Chinatown San Francisco
Chinatown gate San Francisco

The Allure of the Far East: San Francisco's Chinatown

The largest Chinatown outside Asia beckons just outside our doors. The Chinatown gate, located at Grant Avenue and Bush Street, is one of the most photographed sights in San Francisco - but you'll also want to preserve the memory of the great things you find inside.

Along with dozens of gift shops, where you can buy everything from silk scarves to porcelain jewelry, there are herbal-remedy parlors with huge selections of teas for every taste.

Landmark buildings blend in with the exotic sights and sounds, and are worth a second look. The Sing Chong Building, at 601 Grant Avenue, was one of the first structures rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake. And Bank of America, at 701 Grant Avenue, is brilliantly decorated with gold dragons on its front columns and doors, and has some 60 dragon medallions on its façade.

As you walk its hilly streets, it's not uncommon to hear a street musician playing zither or smell delicious dim sum wafting from a restaurant.

It's all a feast for the senses.