Fish markets, noodle shops, and long games of mahjong in NYC's effervescent Chinatown.

Get lost in Chinatown’s jam-packed labyrinthine streets. As a crowd-pleasing place to explore (despite the smell), Chinatown offers hole-in-the-wall restaurants, open-air fish markets (the source of the smell), and entertaining souvenir shops. Most of the centuries-old apartment buildings in Chinatown are tenement-style, which accounts for this neighborhood’s dense and noisy atmosphere. Centrally located, Chinatown is served by multiple subway lines and borders neighborhoods like Soho and Civic Center.

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On the Map

Chinatown is within Manhattan and bordered by Financial District, South Street Seaport, Little Italy, Lower East Side, Tribeca, Civic Center, Soho, and Nolita

Laguardia Airport: 20 minutes by cab without traffic
JFK Airport: 30 minutes by cab without traffic
Times Square: 19 minutes by subway
Wall Street / Financial District: 16 minutes by subway

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Difficult

Sensory Saturation in NYC's Chinatown

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From specialty spices, vegetables, and candies to exotic meats and mushrooms, street stands in Chinatown offer a range of colorful and surprising products.

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Chinatown's resident fish markets lend the neighborhood an old-world authenticity and a signature scent.

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The neighborhood is also known for its shops and kitschy souvenir stalls.

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Chinatown Cultivates a Tight-Knit Community

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Residents often gather in Chinatown's Columbus Park. The area is a favored hangout, whether to chat, perform, or challenge a friend to a game of intellect.

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A World Away in Downtown New York City

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Chinatown might feel worlds away from NYC, but reminders of your downtown Manhattan location are ever-present.

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Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Kenn Tam

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Kenn Tam is a Canadian photographer living and working in New York City's Manhattan, that specializes in portraits and street photography. And yes, he was that high school year book guy with a 50mm lens for a face.