Chinatown Barrio Chino

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.

Barrio Chino on Avenida Duarte and La Mella, Santo Domingo
Barrio Chino on Avenida Duarte and La Mella, 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.

La Sirena located in Barrio Chino has the traditional name and the name in Chinese
La Sirena located in Barrio Chino has the traditional name and the name in Chinese

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 Paper Lanterns hang in the streets of Barrio Chino
Chinese Paper Lanterns hang in the streets of Barrio Chino

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.

Events

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.

Barrio Chino Sunday Market has all types of fish, fruits, vegetables and more
Barrio Chino Sunday Market has all types of fish, fruits, vegetables and more

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.

Entrance to Chinatown Barrio Chino Avenida Duarte is quiet early in the morning
Entrance to Chinatown Barrio Chino Avenida Duarte is quiet early in the morning

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.

Buenagente poses with the lion at the entrance to Chinatown Barrio Chino Avenida Duarte
Buenagente poses with the lion at the entrance to Chinatown Barrio Chino Avenida Duarte

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’)

Statue in Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo of Tsai Shen Yeh or Lu Shig, The Chinese God of Wealth
Statue in Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo of Tsai Shen Yeh or Lu Shig, The Chinese God of Wealth

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

Statue in Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo. Militar De Alto Rango Sun Tzu
Statue in Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo. Militar De Alto Rango Sun Tzu

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

Confucio (Confucius) Plaza del Zodíaco, Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo
Confucio (Confucius) Plaza del Zodíaco, Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo

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.

The Zodiac Pavilion with Guanyin the Goddess of Mercy
The Zodiac Pavilion with Guanyin the Goddess of Mercy

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

Casa Real China Dong Fong Trading located in Barrio China
Casa Real China Dong Fong Trading located in Barrio China

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.

Close-up of Casa Real China Dong Fong Trading located in Barrio China
Close-up of Casa Real China Dong Fong Trading located in Barrio China

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
809-863-0338

Centro Restaurante Popular
Comida China y Criolla
Ave. Duarte #16-B and Benito
809-689-1030

M.Y. Gourmet
Ave. Benito Gonzalez #70
809-682-2861

Restaurante Delicia Campestre
Calle Jose Marti & Calle Benito González
809-686-1328

Fundación Chasintong Restaurante Delicia Calle Benito González
Fundación Chasintong Restaurante Delicia Calle Benito González

Supermarkets

Centro de la Colonia China
B González #88
809-685-3424

China Visión
B Gonzalez #71
809-221-2661
and
B Gonzalez #69
809- 686-8084
Supermarkets

Close-up of the statue of Confucio (Confucius) Plaza del Zodíaco, Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo
Close-up of the statue of Confucio (Confucius) Plaza del Zodíaco, Barrio Chino, Santo Domingo

Location:

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.

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