You might be shocked to learn there is a Chinatown in Las Vegas, but yes there is, and it's quite fun.
Chinatown Plaza, the brainchild of a Taiwanese investment group, opened in 1995 as a strip mall geared towards the Pan-Asian community. Other strip malls, restaurants, bars and offices continued growing westward on Spring Mountain Road from the freeway all the way to Jones.
Less than five years later, in 1999, Governor Guinn officially designated this area Chinatown.
This is no San Francisco or Chicago Chinatown. You wont find an outdoor market with half a duck hanging from a hook. Very clean and organized business fronts spanning about 2 miles.
You could walk it in about half hour but dont rush it, enjoy the smells of the great restaurants and the scenery.
The best photo ops throughout Chinatown are at the entrance (Arch) to Chinatown Plaza; as well as its centerpiece statue "Journey to the West" named after the 16th Century Chinese novel depicting the journey of Buddhist Monk Xuanzang to the Western regions and back.
You will find everything from Art galleries to Hair studios, furniture stores to medical and herbalist offices. You will find at least one massage parlor (easy now) and a seafood market and bakery close by, as well as the only Chinese Bookstore in the entire State of Nevada. All of this and you are only half way through Chinatown. If you're feeling hungry you're in luck since, the Plaza itself contains somewhere around 13 places to eat and numerous spots to get your Boba teas.
Never fear you will have the opportunity to pick up all the gifts you wish at the souvenirs stores and gift shops within the Plaza and along Spring Mountain road.
If you cant find what your looking for in the Chinatown Plaza head further west for the entire Pan-Asian experience. Every taste-bud is represented in Chinatown, Vietnamese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Filipino, and so on. Sushi to Pho and BBQ to Hotwings are available and some are open 24 hours like Locals favorite Lee's Sandwiches and Golden Tiki. Speaking now of bars and lounges, Chinatown is an ideal neighborhood to partake in a pub crawl. Starting at the farthest end with Dotty's for some gaming then hit Crown & Anchor British Pub continue towards the freeway and stop at PT'S for some additional pub grub or gaming, cross the street for Karaoke at Western Soondae or J Karaoke then finish off with a Mai Tai at Golden Tiki.
Its been a few trips since I've last visited Chinatown so its on the short list of must dos on the upcoming visit in March. Then we can add more picture too.
Xiànzài zàijiàn. (Goodbye for now)