- Alternative meanings: Chinatown (disambiguation)
A Chinatown is a section containing a large population of Chinese people within a city that is not predominantly Chinese. Chinatowns are most common in Southeast Asia and North America, but growing Chinatowns can be found in Europe and Australia, as well as in São Paulo, Brazil.
Chinatowns were formed in the 19th century in many areas of the United States and Canada as a result of discriminatory land laws that forbade the sale of any land to Chinese or restricted the land sales to a limited geographical area and which promoted the segregation of people of different ethnicities. A Chinatown in a particular city may change its location or disappear over time.
In the past, overcrowded Chinatowns in urban areas were shunned by the general non-Chinese public as ethnic ghettos, and seen as places of vice and cultural insularism where "unassimilable foreigners" congregated. Nowadays, many old and new Chinatowns are considered viable centers of commercialism and tourism; some of them also serve, in various degrees, as centers of multiculturalism (espoused in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom) and "racial harmony" (especially in Malaysia and Singapore).
Quite a number of Chinatowns have a Disneyland-esque atmosphere, while others are actual living and working communities; some are a synthesis of both. Chinatowns also range from rundown ghettoes to sites of recent development. In some, recent investments have revitalized run-down and blighted areas and turned them into centers of vibrant economic and social activity. In some cases this has led to gentrification and a reduction in the specifically Chinese character of the neighborhoods.
Many Chinatowns have a long history, such as Nankinmachi, the nearly three-century old Chinatown in Nagasaki, Japan, or Yaowarat Road in Bangkok, which was founded by Chinese traders more then 200 years ago. Other Chinatowns are much newer: the Chinatown in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. formed in the 1990s. Most Chinatowns grew without any organized plans, while a few (such as the one in Las Vegas and a new one outside the city limits of Seoul, South Korea to be completed by 2005) resulted from deliberate master plans (sometimes as part of redevelopment projects). Indeed, many areas of the world are embracing the development and redevelopment (or regeneration) of Chinatowns, such as in Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. In Ireland and Italy, right-wing ideology and anti-Chinatown sentiments have made efforts at such redevelopment more challenging.
- 1 Names
- 2 Settlement patterns and history of the earliest Chinatowns
- 3 Features
- 3.1 Arches or Paifang
- 3.2 Bilingual signs
- 3.3 Antiquated features
- 3.4 Restaurants
- 3.5 Shops
- 3.6 Benevolent associations
- 3.7 Annual events in Chinatown
- 3.8 Dragon and lion dances
- 4 Social problems in Chinatown
- 5 Chinatowns worldwide
- 6 Chinatown in film, television, and the arts
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 8.1 African Chinatowns
- 8.2 Asian Chinatowns
- 8.3 Latin American Chinatowns
- 8.4 North American Chinatowns
- 8.5 European Chinatowns
- 8.6 Oceanian Chinatowns
- 9 Further reading
In Chinese, Chinatown is usually called in Standard Mandarin Tángrénjiē (唐人街): "Tang people streets". The literal translation of the word is an uncommon term for the Chinese, used here since the Cantonese, who make up a large proportion of immigrants, were only fully brought under imperial control under the Tang dynasty). Indeed, some Chinatowns are just a street, such as the relatively short Fisgard Street in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada or the sprawling 4-mile long new Chinatown of Bellaire Boulevard in Houston, Texas. In Cantonese, it is Tong yan gai (Tang people street) and the modern Tong yan fau (唐人埠), which literally means Tang people town or more accurately, Chinese town (in the subdialect, Hong yin fau is used in Taishanese, the once prevalent spoken Chinese tongue in North American Chinatowns). It is Tong ngin gai in Hakka, one of the widely spoken and diffused dialects among overseas Chinese. Tang and Tong refer to the Tang Dynasty, an era in Chinese history.
A more modern Chinese name is Huábù (華埠: Chinese City), used in the semi-official Chinese translations of some cities' documents and signs. Bù, pronounced sometimes as fù, usually means seaport; but in this sense, it means city or town. The literal word-to-word translation of Chinatown is Zhōngguó Chéng (中國城), occasionally used in Chinese writing.
