I like to visit ethnic neighborhoods. There is no easier way to travel far away than by visiting a place full of the aromas of a distant country.
The most well know communities are the so called “Chinatowns”. It is like every big city has one of these (and almost every travel guide recommends a visit to such places).
I have visited the Chinatown ‘hoods in New York, San Francisco and Vancouver. I have passed thru the Chinatown located in Los Angeles but never explored in depth. Well, that changed some weeks ago. At the beginning of the year, I included a visit to Chinatown in my bucket list for the year.
I have to say the place surprised me. We ate pretty well and shopped at very low prices. I am thinking of going back to buy more shoes. Ok, I shouldn’t have written that. Anyway, you get the point.
The area has seen its share of historic events. Built in 1938, it is the second Chinatown to be constructed in Los Angeles. The original historic Chinatown was founded in the late 19th century, but was demolished to make room for Union Station, the city’s major rail depot, leaving its residents and businesses displaced. Seven years passed before an acceptable relocation proposal was put into place, situating Chinatown in its present day location.
Even though it lacks the luster of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the area is heavily visited by tourists. However, many establishments tender to locals.
Various organizations make efforts to keep the area vibrant. There is a farmers market, gallery openings, scavenger hunts and concerts. The page www.chinatownla.com offers a Self-Guided Walking Tour of the area. Free walking tours are provided every 1st Saturday of the month.
Here I leave you with some photos of Los Angeles’ Chinatown.
What is your favorite Chinatown? Let me know in the comments section below.
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