Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, marks the start of the lunar year calendar. This year, usher in the dawn of the Year of the Rat in style by jetting off to new and exciting locales. Travelers who can’t fly to China to ring in Chinese New Year 2020, these top Chinatowns in the world are fantastic alternatives for the festivities.
Manila Chinatown, also known as Binondo, is the oldest Chinatown in the world. As the hub of the Filipino-Chinese community, it’s one of the best places in the Philippines to spend the Lunar New Year. This year, the street party will include a Grand Float Parade, musical performances by local artists, and 30-minute fireworks show before midnight.
Besides hosting a rocking street party for Chinese New Year, Binondo is also one of the best places in the country for a food trip. Go on a Manila Chinatown Guided Street Food Tasting Tour via KKday to hit the best spots for food in the area.
Thai and Chinese cultures blend seamlessly in Yaowarat Road in Bangkok, Thailand, a great spot to see golden temples, sample exotic street food, and purchase all sorts of knick-knacks. Explore more areas with the Bangkok Yaowarat Chinatown Night Walking Food Shared Tour, which includes six of the best local delicacies to try.
During Chinese New Year, it comes alive with festivities, most notably the Dragon Parades snaking through the main road. Live acrobats, musicians, and dancers perform under the illuminated lanterns hanging over the streets.
If you happen to be in Japan for Lunar New Year, visit the largest Chinatown in the country: Yokohama Chinatown. Lined with numerous shops selling steamed buns and ramen, it’s an excellent spot for a meal. Book KKday’s Lunar New Year Limited Day Tour, which includes stops at Takachiho Gorge and Takachiho Shrine.
During the new year, hit the streets to see the spectacular China Lion Dance. There will also be an extravagant parade showcasing ethnic clothing, Emperor’s costumes, and lion and dragon dances.
It’s not surprising for Singapore to be one of the best places in the world to spend Chinese New Year. Paint the town red literally and figuratively at Singapore’s Chinatown with an extravagant countdown party featuring live performances, fireworks, and the amazing Festive Street Bazaar.
Even outside the holiday, Singapore’s Chinatown is still worth a visit. Go on the Chinatown Walking Tour via KKday to discover all the little-known gems hidden inside the historic neighborhood.
Located in the Central Business District, Melbourne’s Chinatown has held Chinese New Year celebrations for more than a century and a half. From the historic Chinese Museum to a wonderful array of Chinese restaurants, it’s an exhilarating destination in the Australian city.
Visit the community during the Lunar New Year to witness the Dai Loong Big Dragon Parade. It features one of the world’s biggest dragons, Dai Loong, which needs to be operated by 200 people. Red and gold stalls, live performances, and fireworks make it a dazzling event.
Paris has a lot of famous attractions, but not everyone is aware of the two thriving Chinatowns found in the city, both known as Quartier Chinois. The main one is in the 13th arrondissement, a vibrant neighborhood with shops, restaurants, and a temple.
It’s a unique destination to spend the Chinese holiday. Every year, the City of Love in France holds a glorious celebration for the Chinese New Year with majestic floats, musical and acrobatic performances, and dragon dances. Other special activities include musical numbers and film showings.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Liverpool’s vibrant Chinatown features the tallest ceremonial arch of any Chinatown arch outside of China. It’s a majestic United Kingdom destination located south of the city center, home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe.
Chinatown becomes especially colorful during the Lunar New Year when thousands of Chinese lanterns embellish city streets. Fun performances, firecrackers, charming markets, and dragon, lion, and unicorn parades make the bustling neighborhood even busier.
San Francisco, USA
The oldest Chinatown in the United States is in San Francisco with endless shops, art galleries, teahouses, and more than 300 restaurants. Besides offering the best dim sum around, it’s famous for the iconic Dragon’s Gate on Bush Street, one of the most photographed spots in the city.
The Grand Parade is a highlight of the Lunar New Year celebrations, featuring an impressively long dragon and elaborate floats. Crowds gather to enjoy the sight of dancers and performers light up the street.
Headed to China for the festivities? Get KKday’s China 4G LTE Portable Travel Wi-Fi and enjoy pick-up at the Manila airports for convenience.
*Featured image from Michael Urmann on Shutterstock