In Francophone regions (such as France and Quebec), Chinatown is often referred to as le quartier Chinois (the Chinese Quarter; plural: les quartiers Chinois) and the Spanish-language term is usually el barrio chino (the Chinese neighborhood; plural: los barrios chinos), used in Spain and Latin America. (However, barrio chino or its Catalan cognate barri xines do not always refer to a Chinese neighborhood: these are also common terms for a disreputable district with drugs and prostitution, and often no connection to the Chinese.) Other countries also have idiosyncratic names for Chinatown in local languages and in Chinese; however, some local terms may not necessarily translate as Chinatown. For example, Singapore's tourist-centric Chinatown is called in local Singaporean Mandarin Niúchēshǔi (牛车水), which literally means "Ox-cart water" from the Malay 'Kereta Ayer' in reference to the water carts that used to ply the area. Some languages have adopted the English-language term, such as Dutch, German, and Bahasa Malaysia.
Several alternate English names for Chinatown include China Town (generally used in British and Australian English), Chinese District, Chinese Quarter and China Alley (an antiquated term used primarily in several rural towns in the western United States for a Chinese community; these are now historical sites).
Settlement patterns and history of the earliest Chinatowns
Emigration from China to other parts of the world really took off in the 1860s with the enactment of the Treaty of Peking, which opened the border for free movement. The early immigrants came primarily from coastal province of Guangdong and Fujian (Fukien) — where Cantonese, Min Nan (Hokkien), Hakka, and Chaozhou (Teochew, Chiu Chow) are largely spoken — in southeastern China. Initially, the Qing government of China did not care for these migrants leaving the country. Taishanese and Cantonese settled in the first North American Chinatowns. As a dominant group, the Cantonese are linguistically and ethnically distinct from other groups in China; Cantonese remained the dominant language and heritage of many Chinatowns in Western countries until the 1970s.
The Hokkien and Teochew (both groups speaking the Minnan sub-group of Chinese dialects), along with Cantonese are the dominant group in Southeast Asian Chinatowns. The Hakka groups established Chinatowns in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Northern Chinese settled in Korea in the 1940s. In Europe, early Chinese were seamen and longshoremen; Chinatowns were established in European port cities as Chinese traders settled in the area. France received the largest settlement of the early Chinese immigrant laborers. Chinatowns are also found in the Indian cities of Calcutta and Bombay.
By the late 1970s, the Vietnam War also played a significant part in the development and redevelopment of various Chinatowns in developed Western countries. As a result, many Chinatowns have become pan-Asian business districts and residential neighborhoods. By contrast, most Chinatowns in the past were solely inhabited by Chinese from southeastern China.
Yaowarat Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Chinatown is located in one of the oldest areas in Bangkok. See Yaowarat Road.
Shinchimachi, Nagasaki, Japan
With the overthrow of the Ming Dynasty by the Qing in the late 17th century, some Chinese fled to Japan and formed a Chinatown community in Nagasaki before the start of the 18th century, making it (along with the Binondo district of Manila of the Philippines) one of the earliest Chinatowns to be established. Under the isolationalist policies of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan, Chinese and Dutch traders and settlers were confined to Nagasaki. Trade was subsequenttly resumed with China and Shinchimachi became a trading hub. Shinchimachi has long been the ethnic Chinese cultural and commercial center in Japan.
Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
In the early 18th century, Chinese settlers established Chinatowns mainly in Southeast Asia, including the Cholon district of the former Saigon, Vietnam. Cholon was heavily fortified by Chinese to protect against frequent harassment by Tay Son loyalists. It remains largely a bustling Cantonese-speaking enclave.
Chinatown, San Francisco, California, United States
As a port city, San Francisco's Chinatown formed in the 1850s and served as a gateway for incoming immigrants who arrived during the California gold rush and construction of the transcontinental railroads of the wild western United States. Chinatown was later reconceptualized as a tourist attraction in the 1910s. Once a community of predominantly Taishanese Chinese-speaking inhabitants, it has remained the preeminent Chinese center in the United States.
Chinatown, London, United Kingdom
London's original Chinatown was established in the Limehouse district in the late 19th century as Chinese seamen established themselves in the city. Limehouse would become synonymous with Chinese residents. Its reputation has come to define Chinatowns as exotic and dangerous with opium dens and gambling dens (called fan tans) as well as places where white girls disappeared mysteriously. Chinatown served as the setting for classic British anti-Chinese literature such as villainous Dr. Fu Manchu as well as a setting for one Sherlock Holmes story. Limehouse was destroyed during the blitz of London by the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Another Chinatown was established in the Soho district in the 1950s and 1960s.
