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What to see in Chinatown in Manhattan + Free tour of 4 neighborhoods

One of the most picturesque areas of Manhattan is Chinatown, and as happens in many cities, when you enter a Chinatown it is similar to moving to Asia. Well, New York is no exception.

I recommend that you get lost in its streets, and enjoy walking and you will find really beautiful corners. Also in the Chinatown you can eat from the street stalls, buy "trinkets" and enjoy an area with a lot of atmosphere.

In this post I tell you about what you will find, what to see and do in Chinatown in Manhattan.


Although until a few years ago it was a troubled area where the Irish (predecessors in the neighborhood) and Chinese mafia ruled, today it is a fairly popular area located next to the Soho neighborhood.

Walking through the most colorful neighborhood in Manhattan guarantees a different experience, between paper lanterns and mahjong tiles. Strolling aimlessly is what I recommend and during the walk you will find mobile food stalls, you will see lacquered ducks hanging in the shop windows, souvenir shops and above all a number of illuminated signs, where red predominates.

If you have traveled to China, you will find that it is a "light Chinese" but it is still one of the most authentic Chinatowns (after Bangkok) that I have known, without being in China let's go :)

Canal Street, the main street of Chinatown in Manhattan

In it is the information center, decorated with a dragon. It is the main street of Chinatown and where I recommend you start your tour of the neighborhood.

Mahayana temple and its Buddha on the lotus

One of the essential things to see in Chinatown in New York is the Mahayana Buddhist temple, with a 5-meter golden Buddha on a lotus flower, surrounded by offerings.

Columbus Park and Kim Lau Arch

In Columbus Park it is nice to go for a walk, it is common to see people practicing tai chi and exercising first thing in the morning. Close to the park is the Kim Lau Arch. This arch was built in honor of Chinese-Americans killed in combat.

Church of the Transfiguration

The Church of the Transfiguration is a Christian and Chinese religion church, its sermons are in Mandarin Chinese.

Chinese Museum in America

If you want to delve into the history of Chinese immigration to the USA, visit the Chinese Museum in America. I didn't have time to enter and I can't tell you if it's worth it, if you enter tell me about the experience :)


Buy imitations

If you like counterfeits, venture to ask in their stores and they will quickly take you to their basements or back rooms, where you can get hold of imitation bags, watches and all kinds of clothing and accessories.

Cut your hair at one of their barbershops

The corner that makes up Doyers Alley is known as the Bloody Corner, due to the deaths recorded there by rival gangs in the days when the tongs (Chinese secret societies) dominated the streets of Chinatown.

Now it is named Barber Street, the street of the barbershops. I had never seen so many together. Although it is something very typical of Asia, to have a street for everything, it is not so common that this custom extends to Chinatowns around the world. Something curious is that on the street, they leave several chairs of different shapes and colors, for all those who queue.

Get a massage at ridiculous prices

Something typical of Asia are the quick massage stalls. In Manhattan's Chinatown I found several places where you could get massages for your feet, back, shoulders, head... and at very cheap prices (if we take into account that we are in New York) the strangest thing is that they massage you on beds/chairs you continue (as in Asia) and it is always full at noon, with women and men in suits who take advantage of their break to relax.


One of the best ways to get to know the most important corners and places of the Chinatown neighborhood is to take a guided tour. You have the possibility of taking a FREE TOUR through Chinatown and Little Italy with a journey of about 2 hours. During the journey, you will also visit SoHo and NoLIta.


I hope you enjoy your trip to New York a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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