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Chinese New Year began on 3 February 2011 and marked the start of the current Year of the Rabbit and people form all over the world will be celebrating with the Chinese this week. The bustling atmosphere and finger-licking-good food on offer make Chinatowns worth a visit at any time of year, but we’ve made up a list with the 5 cities around the world that host the craziest parties, the most colorful parades and the best firework shows New Year’s Eve!
With more than 150,000 Chinese-speaking residents, the New York neighborhood is the largest Chinese community outside Asia. Whether it is the exotic sight of whole roasted pigs hanging in butcher-shop windows, the whiff of freshly baked lotus buns or the drawl of phony goods salesmen along Canal St, a stroll down its streets is a truly authentic experience.
Right in the heart of London’s Leicester Sq, but with atmosphere that would transport you miles away (5727 miles, to be precise). Lisle and Gerrard Streets are where the London’s Chinese community and culture are concentrated. although the oriental gates are fake, the narrow streets of this quarter are oozing with life.
Along the narrow streets of this San Francisco’s neighborhood, the Chinese community has grow up fast into a focal point for North American chinese speaking residents. Chinatown is an active realm that continues to develop its customs, languages, places of worship, social clubs, and identity. Immerse yourself in the Asian traditions and lifestyle, filled with herbal shops, temples, pagoda roofs and dragon parades.
Dixon St is the heart and soul of Australia’s biggest Chinatown. The lavishly decorated with bamboo tiles dragon gates open up a narrow, shady pedestrian area with a string of distinctly Asian styled buildings, herb shops, grocery stores and lovely exotic restaurants.
The Chinatown in Toronto is a truly cultural immersion – you could easily forget that you are in the middle of North America and dive into a graphically overloaded sea of foot-reflexology practitioners, lousy digitally accompanied buskers, people sucking on coconuts and traditional medical shops selling ginseng, shriveled squid and dried chilli by the bucketful.