The features described below are characteristic of most Chinatowns. In some cases, however, they may only apply to Chinatowns in Western countries, such as those in North America, Australia, and Western Europe. (See also: Chinatown patterns in North America)
Arches or Paifang
Many tourist-destination metropolitan Chinatowns can be easily distinguished by large red arch entrance structures known in Mandarin Chinese as Paifang (sometimes accompanied by mason lion statues called "foo dogs" on the opposite sides of the street that greet visitors). They usually have special inscriptions in Chinese. Historically, these gateways were donated to a particular city as a gift from the Republic of China government and business organizations. Construction of these red arches was also financed by local financial contributions from the Chinatown community. The lengths of these arches generally vary from Chinatown to Chinatown; some span an entire intersection and some are smaller in height and width. Some paifang can be made of wood, masonry, or steel and may incorporate an elaborate or simple design. The popular perception of Chinatown often includes these arches.
Many major metropolitan areas with Chinatowns have bilingual street signs in Chinese and the language of the adopted country. These signs are generally poorly translated by city planners.
Many early Chinatowns were characterized by the large number of Chinese-owned chop suey restaurants (chop suey itself is a Chinese American concoction and therefore is not considered authentic Chinese cuisine), laundry businesses, and opium dens, until around the mid-20th century when most of these businesses began to disappear; though some remain, they are generally seen as anachronisms. In early years of Chinatowns, the opium dens were patronized as a relaxation and to escape the harsh and brutal realities of a non-Chinese society. These businesses no longer exist in many Chinatowns and have been replaced by Chinese grocery stores, more authentic Chinese restaurants, and other establishments.
Chinatowns worldwide are usually popular destinations for various ethnic Chinese and increasingly, other Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese, Thai, and Malaysian. Some Chinatowns such as Singapore have their localized style of Chinese cuisine. Restaurants serve many Chinatowns both as a major economic component and social gathering places. Many adjacent tourist-centric businesses rely on restaurants to bring in the customers, whether or not of Chinese descent. In the Chinatowns in the western countries, restaurant work may be the only type of employment available for poorer immigrants, especially those who cannot converse fluently in the language of the adopted country. Most Chinatowns generally have a range of authentic and touristy restaurants.
San Francisco's Chinatown retains many historic restaurants, including those established from the 1910s to the 1950s, although some that lasted for generations have shuttered in recent years and others have modernized their menus. Many Chinatown eateries from that era specialized in Chinese American cuisine (or, depending on where they were located, Chinese Canadian cuisine, Chinese Cuban cuisine, etc.), especially chop suey and chow mein. They often used gaudy neon lighting to attract non-Chinese customers, large red doors, Chinese paper lanterns, and zodiac placemats (perhaps the most enduring of these stereotypical features). Often these restaurants had English-language signs written in a typeface intended to appear stereotypically "Chinese" by being composed of strokes similar to those in hanzi writing. Outside Chinatowns, such faux Chinese restaurants are also found in many areas without a significant Chinese-speaking population.
Generally speaking, restaurants serving authentic Chinese food primarily to immigrant customers have never conformed to these Chinatown stereotypes as much as those aimed at non-Chinese tourists (although some banquet-oriented restaurants do use some of the same features). Because of new ethnic Chinese immigration and the expanded palate of many contemporary cultures, the remaining Chinese American (etc.) restaurants are widely seen as anachronisms. In many Chinatowns, there are now many large, authentic Cantonese seafood restaurants (with egg or spring rolls only served during dim sum hours), restaurants specializing in other forms of Chinese food (Hakka, Szechuan, etc.), and small restaurants with delis.
Chop suey and chow mein eateries
Lit by neon signage, restaurants offering chop suey or chow mein mainly for the benefit for white customers were fairly frequent fixtures in Chinatowns of old. These dishes are offered in standard barbecue restaurants and takeouts.
