One of the must-see places in New York City is the Chinatown. This is home to the biggest enclave of Chinese people on the Western side of the globe. You can find this at the borough of Manhattan in NYC, bordering the Lower East Side to the east and the Little Italy to the north. It comes with an estimated population of 100,000 people, also considered as one of the oldest Chinese enclaves outside Asia.
Most Chinese see this as an American Dream in action. The thriving immigrant population provides visitors access to Asian wares, culinary delights found only in China, and a walk through New York City’s past. A great starting point when visiting the area is through the Chatam Square, an intersection between seven major streets. History buffs will definitely love the statue that stands in the area, which is Lin Zexu, a Qing Dynasty official who fought against the Britain’s illegal importation of opium. But of course, most of you just want to start eating and shopping through the busy streets of Chinatown.
Discover Chinatown with the most exciting and most interesting attractions.
The Museum of Chinese in America
Located at 215 Centre Street, it reopened in 2009. This is the museum for the Chinese-American experience, founded in the year 1980. Today, it is known to be Chinatown’s most refined tourist attraction. The permanent exhibition space is dedicated to telling the story of the Chinese people in the country. Admission here is free.
If you’re quite new to the world of Asian delicacies, especially with candies and snacks, the best place to go to is the Aji Ichiban. This is more commonly known as the Munchies Paradise. The store comes with all sorts of sweets and savories in clear bins so you can see how these treats look like. Products at the store are sold individually, instead of by packs. Some of the treats here are lychee-flavored gummies, wasabi peas, Japanese rice crackers, dried squid and more.
New Kam Man Grocery Store
The bi-level grocery store is a one-stop shop, not limited to Chinese ingredients alone. There are roasted meat stations, noodle bars, stalls for medicinal herbs and a whole lot more. On the lower level, you can mostly see housewares, like the traditional Chinese porcelain, dishes, bowls and cups, and more.
The neighborhood is actually quite diverse. To get a glimpse of this, head to Columbus Park. You can see the bustling during weekends. You can find amateur troupes of Chinese-opera performers, residents playing mah-jongg and unfamiliar card games, people practicing tai chi and learning the art of kung fu, stray fortune tellers, and the like.
For most Americans, dim sum can be just a meal. But this can actually be experienced. If you’re up for a dim sum experience, the best place to go to is Jing Fong. The venue is huge, considered as the city’s biggest traditional Cantonese restaurant. You can eat everything here, from shrimp dumplings to pig knuckles and the like. The restaurant offers more than 100 dishes.