San Francisco's Original Chinatown

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Chinatown, San Francisco, remains to be a top tourist attraction and is said to have more visitors that Golden Gate. It is considered as one of the significant links to San Francisco’s glorious past being the oldest Chinatown to exist in the whole of North America and the largest out of Asia. In fact, several Chinatowns have attempted to spring out of the city, yet the original Chinatown which occupies 8 streets and 11 alleys, still remains as the main tourist attraction. Tourists always choose to visit only San Francisco’s original Chinatown and will accept no substitutions.         

It would be hard to rival San Francisco’s original Chinatown, which hosts more than a hundred restaurants that contribute to the sight, smell, sound and taste of what Chinatown is all about. Great food is not the only thing that draws tourists to Chinatown but also several other icons that symbolize Chinese culture. Here are some of the things you might want to check out in San Francisco’s original Chinatown, no substitute can be acceptable enough to take the place of China’s time-honored traditions.  

The Chinese Fortune Cookie- which you shouldn’t miss as part of San Francisco’s original Chinatown, to which no substitute is needed to replace something that is not actually a part of Chinese culture. Fortune cookies originated in Chinese-American restaurants as a novelty treat after meals. It was only in the 1990s that this particular food item became a part of China’s restaurants. 

The Cheongsam, which one can easily recognize as typically Chinese abounds in San Francisco’s original Chinatown, no substitute for this costume can embody the Chinese way of dressing. Although cheongsams actually evolved from different garment structures before it became famous as a sexy outfit. It used to be a long tunic dress with slits that reached way up to the thighs to allow movement and was originally paired off with long pajama-like pants. Its introduction into the international fashion scene somehow forgot all about the pants and turned it into a slinky sleek outfit which made more use of the Chinese silk instead of the drab cotton material used by Chinese peasants. It became very chic and fashionable and took on different lengths including the mini.  

Mahjong a game that is of authentic Chinese origin which comes as a set of 144 tiles made from ivory. Its counterpart in Western culture is that of a deck of cards and the game’s mechanics resemble that of traditional card games where you have to draw and discard tiles to come up with a set combination. Your opponent may benefit from the tile you discard; hence, it also requires some calculations on your part. There are many mahjong sets available in San Francisco’s original Chinatown; no substitute rule applies here since the original sets made from ivory are expensive while the sale and use of ivory tusks have long been regulated.         

Mooncake is an authentic Chinese food icon which would be hard to rival and only the Chinese knows how to prepare them to achieve the authenticity of its taste. They are also abundant during China’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in San Francisco’s original Chinatown; no substitute can match the soft richness of its filling made from a mixture of Chinese ham, assortment of fruits, nuts and almonds.  

Chinese Feng shui and the items popularly used for it are the most sought after among the tourist shoppers at San Francisco’s original Chinatown; no substitute will do since it is important for feng shui believers to use only the authentic Chinese icons for the good luck charm to be effective.

However, if you’re out shopping in San Francisco’s original Chinatown; no substitute is hardly the rule since China is known for manufacturing imitation products that can almost pass for the original designer item it imitated. You’ll find cheap priced toys, gadgets and even electronic devices made from some Chinese factory and will find them delightful enough but not necessarily for long time use. However, you should be careful when buying these items since some of them are considered as unregulated and may contain toxic materials. 

Shopping is fun in San Francisco’s original Chinatown and there’s no substitute for the experience since you can end up with lots of cheap priced goodies. 


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