Cantonese seafood restaurants
Cantonese seafood restaurants (Cantonese: hoy seen jow ga) typically use a large dining room layout, have ornate designs, and specialize in seafood such as expensive Chinese-style lobsters, crabs, prawns, clams, and oysters, all kept live in tanks until preparation. They also offer the delicacy of shark fin soup. Some seafood restaurants may also offer dim sum in the morning through the early afternoon hours. These restaurants are also used for weddings, banquets, and other special events. Owing to their higher prices, they tend to be more common in Chinatowns in developed countries and in affluent Chinese immigrant communities, notably in Australia, Canada, and the United States. There are generally fewer of them in the older Chinatowns; for example, they are practically non-existent in Vancouver's Chinatown, but more are found in its suburbs such as Richmond, British Columbia. Competition between these restaurants is often fierce; hence owners of seafood restaurants hire and even "steal" well-rounded chefs, many of whom are from Hong Kong.
Also, Chinese barbecue deli restaurants, called siu lop in Cantonese, are generally low-key and serve less expensive fare such as won ton noodles (or won ton mein), chow fun, and rice porridge or jook in Cantonese Chinese. They also tend to have displays of whole pre-cooked roasted ducks and pigs hanging on their windows, a common feature in most Chinatowns worldwide. These delis also serve barbecue pork (cha sui), chicken feet and other Chinese-style items less welcome to the typical Western palate. Food is usually intended for take-out (British: takeaway). Some of these Chinatown restaurants sometimes have the reputation of being "greasy spoons". Nonetheless, with their low prices, they are still generally patronized by hungry Chinese and other ethnic customers on a budget. One of the older and better-known of these is the multi-story Sam Wo Restaurant, on Washington Street and Grant Avenue in San Francisco's Chinatown.
Some small Chinese restaurants in Chinatowns may offer both Chinese American cuisine — for Western customers — and authentic Chinese cuisine for Chinese-speaking customers. According to an interview of Chinese cuisine chef Martin Yan (host of the television program Martin Yan's Chinatown), more and more non-Chinese are becoming acquainted with authentic cuisine.
In integrating with the larger population, Chinese cuisine has evolved. To adapt to local tastes, the best Chinese Mexican-style Cantonese cuisine is said to be found in Mexicali's Chinatown (or La Chinesca in its local Spanish) or the Chinese Peruvian cuisine in the Barrio Chino of Lima.
Vietnamese immigrants, both ethnic Chinese and non-Chinese, have opened restaurants in many Chinatowns, serving Vietnamese phở beef noodle soups and Franco-Vietnamese sandwiches. Some immigrants have also started restaurants serving Teochew Chinese cuisine. Some Chinatowns old and new may also contain several pan-Asian restaurants offering a variety of Asian noodles under one roof.
Most Chinatown businesses are engaged in the import-export and wholesale businesses; hence a large number of trading companies are found in Chinatowns.
Ginseng and herbs
As with the aforementioned Chinese restaurant trade, grocery stores and seafood markets serve an essential function in typical Chinatown economies, and these stores sell the much-needed ingredients to such restaurants. Chinatown grocers and markets are often characterized by sidewalk vegetable and fruit stalls – a quintessential image of Chinatowns – and also sell a variety of grocery items imported from East Asia (chiefly Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea) and Southeast Asia (principally Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia). For example, most Chinatown markets stock items such as sacks of Thai jasmine rice, Chinese chrysanthemum and oolong teas, bottles of oyster sauce, rice vermicelli, Hong Kong soybean beverages, Malaysian snack items, Taiwanese rice crackers, and Japanese seaweed and Chinese specialties such as black duck eggs (often used in rice porridge), bok choy and water chestnuts. These markets may also sell fish (especially tilapia) and other seafood items, which are kept alive and well in aquariums, for Chinese and other Asian cuisine dishes. Until recently, these items generally could not be found outside of the Chinatown enclaves, although since the 1970s Asian supermarkets have proliferated in the suburbs of North America and Australia, competing strongly with the old Chinatown markets.
Religious and funerary supplies
In keeping with Buddhist and Taoist funeral traditions, Chinese specialty shops also sell incense and a variety of funeral items which provide material comfort in the afterlife of the deceased. Shops typically sell specially-crafted replicas of small paper houses, paper radios, paper televisions, paper telephones, paper jewelry, and other material items. They also sell "hell money" currency notes. These items are intended to be burned in a furnace.
These businesses also sell red, wooden Buddhist altars and small statues for worship. Per Chinese custom, an offering of oranges are usually placed in front of the statue in the altar. Some altars are stacked atop each other. These altars may be found in many Chinatown businesses.
