The world’s best Chinatowns that aren’t in China

Posted by - August 1, 2018

MOST METROPOLITAN destinations in the world host little cultural enclaves such as Little India, Koreatown, Vietnamese suburb, Japantown, and perhaps the most popular town of the kind, Chinatown.
Whether you’re in Cuba or San Francisco, the concept of a Chinatown is the same across the board: an ethnic enclave of Chinese people located outside of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan.
It’s often a unifying factor for the Chinese in the area, offering Chinese-themed shopping centers and markets, Cantonese restaurants and cafes, decorated in giddying lanterns and flashing lights, and is often the place to be to celebrate festivities such as Chinese New Year.
The heart of heritage: A glimpse of Bangkok’s Chinatown If you’re Chinese, no matter where you are, a Chinatown will make you feel right at home. And for travelers, a Chinatown is simply a taste of China.
Chinatowns are usually found in an urban setting, so don’t expect peace and quiet if you plan to take a stroll down the cramped streets. Do, however, enjoy being in between all the action in the old and the new, as tradition and modernity blend together to become one.
Here are some of the world’s best Chinatowns that aren’t in China:
Manila, The Philippines Located in the Binondo district of Manila, the Philippines’ Chinatown has influence that extends beyond Quiapo, Santa Cruz, San Nicolas.
Considered the world’s oldest Chinatown, it was established in 1594 by Spaniards as a settlement near Intramuros for the Catholic Chinese.
Source: Shutterstock.
Aside from its Filipino-Chinese businesses, Binondo is also famous for The Umbrella Alley where street food is aplenty and historical sites such as the Seng Guan Temple and the Kuang Kong Temple.
Niu Che Shui, Singapore Niu Che Shui, which means “ox”, “cart”, and “water”, Singapore’s Chinatown was once an enclave for the island city-state’s immigrant population.
Today, Niu Che Shui is a sharp but pleasing contrast to the high-rise buildings that surround the area and is heavily visited by both locals and tourists.
Source: Shutterstock.
From its historic ornate Chinese and Buddhist temples to the traditional medicinal halls to the bustling street market and food streets, as well as the hip new watering holes and lifestyle shops, there’s never a dull moment here.
Bangkok, Thailand The sights, sounds, and smells of Yaowarat area will be an assault on any visitor’s senses but in all the best ways.
Get ready for an adventure when you stroll down many of Thailand’s Chinatown in Bangkok and sample the treats from its street food vendors, while occasionally whipping out your camera to take shots for the ‘gram.
Source: Shutterstock.
Yaowarat’s fascinating mix of Chinese and Thai cultures sets it apart from other Chinatowns in the world and it’s not an experience that you should miss.
Kolkata, India Located in the eastern part of Kolkata, Tiretta Bazaar was established in the early 19th century and was once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese Indian nationals.
Today, the area is still very much loved, dotted with Chinese restaurants that offer traditional Chinese cuisine and Indian-influenced Chinese food.
Source: Shutterstock.
During Chinese New Year, throngs of Chinese Indians flock to Tiretta Bazaar to celebrate and also to witness the lion dance performances that continue to be held every year.
Yokohama, Japan Located in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, the Yokohama Chinatown has a history that spans about 150 years long and a population of about 3,000 to 4,000 Chinese people.
Established not long after Tokyo opened its port to foreign trade in 1859, it’s the largest Chinatown in Japan and also in Asia, and one of the largest in the world.
Source: Shutterstock.
Yokohama Chinatown is home to over 200 restaurants serving Japan-influence Chinese cuisine, an eight-story entertainment mall and theme park, Chinese grocery and medicine stores, and two elaborate Chinese temples.
Melbourne, Australia In Australia, the Chinese community is well-represented, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. In fact, Melbourne’s Chinatown is popularly known as the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world and the oldest Chinatown in the southern hemisphere.
It was established upon the arrival of Chinese immigrants during the Victorian gold rush of the early 1850s, a period of extreme prosperity for the Australian colony.
Source: Shutterstock.
Home to many Chinese restaurants, cultural venues, businesses, places of worship, architectural heritage and annual festivals, Melbourne’s Chinatown is a major tourist attraction.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia At the heart of Malaysia where the city never sleeps is a lively and colorful destination with sprawling flea markets, beautiful temples, and quirky art galleries. It has to be Chinatown.
The large covered market is known for its fashion shops selling both must-have items as well as designer rip-offs, handicraft and souvenir stalls, as well as stalls dishing up delectable Chinese food and refreshing beverages.
Source: Shutterstock.
Shopaholics will love haggling for and scoring dirt-cheap steals and deals whilst other travelers shouldn’t miss this mindboggling sightseeing activity.
The post The world’s best Chinatowns that aren’t in China appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Tour Australia via Chris Hemsworth’s Instagram

