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Chinatown London

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Chinatown is a district in central London, England. It originated in the 18th century as a small group of Chinese people settled in an area straddling the present-day Gerrard Street and Leman Street. Chinatown is one of the oldest areas of London and has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

It is located within the City of London and forms part of the East End. The word "Chinatown, London" is often used as a metonym to refer collectively to the many towns, villages, and suburbs throughout the world with high concentrations of people hailing from or having significant links with one particular country.

The earliest evidence of Chinese people in London dates to the 17th century, when they started coming in numbers from their various embassies and trade posts as part of Britain's East India Company.

The first Chinese person recorded in London was Yee Whye, who arrived in 1640 aboard the "Fortune". By 1657, there were a dozen or so Chinese people in London.

In this article, we discuss 6 interesting things you need to know about Chinatown in London.

Interesting to Know

Where is Chinatown in London?

The Chinatown in London is a popular place for tourists to visit. It is located in the heart of London's East End and has been there for centuries. It was established in the 18th century, when it became a refuge for people fleeing persecution from China and was never moved. 

The many different cultures in the area have created a richly culturally diverse community that is understandably popular with tourists. There are plenty of Asian restaurants, shops and markets to explore, making it one of the most ethnically diverse places in London. Chinatown has a very long history and was founded on 16th September 1730.

What to do in Chinatown London

When in Chinatown in London, you should visit the many stalls on the streets. You'll find everything from freshly made noodles to traditional Chinese pastries and cured meats. The most famous of the soups if you stay in the city is a beef noodle soup known as 'Lap cheong' or 'Lam ji' (Cantonese pronunciation: lāp chēng).

If you would like to drink tea, it is highly recommended that you visit a teahouse. You will be served a small cup of tea that is brewed in a traditional way with flowers and leaves.

Best places in Chinatown include:

- The Wapping Project - A community art space and gallery featuring exhibitions and events.

- The Old China Hand - A small café with a range of Chinese food.

- Chinatown Brasserie - A great place to try traditional Cantonese cuisine.

And many others…

Where to eat 

The best restaurants in London Chinatown are the ones that offer a great variety of dishes from China. You can find everything from Chinese noodles to Peking duck and dim sum dishes.

Chinatown is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in London. It is home to many different ethnicities and cuisines, including Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine.

 The restaurants in London Chinatown range from good local eateries to luxurious dining experiences.

Some of the best restaurants in London Chinatown are: 

  1. Alley Cat Café- A great café that offers traditional Asian dishes, including rice and noodle dishes. They offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The prices are also very affordable. 
  2. Clay Pot Café - An all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant with a friendly atmosphere, Clay Pot Café is a popular spot in Chinatown for those seeking some good Chinese food at reasonable prices. The prices are a little higher than the average, but the quality of food remains high. 
  3. Go Sushi - A sushi restaurant that offers Japanese dishes and sushi, as well as some other more Western-style options. They offer vegetarian and vegan options in their dishes. The space is modern, with a wide variety of tables to choose from for eating in or takeout orders.
  4. Nam Kee Noodle House - A traditional Chinese restaurant that offers noodles, rice and dishes made with fresh ingredients. The prices are also a little higher than the average, but the quality of food remains high.

What to see in Chinatown London

There are many things to see in Chinatown London, but the most popular areas are the Chinese markets, shopping districts and restaurants.

There are many different types of stores in Chinatown London. Here is a list of some of them: 

  1. Chinese markets: There are two main markets in Chinatown: The Golden Market and the Temple Street Night Market. The Golden Market is more popular with tourists while the Temple Street Night Market is more authentic.
  2. Shopping districts: There are many shopping districts to choose from, such as Lisle Street and Pedder Street. They have a variety of shops and food vendors that will make you want to spend all day there!
  3. Restaurants: You can find many different types of restaurants here including traditional Chinese cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, Thai cuisine and fusion restaurants. 

A perfect place for leisure is Chinatown Gardens. The gardens are loved by the locals and tourists from England and you can spend your time by playing tennis, basketball, or football.

 There is an ice rink for ice skating, a cinema for relaxing after work or a big screen if you want to watch the sport in action.

How to get to Chinatown London

The Chinatown in London is located on the eastern side of the city. It's not easy to get to Chinatown London. You have to go through a lot of steps and arrangements before you can reach there. But, if you know how to use the internet and apps efficiently, then it will be quick and easy for you.

If you are planning on visiting Chinatown London, the first thing that you should do is to download the app named "GOOGLE MAPS". Once you have downloaded it, you can start planning your route.

From Heathrow Airport, your best option is going to be the tube station Tower Hill. It will take approximately 45 minutes from Heathrow Airport to the London Chinatown.

The next thing that you should do is to make sure that you already have the transport tickets. You will also need to make sure that your passport and ID card are available in order to enter the place where Chinatown London exists. It is also important for you to know that, for your activity to be successful and fun, you will need to allot at least two hours.

Where to park 

Where to park in Chinatown in London? There are a lot of parking lots in the area, but it can get tricky to figure out which one is the best.

The first thing you should do is find out where you are going. If you are going for a specific event or meeting, it would be easier for you to find parking close by. If you just need a place to park for a few hours, then there might be more options available.

If you want to avoid getting ticketed by the London Parking Authority, then make sure that your car has a valid permit and that it's parked legally.

Planning Your Visit

If you're planning to visit Chinatown London, there are a few things that you should know before you go. This guide will help you out with some of the best travel tips for Chinatown London.

  • Stay in the city center by staying at one of the many nearby hotels.
  • Visit Chinatown during off-peak hours so that it is less crowded and more peaceful.
  • Make sure to try some of the traditional British food in Chinatown like fish, chips and curry fries.
  • Don't forget to check out the red lanterns, they are a common sight in this area. .

It is not recommended to spend much time in Chinatown London unless you plan on staying overnight with a friend or family member. The hotels are tiny and while they are cheap, they are hard to find and open rooms and beds are scarce. Chinatown London also gets incredibly crowded during the day.

Good to Know

Chinatown is one of the most fascinating places in London. It is a place that has been around for over 200 years and has seen more than its fair share of changes. Chinatown was originally a small village where Chinese people settled in the 18th century to escape persecution from the British government.

The name ‘Chinatown’ was given to this area because it was located on the edge of London’s financial district and served as a center for trading with China. The 1736 Act of Parliament prohibited the importation of Chinese goods, which led to an increase in crime and insecurity, which forced the Chinese to move closer to the City.

By 1750 they were established on Old Jewry (Tenterden Street) and in 1838 it was renamed ‘Chinatown’ by a newspaper journalist.


Now you know six (6) interesting things about Chinatown London. Not only that, you know how to get there, how to plan your trip and some other interesting facts and history about this beautiful place. When you are in London, consider visiting Trafalgar Square. Check out our article about this iconic destination.

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