Video CD stores
Chinatowns also typically contain small businesses that sell imported VCDs and DVDs of Chinese-language films and karaoke. The VCDs are mainly titles of Hong Kong and PRC films, while there are also VCDs of Japanese anime and occasionally pornography. Often, imported bootleg DVDs and VCDs are sold owing to lax enforcement of copyright laws.
Street merchants selling low-priced vegetables, fruits, clothes, newspapers, and knickknacks are fairly common in most, if not all, Chinatowns. Most of the peddlers tend to be old-timers (Cantonese: lo wah cue).
A major component of many old Chinatowns worldwide is the family benevolent association. These associations generally provide social support, religious services, death benefits (members' names in Chinese are generally enshrined on tablets and posted on walls), meals, and recreational activities for ethnic Chinese, especially for older Chinese migrants. Membership in these associations can be based on members sharing a common Chinese surname, spoken Chinese dialect, specific region or country of origin, and so on. Many have their own facilities. Some examples include San Francisco's prominent Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (中華總會館), aka Chinese Six Companies, and Los Angeles's Southern California Teochew Association. The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association is among the largest umbrella groups of benevolent associations in the North America; Paris has a similar institution in the Association des Résidents en France d'origine indochinoise.
Annual events in Chinatown
Most Chinatowns the world over present Chinese New Year (or also known as Lunar New Year) festivities with ubiquitous dragon and lion dances accompanied by the clashing of cymbals, by pounding of drums, and by ear-splittingly loud Chinese firecrackers, set off especially in front of ethnic Chinese storefronts, where the "dragon" attempts to reach for a lettuce or catch an orange. Storekeepers usually donate some money to the performers. In addition, some streets of Chinatowns are usually closed off for parades, Chinese acrobatics and martial arts demonstrations, street festivals, and carnival rides — this is dependent on the promoters or organizers of the events. Other festivals may also be held in a parking lot/car park, local park, or school grounds within Chinatown. These events are popular with the local ethnic community and also to non-Chinese gawkers.
Dragon and lion dances
Dragon and lion dances are performed in Chinatown every Chinese New Year. They are also performed to celebrate a grand opening of a new Chinatown business, such as a restaurant or bank. In Chinatowns of Western countries, the performers of dragon and lion dances in Chinatown are not necessarily all ethnic Chinese.
Ceremonial wreaths are also usually placed in front of new Chinatown businesses by well-wishers, to assure future success.
Social problems in Chinatown
Main Article: Social problems in Chinatown
Overcoming an earlier reputation of being dirty slums, Chinatowns currently enjoy the rewards of attracting tourists with Asian cuisine and culture. However the economic success brings with it Asian organized crime with rival gangs competing for new lucrative opportunities in extortion, people smuggling, gambling, prostitution and drug trafficking. This has led to high profile shoot-outs where innocent bystanders and police have been killed. Although some Chinatowns have experienced recent growth and success, many others are facing the difficult challenges of decay and abandonment. This has led some to fear that redevelopment initiatives will erase struggling Chinatowns completely. In 2003, along with these social problems, SARS hit Chinese Canadians' and Chinese Americans' core tourist businesses the hardest, as tourists and local residents became reluctant to risk infection, a fear rooted in racism.
Chinatowns are most common in North America, Asia, Australia and Europe, but are common across much of the globe. Immigration patterns determine the economic, political and social character of individual Chinatowns, as do their intranational locations (urban, suburban or rural). Most Chinatowns grow organically but some countries have taken to building and promoting Chinatowns within their bigger cities.
Chinatown in film, television, and the arts
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986), movie, San Francisco, Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall
- Bird on a Wire (1990), movie, Victoria Chinatown, Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn
- Blade Runner (1982), movie, Los Angeles Chinatown of 2019, Harrison Ford, Sean Young
- Chinatown (1974), movie, Los Angeles, Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway
- Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993), movie, San Francisco
- Driver, video game, San Francisco Chinatown
- Flower Drum Song, musical, San Francisco
- Gideon Oliver: Tongs, movie, Manhattan
- Golden Gate (1994), movie, San Francisco, Matt Dillon and Joan Chen
- Hawaii Five-O (1978), TV series, "A Death in the Family" episode. Honolulu Chinatown
- Jackie Chan's First Strike (1996), movie, Brisbane (Australia) Chinatown, Jackie Chan
- Jade (1995), movie, San Francisco, with David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino
- The Joy Luck Club (1988), novel by Amy Tan; (1992), movie
- Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity (2002), movie, Vancouver
- Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), movie, Los Angeles
- Mr. Nice Guy (1997), movie, Melbourne (Australia) Chinatown, Jackie Chan
- Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939), movie, Boris Karloff
- Mr. Wong in Phantom of Chinatown (1940), Boris Karloff
- Now Chinatown (2000), independent movie, Los Angeles Chinatown
- Reading Rainbow (1980), educational series, "Liang & the Magic Paintbrush" episode. Manhattan Chinatown.
