bursting with people and activity. For authentic Chinese architecture, check out Bank of America, the Sing Chong building and the Bank of Canton building.

If you want to visit Chinatown while you're in San Francisco, it's best to walk there or take public transportation, especially during the day, because parking can be very difficult to find. Also if you find that the neighborhood is too crowded during the day, consider coming back at night when it's less busy and most of the shops and restaurants are still open.

Chinatown in San Francisco is located in downtown San Francisco and is bound by Bush Street, Taylor Street, Bay Street, and the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco City  -  Atractions in San Francisco - Chinatown

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