Chinatown: the largest in America

iconic neighbourhood
Chinatown: the largest in America

What language is spoken here? Mandarin? Cantonese? English? You can find out for yourself in this city within a city after you pass under the Dragon Gate.

The United States was indeed truly united once the first train arrived, connecting the East and West Coasts. Thousands of Chinese came for the work of constructing the railway, migrating to America during the years of the Taiping Rebellion in the mid-19th century. The earliest arrivals, two men and a woman, came in 1848. Thus Chinatown was born and developed as a city within a city. At the time, migrants lived separately, had their own banks, their own schools.

Today you still enter through the Dragon Gate that is bordered by two lion statues on Grant Avenue. The classic visit starts at St. Mary's Park for the statue of Sun Yat-sen, then goes to Portsmouth Square for the mah-jong parties and tai-chi sessions, and the headquarters of the Bank of Canton, the Sing Chong Building, for its architecture. You can buy lucky fortune cookies, and in one of the many herbalists, remedies against minor ailments. Also enjoy a reflexology session. A trend from yesterday for today.

Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108