Posted by - May 24, 2018

WHO BETTER to take you on a tour of the land Down Under than Australian actor and Marvel heartthrob, Chris Hemsworth?
The Thor star has been zipping back and forth between Hollywood and Australia, wielding the Mjolnir for his Avengers: Infinity War promotional activities and then swopping that for a wetsuit on a surf holiday in his homeland with his adorable family.
Are Australia’s kangaroos addicted to fast food? “Growing up in Australia, you can sometimes take it all for granted. But after being away for ten years and coming back, exploring some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen has reminded me how unique and impressive Australia is, and how lucky we are,” Chris Hemsworth said.
From the red sands of the Outback through rugged mountains to serene white beaches and tropical waters, the actor dished out everything that he loves about his home country on his Instagram.
With his 18 million followers, he shared exciting snaps and clips of hanging out in a sprawling vineyard, cuddling koalas, and swimming with dolphins.
A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on Feb 12, 2018 at 3:58am PST
A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on Feb 12, 2018 at 3:45am PST
A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on Feb 9, 2018 at 3:54pm PST
Hemsworth also dropped a bunch of personal photos of himself enjoying quality time with his family against iconic Australian backdrops such as Uluru (or Ayers Rock), the Kimberley, the Whitsundays and The Great Barrier Reef.
In speaking about The Great Barrier Reef, the largest living thing on Earth, Hemsworth said, “The Great Barrier Reef is one of those places you must visit, whether you love the water or just want to see one of the great wonders of the world.”
“We stayed at Hayman Island which was a real highlight… We had an afternoon on Whitehaven Beach which was absolutely stunning. It was the whitest sand and crystal clean water that I’d ever seen, and the Whitsundays is the perfect spot to just unwind and relax.”
It goes without saying that his trips to some of Australia’s best beaches, such as Tallow Beach at Byron Bay and Snapper Rocks at Gold Coast, mean there’s plenty of Hemsworth and his godlike beach bod to show.
A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on Mar 6, 2018 at 2:58am PST
A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on Mar 6, 2018 at 2:52am PST
A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on Mar 7, 2018 at 11:41pm PST
Not that his fans are complaining, of course. After all, he is Thor.
He is also as Australian as they come.
In speaking about how he does beach vacations back home, Hemsworth said, “I’d take a 4×4, fill it with food, fishing rods, diving gear, a tent and surfboards and take off exploring. I prefer to not have a huge plan and just take it as it comes.”
Clearly, you can take the man out of Australia but you can’t take the Australian out of the man.
Why Western Australia is the perfect place for a family getaway Chris Hemsworth is the official global celebrity ambassador for Tourism Australia.
More shots of the beautiful land Down Under can be found on his wife Elsa Pataky’s Instagram.
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South Australia’s best kept secret is hidden in the grape

Posted by - March 6, 2018

South Australia is home to some of Australia’s best hidden secrets. Not only is South Australia the food and wine portal to some of the world’s most incredible flavours, the region also offers stunning unspoiled coastlines and plenty of authentic experiences.
South Australia has seen a transformation over the past few years and with such an exciting selection of things to do, you will be spoilt for choice and the envy of your friends.
Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and a culinary playground where fine dining restaurants, award-winning cafés, bustling food markets and booming boutique bars make your trip one to remember.
The cityscape provides visitors with an eclectic mix of vibrant cuisine, inspired by native and international flavours. From tongue-tingling curries to wholesome yet delicate sashimi, and from fresh seafood to meaty grills, you certainly won’t go hungry.
In the evening, head into the laneways around Adelaide to discover a lively range of small bars serving up a selection of Adelaide’s most exquisite wines, among other delicious drinks.