- Romeo Must Die (2000), movie, San Franciso Chinatown but filmed in part in Vancouver, Canada, Jet Li and Aaliyah
- Rush Hour (1998), movie, Los Angeles Chinatown, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker
- The Corruptor (1999), movie, set in Manhattan Chinatown but filmed in Toronto Chinatown, Chow Yun-Fat and Mark Wahlberg
- The Game (1997), movie, San Francisco, Michael Douglas and Sean Penn
- The X-Files (1996), TV series, "Hell Money" episode. Filmed in Vancouver Chinatown, set in San Francisco but appears less hilly!
- The Incredible Hulk (1981), TV series, "East Winds" episode.
- Time Machine: Chinatown: Strangers in a Strange Land (2000), TV documentary, The History Channel
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), movie, Pierce Brosnan, motorcycle chase scene supposedly set in Ho Chi Minh City's Cholon district (Vietnam) but actually filmed in Bangkok's Yaowarat (Thailand).
- Year of the Dragon (1985), movie, Manhattan Chinatown, Mickey Rourke.
- Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (2004), TV Series, one episode set in Manhattan Chinatown dealing with the issue of immigrant smuggling.
- Martin Yan's Chinatowns (2002-2004), TV cooking show on Food Network Canada, shows multiple worldwide Chinatowns and their various Chinese cuisine
- High School High (1996), movie, John Lovitz, Los Angeles Chinatown
- Entrapment (1999), movie, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones, a scene filmed in Chinatown of Malacca, Malaysia
- Sucker Free City (2004), movie (Spike Lee), set and filmed on-location in San Francisco's Chinatown, a vignette dealing with a teenage Chinatown racketeer and selling of pirated gangsta rap CDs in Chinatown
- Charmed (1998), TV series, Dead Man Dating episode, San Francisco's Chinatown
- China Girl (1987) movie, filmed in NYC Chinatown
- Asian supermarket
- Chinatown bus
- HongCouver, a somewhat derogatory term referring to Vancouver's large Chinese population
- Little Saigon
- List of U.S. cities with large Chinese American populations
- List of cities with large Chinese Canadian populations
- List of named ethnic enclaves in North American cities
- Overseas Chinese
- Sunset Park, home to "Brooklyn Chinatown"
- linkchinatown.com - free online classifieds service for local chinese community in Chinatown in major cities across the world, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York city, Washington DC, Chicago, London, Rome, Berlin, Toronto, Syndey, Singapore, and more. Not a spam, let chinese people help chinese people.
- Yamashita's Web Site - Pictures of Chinatowns worldwide.
- Welcome to Hakka Community - Twilight descends on Calcutta's Chinatown
- Singapore's Chinatown
- The Chinatown of Malacca, Malaysia
- Chinatown in Incheon, South Korea
- Bangkok Chinatown
- Calcutta's Chinese Puja
- Chee Cheong Kai, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Bombay/Mumbai, India
Latin American Chinatowns
North American Chinatowns
- CBC News - Indepth: Chinese Migrants - History of Chinese immigration in Canada
- Chinatown Vancouver Online - British Columbia, Canada
- Historic (Toronto) Chinatown desperately seeking revival
- Sino-Vietnamese: Chinese sub-ethnic relations in Toronto’s Chinatown West District - Academic paper about the Chinese Vietnamese in Toronto's Chinatown (PDF file).
- Edmonton Chinatown Multicultural Centre
- Calgary's Chinatown
- Montreal Chinatown
- Ottawa Chinatown - Somerset Heights
- Winnipeg Chinatown
- Victoria Chinatown
- Library of Congress: The Chinese in California, 1850-1925
- San Francisco Chinatown - learn about history, points of interest and more
- The Chinese in Plumas County (California) - Several examples of early rural Chinatowns in Northern California.
