Chinatown has always been exotically mysterious to outsiders…
But while most people are immediately fascinated, it can be just outside many people’s comfort zone enough to keep them from really exploring the place. With its narrow zigzagging streets, brisk crowds, and impatient scurrying locals - it can be overwhelming for most people.
But hidden within these streets is a glimpse into another culture and what remains of the story of how a little piece of the East emerged in the heart of the West. It’s a story that involves a seedy criminal underworld, legalized discrimination, collaboration for survival, and the struggle to maintain one culture while deeply embedded within another.
On this tour, you’ll walk through the streets of Chinatown with us as we tell you that story, point out the spots that give you insight into it’s history, and talk about the interesting pop culture stuff that’s happened here. We've also included some photos from the Library of Congress so you can see authentic pictures of the place from back in the day.
how long will it take?
You’re in charge, so it can run as fast or as slow as you’d like. But here’s how long we think it will take you:
Estimated Tour Time: 60 minutes
Actual Audio Running Time: 38 minutes
how many stops are there?
There are 12 stops on the Chinatown tour, including:
Chinatown Original Ice Cream Factory
Mahayana Buddhist Temple
Edward Mooney House
Manhattan Bridge Archway
Church of Transfiguration
when is the best time to go?
Chinatown has some amazing restaurants you should experience while you’re here. Try and time your tour around lunch or dinner if possible. But just like anywhere in the city, if you prefer to avoid tourists and crowds, go as early as possible.
how many people can go?
Our tours were designed as solo experiences. You’ll be wearing headphones and may want to skip stuff that doesn’t interest you. If you’re planning on going with friends, we highly recommend you each get the tour separately on each of your devices.
How to Get to Chinatown:
Our tour starts at Chatham Square (Kimlau Square). There are a couple of ways to get there depending on where you are in the city, so the app will tell you the stop for each of the subway lines and how to get there from the exit.
Here are the stops we recommend:
F Line - East Broadway stop
J,Z Line - Chambers stop
4,5,6 Line - Brooklyn Bridge - City Hall stop