Where to Find Chinatowns in Australia

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Noura Yousef

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15 May, 2019

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2 mins read

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Chinatowns are found in most major cities around the world and Australian cities are effectively taking their share of Chinatowns scattered in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Before exploring each, let’s take a look at the history of Chinatown.

Chinatown History

During the Australian gold rush, several workers from China relocated to stay near gold mines in Australia and that formed Chinatowns that were developed later, thanks to an increase in the number of immigrants, due to different reasons like trade, jobs, etc.

Currently, almost 50% of international students in Australia are from China, Taiwan, Korea, etc. Thus, Chinatowns are considered a good place to feel less homesick. , It is also a good touristic attraction to European tourists. The list for Chinatown in Australia is as follows:

1. Sydney’s Chinatown

Sydney’s Chinatown Markets is one of the oldest Chinatowns in Australia, it started in The Rocks area and in 1920, it moved to its current place at the Haymarket area. Sydney’s Chinatown has all you could need; it is full of crafts, desserts, phone accessories and delicious food. If you ever plan to visit, you have to visit Sydney’s night markets every Friday. The markets start at 4 pm and end at 11 pm with booths and crowds that offer you everything from food to crafts, to massages and candies.

Dragon Beard Candy is one rare treat that you should definitely try. You should also try traditional Chinese dishes like the Pecking duck. BBQ King is a restaurant inside the town that is very well known for serving delicious duck dishes and Mamak is another place that is well-known for serving the best Malaysian food in town. 

2. Melbourne Chinatown 

Chinatown Melbourne lies in the Central Business District of Melbourne, it extends between the corners of Swanston and Spring Streets and consists of various booths, alleyways, and entertainment venus. If you ever went to visit Chinatown in Melbourne, you should visit Her Majesty’s Theatre. It is an iconic theatre that was established in 1886 and it offers all types of plays all-year round, including; opera, ballet, plays and concerts. The Chinese Museum is also a good place to visit. It is located in Cohen Place and its opening hours are 10 am – 4 pm. The Museum consists of five floors and it tells the history of more than 200 years of Australia’s Chinese history. You can also visit famous Chinatown restaurants in town like China Red Restaurant,  which offers Shanghai, Canton and Szechuan-style dishes and many others.

Chinatown gate

3. Brisbane Chinatown

Fortitude Valley in Brisbane hosts the Chinatown. It is a traditional Chinese town with traditional guard-lions statues on the gate. The moment you pass through the gate you find all types of traditional Chinese markets, Yum Cha Breakfasts and candies. The town is known for its animated shopping destinations where you can buy traditional Chinese clothes like the Hanfu, Zhongshan Suit, etc. You can also buy the most delicious Chinese dumplings in town in Fat Dumplings restaurant inside Chinatown in Brisbane.

4. Chinatown in Sunnybank, Brisbane

Brisbane does not only have the traditional Chinatown but also have the youth Chinatown in Sunnybank. The newest Chinatown in Sunnybank or Robertson near Mt Gravatt Shopping Centre is not a typical Chinatown; it is a group of unique shops grouped together in one place to amuse the public, particularly university students. It is currently very popular with Chinese youth in their twenties. This Chinatown is popular among international students in Brisbane, as 50% of the students are actually Chinese. They pass by to grab a bite after college and they spend their day walking around the shops. Chinatown in Sunnybank is diverse when it comes to languages, as shop owners speak both Mandarin and Cantonese in there.


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