The Chinatown area of London is located west of the Charing Cross Road, mainly concentrated around Gerrard Street and Lisle Street.
The area was first established in the nineteenth century around the east-end docks at Limehouse. However, during the fifties Chinese immigrants, and with them Chinatown, were attracted to the area by the low rental costs. These communities have remained ever since.
Although the majority of Chinese residents live elsewhere in the city, Chinatown has remained a close community and working environment. The area has many Chinese restaurants and shops selling produce and materials from the east. The New Loon Fung supermarket is a hive of activity on a Saturday afternoon selling produce such as Chrysanthemum tea, ginger and spinach noodles. Prices are marked in Cantonese.
Chinatown also has a branch of the Hong Kong Bank, Ying Hwa book store and Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The entrance to Chinatown is marked with oriental gates on Gerrard Street and also has telephone boxes disguised as pagodas!
Visiting Chinatown in late January will give you the chance to see the Chinese New Year celebrations with traditional dancing dragons and parties in the streets.