Destination DTLA: Wandering around in Union Station and Chinatown. Day 8 Travel Blog

After days of procrastinating, I've managed to drag my lazy ass in front of my computer and take a trip down memory lane all the way to when I was living in Los Angeles. In today's blog post I'm going to show you my day trip spent wandering around The City of Angels, embracing the warm ever so pleasant Californian sunshine and taking photographs of several interesting tourist spots across Downtown LA. You will notice the theme of this blog is culture blend and multiculturalism. Much like New York City and many other big cities all across the globe, As I've said it numerous times before one of the things I love about LA is its cultural diversity and acceptability. So sit back, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy!

The palm trees outside of Union Station

I'd always wanted to visit Chinatown in Los Angeles. Just the sheer idea of Eastern culture meets Western lifestyle fascinates me. You might think this is nothing new, I mean you could easily find a Chinatown, Little Tokyo or Koreatown in any big cities. But as a Chinese descent, you will have to forgive my curiosity! Imagine it for a second, you've traveled a thousand miles to a foreign land and you weren't expecting there to be a town of your cultural heritage right the middle of a foreign city.

Somewhere in Chinatown

On my way to Chinatown, I Happened to pass through Union Station. So I stopped for a while to take a few photos and just admire the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States before heading off to catch a DASH bus and continue making my way to my destination.

Outside of Union Station

After a long metro ride with two DASH bus transfers, I am finally here in Chinatown. It was the day after the Chinese New Year celebration, and you can certainly still feel the excitement and festive vibe in the air. The colorful and intricate traditional Eastern architectures occupied the area. All the stores still have all sorts of CNY ornaments and decorations hung up on their walls and store windows. The roadsides are covered in confetti and pieces of firecrackers from Lunar New Year parade and celebration I presume.

The architectures in Chinatown

The shops' signs are a mixture of Chinese and English and so are the local residents. Just walking down the streets of Chinatown, you hear people communicate in five or six different dialects. Most of them originally came from different countries in Asia and somehow found their way to the United States before settling in Los Angeles. Some greet each other in Cantonese, other speak Chinese mixed with English. You could even catch some Vietnamese and Filipino here and there. They all have something in common, a story to tell. A story about adventure, a journey to a foreign land. Why they decided to leave their own country, where did they find the courage to embrace a completely different culture and managed to survive in a place so far away from home. These are just ordinary folks, but these are the people that I'd love to sit down talk to. You get a sense that they are not afraid of change and accepting others. I remember taking it all in and just thought: This place is where cultures intertwine and form their own way of lifestyle, and it's so damn beautiful!

In front of Phoenix Bakery, Chinatown

The statue of the founding father of the Republic of China.

Chinese New Year decorations

Another interesting story is that we actually got to see one of the filming locations which is the Royal Pagoda Motel, from the Academy Winning movie La La Land!

During lunch time I and my cousin found a nice Pho restaurant and we ate there. The place is called Gigo's Cafe & Deli and I gotta say the food there is amazing. Besides the Pho I had to try the LA Chinatown version bubble tea and it was a little too sugary and sweet for my tasting but overall it was a nice restaurant, plus they got 4 stars on Yelp! I will put the restaurant's info down below in case any of you ever wanna check it out yourself.

Alright, it's currently 11:45 at night and I guess it's time that I stop typing/talking and go to bed. I was going to include my experience with the lovely Olvera Street in this post as well but then I realize it would be an incredibly long post and you guys would probably get bored so you will have to wait for it :D. Anyways I truly hope that you enjoyed reading my experience to Chinatown and I will see you guys in my next blog post. Until then, stay curious!


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