Culinary Tourism: Discover San Francisco’s Chinatown

Samuel Dorsi - Dec 31, 2012
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San Francisco is known for its numerous tourist attractions. There are more than 600 locations frequented by tourists every year. One such famous location is Chinatown.

It was founded in the 19th century by the Chinese immigrants moving into the city. The Chinatown epitomizes the interaction of the East and the West. It is the oldest Chinatown north of Mexico. The entrance to the Chinese community is in the form of a dragon draped archway and is the part of this town which has been photographed the most.

The cultural environment over here is what distinguishes the town as one of the best places to visit in San Francisco. Any traveler will be amazed by the interaction of the two cultures; fused in the same environment. The following short description of this area offers a glimpse of what to expect upon touring this place.

Possible Activities

There are a lot of activities a traveler can engage in here. Besides taking photographs at the Chinatown archway gate, other unique activities and sites include:

Ride on Magic Bus: This is an old-time bus that takes you through the magnificent Chinatown. The bus is a 1960s model and will surely offer any traveler the feeling of how it was living in this town in the 1960s.You would get to see a lot more when you check it out on your own as the bus projectors give you an amazing view that you would never forget! A number of tours will also be at hand to explain each bit to you as you traverse the scenic landscape.

Walking Tour: The Chinese temple and food markets are the major attractions here. The experienced guides over here take you through the most amazing secrets of San Francisco, which also gives you the feeling that it is here where the old world seems to be meeting the new one, with open arms!

Night Walking Tour: Try out the nightlife of Chinatown and feel the distinctness of it from your regular life. Vibrant food and the delightful atmosphere over here will stir those who value the joys of nightlife. The security situation in the town is another major boost to night life activities. However, tourists are advised not to venture outside of the various facilities alone. They should be accompanied by a local guide.

Old cathedrals and temples: Temples and cathedrals are among the sites one cannot afford to leave out. These are usually magnificent buildings which were built by the best architects of the time. They are architectural masterpieces by their own right. Two notable examples are St. Mary's Catholic cathedral founded in 1854 and the temple of Tin How which was the first temple to be built on American soil.

Where to Stay

There are a lot of options for you to stay in the Chinatown. If you do not have a pre-booked hotel, or have not been able to shortlist one, here are a few alternatives to choose from:

Hotel North Beach, Europa Hotel and Hilton San Francisco are among the best affordable options.

Luxurious options include hotels like Hotel Boheme, Royal Pacific Motor Inn and Hotel Des Arts, beside others.

The other alternative which is gaining popularity is living with a host but prior arrangements must be made in this regard.

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