If your thirst for wine-making knowledge goes further than just sipping while enjoying an evening out in the city, then head up to the Adelaide Hills where the vineyards span further than the eye can see.
Just a short drive from the city, visitors can find the National Wine Centre of Australia, offering the nation’s largest tasting room experience with more than 120 wines to sample.
Wine is something of a theme and a proud tradition in the region, with Penfolds Magill Estate, winners of the ‘World’s Most Admired Wine Brand’ only 15 minutes out of the city.
With many more vineyards and winemakers on the fringes of the bustling city, it is easy to see why Adelaide is known as one the Great Wine Capitals of the World.
South Australia is also renowned for making travelling around the region as simple as can be. While Adelaide and the surrounding hills and vineyards are like sirens calling for you to stay, there is so much to discover just a short distance away.
Why not style your trip with an epicurean theme and fully indulge in the region’s blissful offerings?

Make a stopover at the beautiful and fascinating Eyre Peninsula, where you can admire the Southern Hemisphere’s largest fishing fleet, wade into Coffin Bay to eat fresh oysters off the rack, watch wintering whales and strobing cuttlefish in Fowlers Bay and pick wine to go with your freshly caught fish. Only the brave venture in to swim with sharks and sea lions and fortune favours the brave with these thrilling, bucket-list aquatic experiences!
Eyre Peninsula accounts for 65 percent of Australia’s seafood catch, and with a fine selection of crabs, oysters, tuna, mussels and deep-sea wild catches, you will undoubtedly end up eating your way around the peninsula and sampling a smorgasbord of nature’s generosity.
If you are wanting to dabble in the region’s history and culture while being doted on by inspiring culinary experts, then head to Barossa.
Here you can feast at Maggie Beer’s iconic The Farm Eatery. Known for her heart-melting home style cooking, she is often referred to as Queen of Barossa.
Carry on your journey of cultural gourmet discovery at Hentley Farm where award winning wine meets some of Australia’s finest produce, which promises to take you on a once-in-a-lifetime journey through the region’s fascinating culinary history.
Although South Australia offers an exquisite abundance of culinary delights, there are other activities you can enjoy between all the sipping and savouring, albeit food and wine oriented, too.
Head out on a 32-kilometre bike journey across an old railway line in Clare Valley. Follow the Riesling Trail through vineyards and historic villages.

If you’re looking for something a little less taxing on the legs and something the whole family can do, discover the Fleurieu Peninsula and its picturesque coastal towns lined with independent shops, bakeries and bars.
Fleurieu Peninsula is ideal for self-driving vacations as there is so much to see by the sea – and further inland. You can Swim with the Tuna at Oceanic Victor or go whale watching in the Winter-Spring season at Victor Harbor.
And of course, you can’t visit South Australia without taking a trip the famous d’Arenberg Cube.
The Rubik’s Cube-inspired building can be found at one of South Australia’s most significant wineries, d’Arenberg.
The Osborn family have been making wine on this site since 1912 and the peculiar cube-shaped construction is home to a treat for all the senses.
Each layer has been thoughtfully designed and includes a wine inhalation room, a virtual fermenter, and a 360-degree video room.
These are only a selection of some of the incredible experiences to be had in South Australia. To find out more visit and explore the wonderful range of adventures to be had in this stunning region.
The post South Australia’s best kept secret is hidden in the grape appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Why Western Australia is the perfect place for a family getaway

