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Chinatown of Lima (2022) What to see and do? - Peru

Home / Travel Blog / Chinatown of Lima (2022) What to see and do? - Peru
Chinatown of Lima (2022) What to see and do? - Peru

Chinatown is one of the busiest places in downtown Lima and is also known as Calle Capón. When it's summer time you can take advantage of buying a passion fruit raspadilla with strawberry or tamarind.

 

Chinatown is an ethnic enclave that represents the Chinese diaspora in the world, Lima is one of the oldest Chinatowns in America and the only ethnic neighborhood in Peru. Lima's Chinatown has oriental-style decorative elements (moldings, posters, and ideograms) applied to western-style facades.

 

The Peruvian population easily recognizes Chinatown due to its nucleus and its characteristic landmark - Calle Capón and Arco Chino respectively-; however, this neighborhood has as part of its attractions its own market, several Chinese Societies, different specialized shops and the Tong Sing oracle.

 

Planning a trip to Lima's Chinatown? Say no more, here I leave you the best activities to do during your visit.

 

Location

Chinatown is delimited by Jirón Puno, Jirón Andahuaylas, Jirón Junín and Jirón Paruro in the Center of Lima, as can be seen in the map below.

 

A little history

Peru has a strong influence of different cultures that throughout its history have been mixing with the Peruvian, and the Chinese culture is present today in the center of Lima and in the inhabitants. Many Chinese arrived in search of better opportunities and were working in the sugar factories on the Peruvian coast, and some of their inhabitants also settled in the center of Lima around this one-block street with a red floor. If you look carefully you will see that in each little square on the floor there are names of different people.

 

With the date on which they were recorded, in addition to finding images of Chinese animals during their journey, travel agencies do not take tourists to this area as they consider it very busy and a bit dangerous in the afternoons, but the truth is, if you go with Be careful and if you go with company I assure you that you will be able to have a very good experience.

 

The famous chifas

Within the same Calle Capón there are also different Peruvian Chinese restaurants that are mostly known as chifas. There is one that is on the second floor, entering by some escalators, there is a good option to eat a rich arroz chaufa, which is a Peruvian dish based on rice, sillau, pieces of chicken, Chinese onion and ginger with egg in an omelet (not There is a Peruvian who has not tried some chaufa rice in his life) also if in case you do not have the opportunity to know this place, ask a local in the area where you are where the closest Chifa is because in the neighborhoods of Lima It is very common to find a chifa a couple of blocks from one's house for affordable prices. As you can see, it is a good gastronomic experience to come to Lima since here you can eat many stews influenced by many parts of the world, such as the rich restaurants with their chaufa rice, and if you want to eat something else you can take the opportunity to ask for a fried noodle with their wontan soup, there is no chifa that does not offer any of these stews within its menu.

 

The meaning of the gate

What I like the most about Calle Capón is the portal at the entrance. It is a portal with red pilasters and a green roof with inscriptions in the Chinese language. Given by the Colony on his arrival there is a phrase that says "Under the blue sky, we are all equal" is a very nice phrase and that stayed with me when I found out its meaning.

 

Nowadays, you will not only find Chinese things on Capón Street, you can also find different Hindu ornaments and many things for the home in its Galleries, since it is located in the heart of the central market of Lima.

 

What to see and do?

 

Take photos with the Chinese Arch

If there is a photo that you must take yes or yes when visiting Chinatown, it is the photo with the China Cover located in front of Capón Street, next to the Central Market.

 

This was donated in 1971 by the Peruvian Chinese colony to celebrate 150 years since the arrival of Chinese immigrants to Peru.

 

Later, in 2017, two sculptures of lions were added, considered protective symbols.

 

Go for a walk down Calle Capón

Block 7 of Jirón Ucayali, better known as Calle Capón, is the most representative pedestrian street in Chinatown, located right in front of the China Front and is distinguished by its oriental decoration.

 

The origin of the name "Capón" is due to the fact that, before the Chinese colony settled in Lima, that area was a place where pigs were castrated.

 

Today the reality is totally different thanks to its variety of shops, stores and restaurants that decorate the street, many of them with their windows written in Chinese.

 

Also pay attention to the floor, where you will find majolica with the animals of the Chinese horoscope.

 

Eat Chinese snacks on the go

Better known in other places as "Dim Sum", Chinese snacks are a classic of Calle Capón and the surrounding restaurants.

 

Among the best known snacks you have min pao, tai pao, fried wonton, siu mai and chin toy.

 

Their prices range from S/ 2 to S/ 5 and they are large enough to satisfy your hunger during the walk and have enough flavor to make your heart fall in love.

 

Although they have many places to buy these delicacies, my favorite is the place located next to Globilandia on Jr. Andahuaylas with Calle Capón.

 

Try Chinese food in a Chifa

With the arrival of Chinese migrants, not only did their labor arrive, but they also combined their cuisine (mainly from Canton) with Peruvian ingredients.

 

Some time later, Chinese food restaurants appeared, which were called "chifas".

 

Its name is due to the word "chī fàn" (吃饭) which means eat in Chinese.

 

Today you will find some of the most famous chifas in Chinatown, where the Wa Lok and the San Joy Lao stand out.

 

Although if you are looking for something cheaper I recommend the buffet in the China Room (Calle Capón).

 

Attend the Chinese New Year show

As in every year, a small parade is held in Lima's Chinatown where you can appreciate the traditional Dance of the Lion and Dragon.

 

It may not be as impressive as in other parts of the world but if you happen to visit Capón Street during Chinese New Year you will be able to see this show for free, what do you have to lose?

 

Other things you can find

Capón street also has a Chinese temple and a small alley with various products that they bring from China, and in the same street you will see some stalls where they offer to read you the letters for those who want to know their future from approximately 10 soles.

 

If you end Capón Street on the right hand side you will see a very large Gallery where I have entered a couple of times just to browse since it is a kind of antique shop but in truth all the things that they sell there seem very large to me but the art that you find there I haven't been able to see it yet in another part of the capital. You find large and small ornaments brought from China.

 

Sometimes some vendors also come offering some bonsai trees for 7 soles and you can even haggle the price if you buy more than one, I have done it a couple of times since I love plants.

 

If you go during the Chinese celebration season, you can take advantage of going through Capón Street since they also celebrate the beginning of the Chinese New Year with dragons there and it is a worthwhile show, in addition to buying animal decorations there according to the Chinese calendar like rat, horse, etc.

 

There are also some sidewalks in the middle of that street so you can take a seat and feel for a moment like a little China since all the businesses display their facades with oriental letters, I don't know Chinese but I recognize them by the logos such as the bank PCP among others.

 

To get to this area you just have to guide yourself from the bustling Abancay avenue in the center of Lima at the height of the old Library, from there you simply cross the track and go straight and what you will find are the portals that will give you the Welcome to Calle Capón.

 

Bonustrack: If you want to learn Mandarin Chinese, they also offer Chinese classes there.

 

How to get to Chinatown in Lima?

The fastest and safest way to go to Chinatown is by taking the Metropolitano buses to Jirón de la Unión Station and walking towards Jirón Andahuaylas.

 

You can also take the buses that pass through Abancay Avenue, get off at the Great Public Library and walk straight until you reach Capón Street.

 

Nearby Places

Before embarking on your trip to Chinatown in Lima, do not forget to include other tourist destinations that are on the route through the Center of Lima.

  • Main Square of Lima
  • Union street
  • Well of Santa Rosa de Lima
  • Catacombs of Lima
  • Lima Art Museum
  • Magical Water Circuit

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