New York City’s Chinatown—the largest Chinatown in the United States and the site of the largest concentration of Chinese people in the western hemisphere—is located on the lower east side of Manhattan. Its two square miles are loosely bounded by Kenmore and Delancey streets on the north, East and Worth streets on the south, Allen Street on the east, and Broadway on the west. With a population estimated between 70,000 and 150,000, Chinatown is the favored destination point for Chinese immigrants, though in recent years the neighborhood has also become home to Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Burmese, Vietnamese, and Filipinos, among others.
With its unique mix of different Asian cultures and a variety of fun attractions, including Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Malaysian, and mini shopping centers with affordable prices selling interesting cultural goods, Chinatown has became a popular site for tourists everywhere.
Canal Street is the main spine of Chinatown, that separates the neighborhood from Little Italy. It also forms the northern boundary of the Tribeca neighborhood and the southern boundary of SoHo. It is a bustling commercial district, crowded with low-rent open storefronts and street vendors. Tourists as well as locals pack the Canal Street sidewalks every day to shop for imitation perfume, purses, and watches. Illegally produced CDs and DVDs are very common, and offered for sale on the Canal Street sidewalks in makeshift stands and suitcases or simply laid out on bedsheets, often before they are even officially released in stores or the theater. Canal Street is also home to the Chinese jewelry district.
Chinatown is the place where Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes) grew up with her single mom in the movie What a Girl Wants. Don’t forget to take pictures standing in front of Bret and Jemaine’s apartment at 28 Henry Street from the TV series Flight of Conchords. Miranda’s post break-up apartment in Sex and the City: The Movie is located on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side. For other Sex and the City locations, hop on the very popular Sex and the City Hotspots Tour which explores over 50 locations from the TV series and movies.
Numerous other movies and television shows have filmed in Chinatown including American Psycho, The Devil’s Advocate, Year of the Dragon, Crossing Delancey, Falling for Grace, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
With a history so complex and a culture so rich, how can you miss this sightseeing (and shopping!) opportunity?
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.