Cheapflights.co.uk helps travellers 'get lucky'
The world's luck is set to change on 7th February this year, as the Chinese New Year brings about the auspicious Year of the Rabbit.
Slated as the most fortunate of the 12 animal signs belonging to Chinese Astrology, the rabbit bestows fortune in the form of serenity, prosperity and success.
As with all other holiday celebrations, the Chinese ring in the New Year with a wealth of festivities involving food, festivals, and all manner of other fun. In its latest Top 10, Cheapflights.co.uk, the UK's leading website for flight search and comparison, outlines the world's best Chinatowns, where travellers can improve their luck whilst having a great time.
Here, we preview the first five - for the full top 10, visit Cheapflights.co.uk.
1. San Francisco - the biggest Chinatown
The largest outside of Asia and the oldest in North America, San Francisco's Chinatown is perhaps the most famous in the United States. The city served as the main entry point for Chinese who had crossed the Pacific to the USA during the mid 19th century. Between the more tourist oriented Grant Avenue - where the signature red gate can be found - and the ostensibly more authentic Stockton Street, this historic area is a local treasure, attracting more visitors per year than the Golden Gate Bridge. Travellers can get lucky with cheap flights to San Francisco from just £327 return.
2. Bangkok - the most prosperous Chinatown
Taking in Yaowarat Road and its surrounding area in the Samphanthawong district, the Thai capital's Chinatown is one of the oldest parts of the city and contains a labyrinth of street-stalls offering all manner of trinkets, tasty treats, clothes, toys, domestic products and antiques. Sunday market days are particularly bustling, a good time to appreciate the full flavour of the neighbourhood. The area is also known for its gold dealers and the area has long been associated with commerce and good fortune. Prosperity is up for grabs with flights to Bangkok from just £374 return.
3. London - best place to party Chinatown
Can't get away? No matter, London's own Chinatown happens to be on the 'it' list for this year's auspicious celebrations. Although it may not be as large or as long-established as others, having only become a centre for the Chinese community during the post-war decades, it is a perfectly formed little firecracker that knows how to see in the year with a bang. Customarily festooned with red lanterns, previous years have seen parades with lion and dragon dances through its streets and onward into the rest of the West End, as well as acrobatics, martial arts, dance and opera displays nearby.
4. Paris - Europe's biggest Chinatown
Located in the southern part of the city centre's 13th arondissement, the Quartier Chinois (Chinese Quarter) is known as Europe's largest Chinatown. Furthermore, the City of Lights also has another, smaller and more recently-established in the Belleville area to the north and others dotted around it, so visitors are spoilt for choice. The influence of France's Vietnamese community also adds to the unique character of the city's eastern enclaves and means you're never far from pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) if you find yourself in the mood for food. Light up in Paris, the City of Lights, from just £69 return.
5. New York - most ethnic Chinatown
Manhattan's Chinatown, found on the Lower East Side, has been a major centre of the city's Chinese community for over a century, with records of new arrivals setting up shop as early as the mid 19th century. In fact, the neighbourhood is known as one of the oldest ethnic Chinese enclaves outside the continent of Asia. Such is its significance, that the area encompassing it and bordering Little Italy has been designated a historic district on the USA's National Register of Historic Places. Take an auspicious bite out of the Big Apple with flights to New York from just £279 return.