13 Sep Explore the Mysterious Orient: Visit San Francisco
Despite China’s economic explosion across the world, it remains fairly remote to the international traveler. However, you can still visit its best, well-known representative settlement here in this country. Many guides in San Francisco say that Chinatown is the go-to visit San Francisco destination on their itinerary. Spending the day will surely leave you with a delightful sense of its ancient heritage, venerable social and complex community traditions that are still in effect in this fascinating citadel.
Moreover, if visitors are looking to discover the dramatically unique against their American ways and traditions, this is the place! It’s all fun to make comparisons and taste a different world. Chinatown provides the opportunity and your visit San Francisco tour makes that comparison a fascinating experience.
Known for their decorative entrance gates in China, Chinatown,U.S.A.,carries on the model, with its finely detailed Grant Avenue Gate, as the traditional entrance to China’s easternmost subdivision. Built in 1970, it was placed there to mark the street as the central landmark of the community. 1920 street lamps were sculpted to look like the head of a dragon rendered in gold, adding another traditional element to contribute toward residents’ comfort and visitors’ delight.
Sneak down Ross Alley to pop into a factory to watch some 20,000 fortune cookies being made and sent on their way to restaurants across the country. Two women, with fast hands, plus a conveyor belt get the job done every day. There are other factories that use machines. I’ll bet the hand-mades don’t have that funny little sheen on them . . .
Now it’s time to visit the live markets that grow like mushrooms up and down Stockton Street. Saturday afternoon finds the local folks doing their weeks’ shopping—haggling over pricing and picking out the prime entrées for their family meals. Nowhere else in yourvisit San Franciscotour will you see this little mini-drama. How do they tell which is the best in a pen of squawking chickens or a herd of turtles? It’s quite a show—and free at that.
You can’t leave Chinatown without seeing a Buddhist Temple. On Waverly Place the Tien Hau Temple is the monarch of temples. Built in 1911, gathered within its walls you can see a chronology of rich influences that have developed over the years. The top level, dedicated to the Goddess of Heaven, is almost neon on the outside to announce its presence. It was built as a shelter for the people with the traditional incense-loaded environment for peace and calm to ease the stresses of the day.
Certainly a visit San Francisco tour of Chinatown would not be complete without a visit to one of its authentic restaurants. The restaurant is called Chef Jia’s and offers a range of gourmet plates. Unusual dishes you won’t see in Chinese restaurants elsewhere are cooked daily here and many are served in Chinese households every day—although not with Chef’s magic touch and secret ingredients. But you will be able to say you’ve eaten the genuine article when you’ve finished a delightful meal—with a fortune cookie . . .
It would take a week to explore all the treasures of this lovely community and videophiles would absolutely love the setting and sounds. Good Luck or xìngyùn to you.