Exploring San Francisco's Chinatown
The part of San Francisco is full of history and mystery. It is a small area of the city packed full of people many from families from the original immigrants who came over from China by the thousands to seek their fortune in the gold rush. They helped shape the San Francisco that exists today and it is a fascinating neighborhood to explore.

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Wander Through Chinatown

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San Francisco lays claim to the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. A walk through the busy neighborhood bombards the senses with vibrant colors, fragrant smells, and loud chattering. Start your tour at the imposing Chinatown gates guarded by a pair of stone dragons. From there, get lost amid the crimson street lanterns, Mandarin characters, and constant hustle and bustle. Cheap trinket and souvenir stores abound, but you can also find traditional pastries, inexpensive fruits and vegetables, and tea and herb shops. Wander down Ross Alley and pop into the small Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory for a look at how the ubiquitous folded treats are made. You may even get to sample the final result.

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by Lara Takenaga
AFAR Contributor
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