Best San Francisco Chinatown Walking tour?

Old Dec 17th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Best San Francisco Chinatown Walking tour?

My kids (18, 7, & 12) and I want to do a walking tour of Chinatown when we're in California over Christmas. We're looking at "All About Chinatown" tours. Does anyone have any experience with this company or recommendations for other companies?

Thank you.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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City guides does a good Chinatown walking tour.
www.sfcityguides.org

They are a non-profit affiliated with the public library. The guides are volunteers and the tours are free. They ask for a donation at the end of the tour to help offset administrative costs. We saw most people donating about $5/person, so we did the same.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 10:30 PM
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In October my family complete with 14 year old went on an All About China tour with Linda Lee and it was the highlight of our trip to San Francisco. My son really enjoyed it especially the Chinese pharmacy and butcher's shops with all the cuts of meat including frogs. We also went with Linda for yum cha after the tour and this was great too.
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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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I second the SF Cityguides one. Great tour! I too did the $5 at the end.

If you are looking for a meal, Wok Wiz is the company that I always hear about. Mind you, I have never been on this tour--just word of mouth.
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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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We also took the free tour and gave a donation. It was nice and informative, even though the tour guide tended to babble a bit.

There are other tours that cost $35-40 and include lunch, but I thought that was a bit much for Chinese food.
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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 01:00 PM
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There is a free tour brochure that you can pick up at the cultural center in the center of Chinatown. Why pay someone to take you around when you can do it on your own so easily and stop and wander, eat, or shop whenever you want to. The brochure gives interesting historical and background information for many of the places you pass.
 
Old Dec 18th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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I agree with CalgirlSusan. You can walk into the bakeries, groceries, butcher shops and so on without a guide. All you need to do is walk up and down Grant Avenue, Stockton Street and the streets that connect them. Your kids can figure out what's interesting--especially the 7-year-old. And you can have a great time noshing where ever and whenever you want. You can wander over to nearby North Beach for Italian treats.
 
Old Dec 18th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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Unfortunate fortune cookies.

Get a bag of these. They taste just the same as fortune cookies - except that they were - unfortunately - not made into fortune cookies.
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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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Can you visit the fortune cookie (or misfortune cookie) factory on your own?
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Old Dec 18th, 2004, 07:43 PM
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You can get a printed guide and walk the streets of Chinatown and look and see, but there's nothing like a narrated guided tour from someone in the "know" to explain the history.
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 04:49 AM
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We did the Wok Wiz tour, and it was one of the highlights of our trip to San Fran. At the time, we had a 13 and 16 yr. old, and they loved it. They bring you into a lot of small shops including one that makes fortune cookies, and you learn a lot of history about the area. It all ends with a Dim Sum lunch at 1 of the local restaurants-it was very good.
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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jd: where did you find the wok wiz tour? Is there a website for them or phone number? My girls are 10 and 12 and they might like that one.
Thanks.
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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They have a website, wokwiz.com. It will describe the various tours they offer. I think your girls would enjoy it-its a lot better than doing it on your own in my opinion, as you learn more about the history and culture.
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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We did the wokwiz, but without the lunch, and enjoyed it. We always feel that a guided tour is better than non-guided, as you learn tidbits and see the innerds of places that you would not get otherwise.
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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thank you!
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