“ Mott Street and surrounding area. Click below for a "photo tour". „
In April of this year I had the great luck to be able to visit New York City as I had never before been my Husband was more than willing to let me know what I needed to see and do while I was there. As he was not going he had a huge list of things for me to do. One of them was to visit China Town and eat at any one of the hundreds of restaurants that are spread over the few blocks that make china town.
So we chose our second day to go to China town and shop and eat. We rode the Subway to get there and when we got off the train and walked up the stairs back above ground it was almost as if we had walked into a totally different time and place. All I could do for a few minutes was stand around and just watch the throngs of people as they went to and fro on their way. Then I noticed how loud it was it seemed that every one was yelling. I was rather quite overwhelmed and at first wanted to turn right back around and go back to my hotel room but my cousin would have none of that. So off we walked looking for a place that was busy I had been told to look for a place that had people eating already because that meant it was good. If no one was there then don't go as it meant that not even the locals would eat there. So that's what we did.
We must have walked past about 20 different places before we settled on this one. We had stopped to read the menu when this lady stuck her head out the door yelled something to us that we could not understand then told us to come in come in as she ducked back in to take care of the customers that were already there I turned to look at the menu one last time when the cook banged on the window and waved us in with his spatula and a big ear to ear grin.
So we went in and were shown a table we sat down and I looked at the lunch specials and picked what I wanted I had a Curry type chicken that was so good. My cousin had sweet and sour chicken with fried rice and mine came with lo-mien so we shared all of it and had a feast. It was the best Chinese food that I have ever had it was well cooked and very hot. So hot that it burnt my mouth the first bite I took.
As I sat waiting for my lunch to cool I was happy to see families with young children come in and get seated right away. I was shocked to see the little lady that was screaming at every one to come in sat a complete stranger at a large table with a group that she was not with but they did have room at the table and the place was packed.
I can not remember how much we paid but I think it was 14.00 dollars with drinks and tip. I just remember being amazed that it was not way more. I went back later for dinner but was sick at the price change. The best time to hit China town and eat is for lunch. They have great prices on lunch specials and you can find them all over the place in china town. It seems that every little place has their own list of specials that they run each week. I only had 4 days in New York City had I been blessed with more time I may have ventured back to china town to explore more of their wonderful little restaurants that seem to line the streets.
I really enjoyed my time in China town but there was one thing that I just could not get over. How dirty it was. It seemed like every thing was run down the paint all had layers and layers of paint over it and there were news papers blowing in the streets. Out of all the parts of New York I did get to see I would have to say that it was really the dirtiest part of the city. I think I just expected it to be as clean and well maintained as the rest of the city due to the fact that it is a tourist attraction.
A visit to China town is a must for any visitor to New York City. It was a great day and I did have a lot of fun. I would love to be able to explore more and perhaps eat more of the wonderful dishes that I could smell when I got off the train and walked up the stairs. I may have been dirty there but it sure did smell like heaven.
I recently visited New York in March 2007 and we decided to take a trip out to chinatown as we had heard that there was great bargains to be found. Chinatown is like a different world you wouldn't think that you are in New York at all. Its very busy and if you don't like lots of people about this is not the place for you. The street are dirty and quite frankly smelt a wee bit. The merchants can be very pushy and are constantly trying to get you to buy their purfumes, handbags, watches etc. This can get quite annoying after an hour or so, as they are constantly in your face asking do you want to buy a watch or handbag and saying that they do the best price!
If you don't like stalls and their atmposphere you won't like here. However the merchants can be very helful as I bought a chinese dress and got alot of help on sizing from the lady who sold it to me. It only cost me $40 and it had beautiful embroidered designs. I also got a D&G (fake) handbag for $20, which was great value as it is a good quality handbag. They sometimes can be too helpful though if you are only browsing! My advice is to haggle and haggle and they will drop their prices, Im not very good at this though! I can guarantee you if you go to one shop and see something you like, the same item will be in the another shop a couple of places down. So you can try a few stalls to get the best price and value for your item. Do be prepared that if you buy alot of things there is little or no-where to sit down with the new goods you have bought.
Personally I liked Chinatown for I loved the buzzing atmosphere and the cheap clothing. It was a very bright and colourful street.I would advise people to see here to enjoy this experience as it is something I definately have not encountered before but in my opinion I wouldn't spend anymore than half a day here!
