Getaway to L.A.'s Chinatown

Explore the neighborhood's shops, galleries, restaurants, and more

chau thien hau temple exterior

Get cultured

Stop by the Chua Thien Hau Temple (pictured; 750 Yale St.) and leave an orange for the goddess Lin Meng. Or, for a history lesson, visit the Chinese American Museum ($3 donation suggested; 425 N. Los Angeles St.; camla.org) to check out photographs of early Chinatown and items that immigrants brought from abroad, like medicinal herbs, parasols, and silk.

realm shop's ceramic objects

Get lucky

At Realm (425 Gin Ling Way; realmhome. com), shop for delicate ceramic objets d'art and hand-painted bone-china tea sets. Watch jasmine pearls unfurl with free tea tastings, then shop for clothing, figurines, and herbal remedies at Wing Hop Fung (727 N. Broadway, Ste. 102; wing hopfung.com). Boost your luck for the new year with bamboo in every size and configuration from Tung Fong Co. (815 N. Broadway; 213/617-2630).

tai chi class participant at alpine recreation center lawn

Get balanced

Join Chinatown neighbors in a free tai chi class on the Alpine Recreation Center lawn each morning from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. (you can drop in at any point). This graceful, slow-moving form of low-impact martial art is known for building strength and improving balance. 817 Yale St.; 213/485-5448.

wonder bakery pastries

Get fed

Nibble a Chinese pastry on the patio of Wonder Bakery while you watch shoppers buzz through Old Chinatown. Try the egg tarts, almondwalnut cookies, or a Chinese-style curry beef pie. Take home a box of cream puffs and fortune cookies to share. 943 N. Broadway; 213/680-1111.

los angeles chinatown super home mart

Take it home

Shop like a local at Super Home Mart, where you can wander long aisles of ceramic dishes in traditional Chinese blue-and-white and floral themes, colorful bowls, pots and pans, knives and cleavers, and utensils for every kind of cooking--at prices that hover around wholesale. 988 N. Hill St., Ste. 101; 213/628-8898.

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