Chinatown is the largest Asian neighborhood in New York City, with over 100,000 inhabitants, and is a must-see when you visit the Big Apple.

No one knows exactly how Chinatown began to form but history says that in the late 1970s Asian immigration began to increase in the city. The immigrants who arrived did not want to lose their identity, they wanted to preserve their culture, so little by little they settled in the same place, creating a very large community that would become what we know today as Chinatown

This charismatic neighborhood, located in Manhattan, is a real attraction for tourists, and is that the Chinatown of NYC cannot be compared to any other Chinatown in the world, the Big Apple has a special air, which makes it different from all others.

At first, the apparent disorder of the neighborhood, its intense smells, lots of people walking around every day and the street vendors may discourage you from thinking that the neighborhood is unattractive, but on the contrary, all of that is what makes it an exotic place and that entering NYC’s Chinatown is entering another world.

So don’t get carried away by the first impressions, venture into this magnificent neighborhood and let Chinatown show you all its splendor by following this guide to the best places you can see in Chinatown.

Let’s get started!

Colombus Park

This is the first place you should visit in Chinatown and it is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Chinese culture, going to this park is almost like being in China.

Colombus Park – Source

There you can see Chinese musicians, people playing chess and traditional Asian games and get together with the people who are doing Tai-Chi. Although it is not a big park, it is a much visited place, not only by the people who live in Chinatown but also by hundreds of tourists who want to see and enjoy Chinese culture from up close.

In the middle of the park there is a statue of Sun Yut Set, the founding father of the Republic of China, with an inscription that says “We are all equal under the sky”, a beautiful phrase that can sum up Chinese culture perfectly.

Temple Mahayana Buddhists

Going to Mahayana Buddhists Temple is a great experience you should have when visiting New York.  This place is beautiful, it is unique, and it is home to the largest Buddha in the Big Apple.

Temple Mahayana Buddhists – Source

To enter you only have to make a donation of 1 dollar, this way you can access the temple and see the great Buddha statue in front of you, you will also be given a piece of fortune and contemplate the interior design of the temple which is something incredible. Going to Mahayana Buddhists Temple is a great experience you should have when visiting New York.  This place is beautiful, it is unique, and it is home to the largest Buddha in the Big Apple.

If you want to take a break, meditate and think of new ideas then the best thing to do is to go to Mahayana Buddhists Temple, this is the perfect place to enjoy a time of peace and quiet. Super patched up!

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Museum of China in the United States

If you are a fanatic or if you are interested in learning more about Chinese culture, you should visit the Museum of Chinese Culture.  Inside this museum you will find years and years of Chinese history, learn about the immigration of the first Chinese to the United States and learn more about a fascinating culture.

Museum of China in the United States – Source

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) was founded in 1980 with the purpose of establishing a dialogue between the history of a people and their settlement in the United States. More than 160 years of history to explore through MOCA’s exhibitions and cultural programs.  This museum fulfills the great objective of making Chinese culture accessible to everyone. The MOCA is a very interesting museum and will leave you with a pleasant experience in your life.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

The ideal ice-cream parlour to try ice creams with exotic flavors. The Chinatown Ice Factory is an emblem of Chinatown that hundreds of people go to every day.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory – Source

For over four decades this ice cream shop has been a point of reference in Chinatown and probably because you won’t find ice cream with exotic flavors like ginger ice cream, egg, black sesame, Thai iced tea and many more flavors that you probably didn’t even know existed.

It is a pretty interesting place, perfect for shopping for ice cream and refreshing your body. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory only receives cash, if you want to know more about the ice cream shop we share their website

Canal Street

Finally, we must mention one of the places where you will really feel the Chinese culture of everyday life, the popular Canal Street. This street is very famous for its markets, shops and crowds.

In Canal Street there are countless shops where you can find shoes, clothes, souvenirs, perfumes, electronics and much more. If you’re looking for something you are sure to find in this street. Something very particular about Canal Street is that it is an area where you will test your skills as a merchant and it is very common to ask for a discount when you buy something, this is great because they will never say no, but you will enter into a friendly dispute to make the best deal for both parties.

Canal Street – Source

Without a doubt this street is not for everyone, because it is a street full of people and a lot of hustle and bustle, but this can be fascinating and perhaps the best way to have a close contact with Chinese culture.

Keep in mind that you can find original products such as imitations on Canal Street, so you should be careful not to feel disappointed or cheated after making your purchase.