Orginally posted on Ciao under my username denisekelly40
If you have time after seeing the main attractions in New York, I recommend going to see Chinatown in lower Manhattan. The place is full of atmosphere, tradition and culture. The local residents are used to tourists and pay you little attention as they go about their daily business. This is particularly gratifying as you get a good feel for the hussle and bussle that is New York City. There is a strong market culture in Chinatown, as most of the streets are taken over by street traders. The Chinese love their produce to be fresh so you will often see fish to be sold still alive and swimming in bukets! If you get an oppurtunity to eat there do so. There are an abundance of restaurants and you will get a very good meal at a cheap price. I recommend a place called Wong Kee's. I had a meal in there and it was incredible. The best I've ever had! The local parks in Chinatown are also a sight. You see lots of Chinese playing traditional games and getting very animated about it! Its good to watch but don't peer over thier shoulders otherwise they can get annoyed. Its strange to see as they play these games, they are divided strictly into groups of men and women. One of the many traditions upheld in Chinatown. The only colours you will see a red gold and green, as these are considered lucky by th locals. There is so much to see I couldn't possibly fit it all in! See for yourself if you get chance.
Chinatown is a district in lower Manhattan. It is next door to Little italy and it is easy to do the two districts at once, in fact I would recommend it as one is such a contrast to the other. We walked through Chinatown by night, ther best time to see it because all the neon lights are so bright. There are loads of restaurants and cafes lining the streets and even more little shops and stalls that are open every evening selling all kinds of toys and plastic nik-naks made in Taiwan. The restaurants look interesting and they tout their fresh ingredients on the pavements outside. We decided not to eat in Chinatown when we passed by buckets and buckets of live toads, frogs, eels and terrapins. The terrapins were in a washing up bowl outside a tou shop and I could not decide whether they were being sold as pets or food! A great experience and an amazing culture.
When I visited NYC people told me Chinatown is a must-see so I went. This is a very unique area in Manhattan with completely different culture compared to the rest of NYC. Most people there are Cantonese, I guess. Cause I heard them spoke Cantonese. Some of them (especially older ones) don't speak English at all but had been staying there for years. Imagine living in NYC without English, this is just like a little China of it's own. Since Buddism is the major religion for chinese people, there's a temple (quite large building) in the Chinatown with lots of people coming to worship the Buddha everyday. Along the street are mostly grocery shops and restaurants. Chinese food is very cheap in here. One plate of chicken rice is only 3 or 4 bucks (compared to £3.50 or more in London Chinatown). That's why I had most of my dinners in Chinatown throughout my stay in NYC. Although it is the biggest Chinatown I've seen so far, I find that all Chinatowns (NYC's, London's, Manchester's....) are actually quite the same. In general, it's a nice place to visit, and an excellent place for dining if you love chinese food.
Walk into China Town and it feels like you've visited another continent and another time! Here you will squeeze through streets where the shops spill out onto the pavements.....wonder at the strange medicines and spices on display, admire the fresh produce and fish or the lobsters in the tanks in the restaurants waiting to be chosen for lunch <ugh>....... Chinatown is like another nation inside of Manhattan. The people you are squeezing through the narrow streets with are chinese, and this is the language you will hear being spoken around you. Suddenly you can believe that it's possible to move to Manhattan and live as though you were in Beijing. We visited the museum of chinese life. Try and find out exactly where it is.....(unfortunately i no longer have the guide book which recommended it) because it is well worth a visit and will help you understand the history of the Chinese in Manhattan It's a tiny museum hidden away up a flight of very unprepossessing stairs, but well worth hunting out.It's a real find and somewhere which is genuinely interesting and where you will find yourself engrossed in the history and culture of the people. Even our kids found this museum interesting, and it's small enough not to be able to get too bored! If they need an incentive for afterwards, take then to the Chinatown Ice cream Factory. Situated at 65 Bayard St between Mott and elizabeth St this is not to be missed for the ice cream fan!! In a city of Ben and Jerry's outlets where good ice cream is not hard to find, this is still a refreshing change, and you can choose from all kinds of different delights.......green tea, mango and ginger, coconut, and many many other flavours both strange and familiar. It's not a particularly cheap place to buy ice cream, but you won't forget the experience and you've probably never had such a huge choice. For a total change of scene spend at least an afternoon here and drink in th
e sights and sounds of a totally different way of life.