Posted by - December 13, 2017

WHETHER you are looking for some last-minute winter sunshine, or perhaps just a change of scenery, Western Australia is the perfect place to visit. Get away from the manic stress of Christmas present buying and escape with your family for a week or so.
Western Australia is 2.6 million square kilometers of arid desert, lush bushland and beaches boasting the whitest sand and turquoise waters, while plenty of adventures are just waiting to be discovered.
Western Australia prides itself on being one the most diverse regions on the planet, with an abundance of fun activities to be enjoyed. Alongside an essence of romance throughout the region, it is the perfect place to whisk your loved ones off to this winter.
In no particular order, here are five reasons Western Australia should be next on your travel itinerary.
Great Barrier Reef’s successful coral transplant gives hope to other damaged marine eco-systems You can play with friendly dolphins A post shared by 吳京霖 (@genie.wu) on Jul 13, 2016 at 11:25pm PDT
Dolphins are highly intelligent and love playing around in the water – they have even been known to ride the waves to the shore, just for their amusement. At Monkey Mai beach, wild bottlenose dolphins visit the sandy shores to grab a bite to eat from trained conservationists, and then enjoy an occasional belly rub from beachgoers.
Monkey Mai beach is one of the most renowned places in the world for interaction with wild dolphins. Feeding times begin at around 7 am and then again at noon in the designated feeding section of the beach.
If you happen to be in the South West region, a visit to the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury is certainly worth your time. Explore the Digital Dolphinarium and learn everything about dolphins when they approach the shore in warmer months, or go on the Dolphin Eco Cruise to meet these gentle creatures.
Explore the national parks A post shared by Brittney (@brits_n_pieces) on Nov 2, 2017 at 4:28am PDT
Western Australia is home to more than half of the nation’s biodiversity hotspots and several national parks, bursting with flora and fauna. Iconic and Australia-specific animals such as kangaroos and the ‘world’s happiest animal‘ – quokkas – can also be found wandering the burnt orange land, looking for food and shelter.
Get closer to nature at Perth Hill’s John Forest National Park, located just a 45-minute drive from the bustling city center. You can cycle along the old railway tracks, walk through the bush and meander alongside the rivers, taking an occasional dip if you want to cool off.
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Nambung National Park, located in the Coral Coast region has tall limestone spires, jolting out of the ground. The park is located in the Pinnacles Desert and is brilliant for short strolls and wild games of hide-and-seek with the kids.
Western Australia is also home to the Cape Le Grand National Park in the Golden Outback, D’Entrecasteaus National Park down in the South West, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in the South West and Rottnest Island in Perth.
Bask in the sun on the beach A post shared by Jaime (@nomadic_disposition) on Dec 2, 2017 at 3:37pm PST
With an expanse of 12,500 kilometers of coastline, you are sure to find your perfect spot along Western Australia’s shoreline.
The crystal waters that lap at the powdered white sands on Western Australia’s beaches are often accompanied by silky blue skies.
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Perth’s iconic Cottesloe Beach has smooth terraced lawns and majestic Norfolk pines, perfect for a laidback afternoon with the family.
Walpole plays host to a multitude of beaches and camping locations along the Rainbow Coast. Down from Conspicuous Cliff lies Conspicuous Cliff Beach, a popular picnic spot in the summer sunshine. And if you head just a little further up the coast, you will find Mandalay Beach with spectacular views of Chatham Island – if you’re lucky, you might sneak a peak of the shipwreck that washed up in 1911.
Frolic in the sand or indulge in water-based activities such as swimming, snorkeling and surfing at more of Western Australia’s immaculate beaches including Bathers Beach, in Fremantle, Perth; Hameline Bay in the South West; and Middleton Beach in Albany, South West.
This Japanese city is the perfect place for a winter getaway Meet Australia’s native furry friends A post shared by Charlie (@big_poppa_dogfather) on Dec 12, 2017 at 6:13am PST
Australia may be known for its range of dangerous animals, but as our mothers always said: “They’re more scared of you than you are of them.” Western Australia, however, has plenty of cute animals that certainly want to be your friend as much as you want to be theirs.
Caversham Wildlife Park in Swan Valley, a mere 30 minutes’ drive from Perth, is one of the largest collections of Western Australia’s cutest inhabitants. Feed the kangaroos, cuddle with koalas, gawk at wombats and even listen to keeper talks by the park rangers on the weekends.
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Rottnest Island is home to the adorable Quokka, which has been dubbed the happiest mammal in the world as they wear a constant smile and don’t mind humans getting a selfie or two. They are, however, very rare on the mainland, so conservation sanctuaries have been set up for them on this island.
Scrumptious seafood A post shared by TastebuddsWA (@tastebuddswa) on Feb 14, 2017 at 5:41am PST
If you haven’t already guessed it, Western Australia is blessed with the incredible shoreline, which means fresh, flavorful seafood all year round. No matter which city or town you find yourself in along the Western Coastline of Australia, you won’t struggle to find a delicious restaurant to suit the whole family, as Perth itself has more restaurants per capita than any other part of Australia.
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