Barrio Chino / Chinatown of Santo Domingo
Yes, Dominican Republic has a Chinatown. It is known as Barrio Chino in Spanish. The town existed for a long while and recently was completely remodeled and revamped. Barrio Chino is a very busy small town and is a very unique and interesting place to visit in Santo Domingo.
The Taiwan and Chinese people worked together to create Barrio Chino. They strive to make this area where they live and work into a cultural and interesting place.
The large arch over Calle Duarte marks the entrance to the main street of the busy town. The signs in the area are written in Chinese to give it the right feel.
Barrio Chino is the central point for the Chinese Community in the country. The opening of China town here brought people from all over the world to see one of the few towns of its kind in Latin America.
Chinese lanterns can be seen hanging in the doorways. There are more than 40 immigrant-run businesses in the area with more being added as time goes on. Here can even be found an Oriental temple. There is even a school to teach the language and culture to the children.
The community celebrates all the traditional Chinese holidays including Chinese New Year with dragons and lanterns. There is a fun parade in the streets of Chinatown every year.
Sundays there is a Chinese Market held on Avenida Duarte. The market has individual stalls where vendors sell all types of fruits and vegetables at very low prices. They have fresh fish, live ducks and chickens that they dress in front of you. There are also some great street foods that you can munch on as you squeeze through this very busy market.
Monuments and Statues
There are many different monuments and statues located throughout the streets of Barrio Chino. Walk around and see all the unique and interesting points of interest.
The entrance arches, with its red pagoda look, mark the entrance to Santo Domingo’s Chinatown along Avenida Duarte. The traditional Chinese lion sentries guard the entrances, one on either side. One of the plaques says “四海为家” (Home everywhere which literally means “home in the four seas”) and the other says “天下为公” (Justice in the world – a quotation from Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen’)
Tsai Shen Yeh or Lu Shig (;财神)
Tsai Shen Yeh, often called Lu Shig, is a Chinese God of wealth, well-being and prosperity or The Star God of Wealth
The marker reads in Spanish Dios del bienestar o la Prosperidad. Su tabla reza Que entre la Fortuna y lleguen los Tesoros- . His table reads
Militar De Alto Rango Sun Tzu (孫子)
Sun Tzu is known as a Chinese military strategist, Taoist philosopher, and general in the 6th century BCE who is widely recognized for his work The Art of War, a treatise on military strategy (also known as The Thirteen Chapters). Sun Tzu teaches that the first principle of war is deception. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu
Confucius (Confucio) Plaza del Zodíaco
Confucius Square, a monument in tribute to this famous philosopher is located on Avenida México and Calle Jacinto de la Concha. The beautiful wall is adorned with dragons. In the front and center is large statue commemorating Confucius (Kong Qui or K’ung Fu-tzu – 孔子) who was a Chinese philosopher and politician.
Zodiac Pavilion Guanyin
At the eastern end of Chinatown, there was also a small pavilion with a statue of Guahín the Goddess of Mercy. The street leading to it was lined with stone statues of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac.
Businesses of Barrio Chino
Barrio Chino is packed full of businesses both large and small. There are many excellent restaurants serving Chinese and Dominican food. There are supermarkets selling items that can only be found in an area like this. There are inexpensive shoe stores and shops that sell many imported Chinese items. There are also hotels of all types. Chinatown is interesting to visit for both tourists and Dominicans.
Some of the Restaurants:
You might notice many Pica Pollo signs. The Chinese are known for the best fried chicken and Dominicans love it.
Pica Pollo El Buen Sazon
Calle Benito González
Centro Restaurante Popular
Comida China y Criolla
Ave. Duarte #16-B and Benito
Ave. Benito Gonzalez #70
Restaurante Delicia Campestre
Calle Jose Marti & Calle Benito González
Centro de la Colonia China
B González #88
B Gonzalez #71
B Gonzalez #69
Barrio Chino (Chinatown), Santo Domingo is located between Avenida México and Mella. The main entrance is Avenida Duarte including the streets Jacinto de la Concha, Jacinto de la Concha and Calle José Martí. It is across from the Sirena store on La Mella. It is walking distance from the Colonial Zone.
*Please note – This part of the city is very busy. It attracts both good and bad. There are many thieves in the area looking for the perfect opportunity to rob. Do not wear good jewelry or flash money around. I suggest not carrying a purse if possible and keep your belongings close and in a safe place. Here are a few helpful tips when walking the streets of the city.