Where do I start? Most likely, the most exotic ethnic spot in London is Chinatown which is situated just off Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho.
The principal activity - which the Chinese are devoted to - is eating out. There are a great number of Chinese Restaurants, some of which have a high reputation for their culinary offerings.
This is an area filled with aromas of the orient, Chinatown buzzes with activity most hours of the day and most hours of the night.
For me, it was an exciting experience: it was one of those places I had never been to. After having heard so much about Chinatown, I thought it was about time I experienced it for myself.
As you enter the area of Chinatown you are faced with a huge gateway painted in red and gold and glittering with brightly coloured lights, the next experience is an overwhelming mixture of fantastic aromas of Chinese food, you instantly feel hungry. This is the great thing about Chinatown: you are then faced with which one of the many restaurants to choose from.
There are also two supermarkets in Chinatown with every possible genuine Chinese ingredient and product you could think of.
The best time to visit, if you want to avoid massive crowds, is during the working week, but it is more attractive at night, the lights are pretty.
I ate several meals there it was reasonably priced and the food is just scrumptious.
Chinese New Year celebration is spectacular, the whole area is crowded and for just a few short days the Chinese community celebrate their most important festival.
A stage is built in Leicester Square and is used by all sorts of Chinese performers from traditional dancers to modern pop singers.
Meanwhile, huge Chinese dragons dance their way through the crowds, leaping and twirling past every shop to collect the red and gold bags of money hung out of shop and restaurant windows by owners in a search of good luck for the New Year.
If you're lucky to find a table for lunch, the dragon may even come into the restaurant and dance around the table.
God knows where these guys find the energy, but they dance all afternoon, and it's an impressive sight.
Truthfully, the place is transformed and for just this period, feels genuinely eastern.
All in all a very interesting ethic quarter in this very cosmopolitan city. [more]
Strolling around China Town
A multitude of chinese stuff is waiting for you there. To be onest, I was expecting to find the things to be cheaper, but I was deceived....So I bought nothing.
If you love meat, you'll find there plenty of restaurants, serving you with all sorts of meat dishes...with rice, of course. If you are a vegan, there is a good place to spend some time and money on all sorts of exotic fruits and vegetables.
If you're going to buy presents or something like this, ...don't go. Or go just for fun. I found nothing interesting to buy. The chinsese products don't have a great quality...
In a market I found a BIG fruit that I was impressed of. I don't have a clue about what's that giant veg-monster. You can see it below :D [more]
A place full of the smell of the orient
The neighbourhood more oriental in London is for sure Chinatown. There, it is possible to find a lot of restaurants, some cheaper than others, and supermarkets with Chinese products. It is also quite common see people prepare food in the street. The gift stores sell the most assorted typical products, where you can find utensils for kitchen and also clothes. When I visited Chinatown, I found it a lively and vibrant setting. The arches along the area made me feel as I was in China. In the Chinese New Year period, the community normally prepare a huge festival with stalls and parade in some parts of the city such as Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. [more]
Best time to visit Chinatown
Chinatown is a picturesque street with lights and Chinese style red gates around the Soho area. The best time to visit is probably during the Chinese New Year celebrations as the street is decorated with red lamps and there are many street parties. During the rest of the year it is a busy street with plenty of Chinese restaurants. This area is quite pricey but restaurants here are really nice and you can find Chinese traditional dishes to more modern cuisine. The nearest tube station is Leicester Square. It is worth to walk about this street but you can also find good restaurants elsewhere. [more]
Chinatwon in London
Chinatown is in the very centre of the city, between Piccadilly Circus and the trendy Leicester Square. It's an explosion of strong colours, dragons, chinese letters, silk, oriental shops and of course many many restaurants. I have to say, the area is a bit pricey, but to be in the very central London you can accept that. Besides, the food is really good. After walking through the spectacular "doors of the city", I picked one of the hundreds of restaurants and I ate for the first time Dim Sum. Apparently is very popular but I had never even heard about it. Basically the food is served in small bowls priced around 2-3 pounds each. Used to the same principle but the sushi version, the scheme didn't quite appeal me, as last time I went to Yo Sushi I spent a fortune. But this time was different, the bowls actually contained two or three pieces but after six of those between me and my friend we were just stuffed. And the final bill turned up to be 11 pounds each.
It can really be defined as a Chinese town in the middle of European life, with its own traditions, customs, colours. [more]
Chinatown in London
I love Chinatown! After making up our own sort of tour of the famous Beatles streets, we stopped at Chinatown just as soon as the sun was setting. I loved the authentic architecture, the supermarkets, restaurants and shops, which, altogether, created a wonderfully unique experience. Prices here are pretty cheap, especially at the restaurants where you can get a full meal for around just £5. The whole place is mainly set up as a commercial area for restaurants and businesses, so very few people actually live there. Overall, it's worth visiting, at least! [more]
Chinatown is located at Gerrard St (take tube to Leicester Square).
If you are wondering out and about Leicester Square why not pay a visit to the Chinatown? This part of the town was heavily destroyed during the great fire of 1666. and although it once was a rather affluent part of the time it has never regained its splendor. In 18th century it was home to Jewish, Italian and French immigrants who were drawn here due to low rents in Soho. It wasn't until 1950s that the Chinatown as we know it today emerged. The original settlement of the Chinese was at the Limehouse area but it was heavily destroyed during the bombings, so they were forced to find new location else where. As the Soho rents were still cheap, they have settled at Gerrard street. You can find a great number of affordable restaurants as well as a number of shops that sell exotic cooking ingredients as well as bookshops and shops that sell traditional Chinese medicine. Well worth the visit. [more]
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