- Homepage for Chinatown, Los Angeles, USA
- The Chinese Beverly Hills - Asian Week article on the first Chinese American suburban community of Monterey Park, California, USA (Greater Los Angeles area).
- Where the action is - Los Angeles Times article on the suburban Chinese business district of San Gabriel, California, USA (Greater Los Angeles area).
- Urban Cultural Playground: Art, Hollywood, and the Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown - from a communist-leaning perspective
- Oakland Chinatown
- Chinatown Renaissance Project - Sacramento, California
Other Western U.S.
- Seattle Chinatown / International District
- Las Vegas Chinatown Plaza
- Article: Asian-themed centers quickly dotting the desert in Las Vegas - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Chinese Cultural Center - A Chinatown-themed shopping center located in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
- Houston Chinatown
- Dallas Chinatown
- Denver Chinatown
- Oklahoma City Chinatown / Asia District
- Portland Chinatown
- Deadwood, South Dakota excavations - Remains of an old Chinatown
- Remembering Butte's Chinatown
- Celebrating the New Year in Salt Lake's Chinatown
- History of Plum Alley, Salt Lake's Chinatown - KUED 7: Utah: The Chinese Experience
- Denver Chinatown/Hop Alley: Chinese were the victim of lynching in America
- NYC Chinatown
- Washington DC Chinatown
- Washington DC Chinatown
- A Journey through Chinatown in New York City
- Philadelphia Chinatown
- Pittsburgh's Forgotten Chinatown
- Inn to the past: Downtown Cantonese restaurant points back to Pittsburgh's vanished Chinatown
- Atlanta Chinatown
- Charlotte Asian Corner Mall - Charlotte's Chinatown
- Miami Chinatown
- New Orleans Chinatown
- Chicago Chinatown
- A growing and energized Chinese community is developing plans for a new Cleveland Chinatown
- When Newark Had A Chinatown - A project researching the hidden history of a former Chinatown of a large American city, Newark, New Jersey
- Constructing New York's Chinatown: The Urban Development of a Neighbourhood
- Chinatown Boston: Past, Present, and Future
- Baltimore Chinatown Project
- Yan Can Eat: An Interview with Martin Yan
- Detroit's Lost Chinatown
- Tampa Chinatown - A culture takes root in Tampa
- Charlotte Chinatown
- Pittsburgh Chinatown
- Lists of Chinatown bus lines available in United States
- Fung Wah Bus: NYC - Boston Shuttle Bus
- Urban Legends and Folklore: SARS Infects Restaurant Workers in Asian Neighborhoods - Lists Chinatown SARS hoaxes that were distributed online.
- "Barrio chino" at the RAE dictionary (in Spanish).
- Chinatown für vietnamesische Händler (Chinatown for Vietnamese merchants) - Die Tageszeitung (The Daily Paper) article about the potential development of Berlin's (Germany) future "Chinatown" or "Asiatown" (German-language).
- Chinatown Online: British Chinatowns
- Manchester Chinatown (United Kingdom) - BBC site
- Daniel Williams, Chinatown Is a Hard Sell in Italy Washington Post Foreign Service, March 1, 2004; Page A11
- Bienvenue à Chinatownfrance (Paris Chinatown)
- Chinatown - Red Light District - Red Light District - Amsterdam Hip Guide
- Paolo Sarpi (Milan Chinatown)
- CNN.com - Triad turf war in Sydney's (Australia) Chinatown
- Guide to Chinatown, Sydney, Australia
- Eastern promise spread to the suburbs - The Sydney Morning Herald article on the rise of suburban Chinatowns in Australia.
- Melbourne Chinatown
- Sons of the Yellow Emperor: A History of the Chinese Diaspora (1994) by Lynn Pan. Book with detailed histories of Chinese diaspora communities (Chinatowns) from San Francisco, Honolulu, Bangkok, Manila, Johannesburg, Sydney, London, Lima, etc.
- Chinatown: Conflicting Images, Contested Terrain, K. Scott Wong, Melus (Vol. 20, Issue 1), 1995. Scholarly work discussing the negative perceptions and imagery of old Chinatowns.