California – San Francisco’s Chinatown

California – San Francisco’s Chinatown

My most recent post was about our 2-day hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour of San Francisco. The first stop where we hopped off the double-decker bus was Chinatown. We enjoyed that stop so much that I decided to devote an entire post to it. The bus dropped us off at the Chinatown Gate.

Chinatown Gate

Normally, I would not rank shopping high on my list of favorite vacation activities. We typically don’t buy a lot of souvenirs; our standard souvenir is a Christmas tree ornament that we put on a special travel tree at Christmas. But shopping in Chinatown is different enough to make it fun. There were plenty of kid-friendly shops. Many of them had displays of merchandise out on the sidewalk. My youngest daughter picked out a parasol.

Sidewalk shopping in Chinatown San Francisco

A plethora of colorful trinkets drew us inside the stores.

Trinket shopping in Chinatown

Both girls wanted dresses.

Shopping for clothes in Chinatown

Fan shopping in Chinatown

We saw lots of cute accessories and girl things in the stores. Aren’t those owl purses adorable?

Accessory shopping in Chinatown

And look at this collection of pandas.

Pandas in Chinatown

My Pokemon-loving daughter found an adorable crocheted hat that she just had to have.

Crocheted Pokemon hat in Chinatown

It wasn’t just girl stuff; my nephews found some trinkets they wanted too.  My son appears to have left empty-handed. He’s not an enthusiastic shopper.

Chinatown San Francisco

There were also stores with pretty chandeliers and other home decor.

Shopping in Chinatown

Since we had my little nephews with us, we just admired those stores from the outside.

Chinatown shopping

We also explored the culinary offerings of Chinatown. First, we sipped tea samples in a tea shop. We ended up bringing home some Lychee Oolong Tea. My husband is the only non-tea-drinker in the family. The rest of us regularly enjoy it.

Sampling tea in Chinatown

At lunch time, we stopped at a Dim Sum restaurant. This was the kids’ first time dining this way.

Dim Sum Dining in Chinatown

The waitresses brought around small trays of food and after viewing it, we either accepted or declined, while she tracked what we accepted to compute the final bill. Everyone found something they liked.

Dim Sum lunch in Chinatown

If the restaurants aren’t enough to fill your tummy, we saw bakeries with yummy-looking treats.

Chinatown bakery

Later we stopped for Bubble Tea, also known as Milk Tea. It was a flavored, milky tea served cold with large balls of tapioca in it. The straws were extra wide so that the tapioca balls could fit through them. Many different flavors were offered. Interesting and tasty!

Bubble tea in Chinatown

We strolled along several blocks in Chinatown to the next bus stop on our route. In addition to shopping and dining, we enjoyed the sights and sounds of Chinatown. We enjoyed the street corner musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments.

Street musicians in Chinatown

We also saw men playing some sort of strategy game in a park.

Games in Chinatown

Exploring Chinatown with no itinerary or agenda was a fun and interesting way to spend a few hours before continuing on the rest of our tour of San Francisco. Families with younger children will find a stroller helpful.

San Francisco's Chinatown

For more information about our bus tour of San Francisco, read this post.

This attraction appears in my e-book, How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips.

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