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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 along Calle José Martí, 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.

Hot Spots! Business Directory

HOT SPOTS! BUSINESS DIRECTORY

The Business Directory is an information directory of select businesses throughout Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo and the entire Dominican Republic.

Calle el Conde, the 11 block pedestrian only shopping street in the Colonial Zone
Calle el Conde, the 11 block pedestrian only shopping street in the Colonial Zone.

Bars and Restaurants

Harry’s Bar and Restaurant, Colonial Zone – CLOSED

Businesses and Business Services

Dream Decorations by Victor (Custom Designs) – opens in old web site

Hotels and Vacation Rentals

Boutique Hotel Palacio

Casa del Sol Bed and Breakfast Hotel – Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo

Hostal Parque – Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo

Hotel Conde de Peñalba – Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo

Be Live Hamaca – Boca Chica

Embassy Suites by Hilton – Santo Domingo

Gansevoort Resort – Sosua, Dominican Republic

Island Life Backpackers’ Hostel

JW Marriott Hotel – Santo Domingo

Ocean Manor Resort – Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino – Santo Domingo

Casa Conde Hotel Boutique – opens in old web site

Legal and Relocating Services

Lawyer Wilson Rood & Associates

Medical Services

Dental Implants Cost

Implantes Dentales República Dominicana

Taxi, Transport and Tour Services

SL Taxi & Transfer – Airport transfers, local taxi and Dominican Republic Tours.

Columbus Lighthouse and Three Eyes National Park Tour

Cueva Fun Fun Adventure Tour

Scape Park and Hoyo Azul Adventure-Tour

Punta Cana – Hot Air Baloon Ride
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Barahona

Barahona (full name Santa Cruz de Barahona)

Barahona is a province located in the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic. The capital is Santa Cruz de Barahona. The people are friendly and down to earth and the scenery is spectacular. This area has not been touch with the tourism frenzy. It is a paradise only seen by few tourists and well worth the visit.

1.The Province 2.Getting Around 3.Towns 4.Barahona 5.Things To Do

Barahona Postal code : 81000

Here there are dry deserts and lush forests. There are fresh, clear mountain streams and wild and beautiful beaches. The land can be flat and dry and also mountainous and green. The coastal highway 44 (also called Enriquillo) has a spectacular view and leads to the beaches past the town of Barahona.

Most of the beaches in this area do not have sandy beaches. They consist of small pebbles, which are unique to the area. It is spectacular to see the beautiful turquoise blue waters in contrast with the green lush colors of the mountains. It is also interesting to note the small piles of white beach rocks people collect to sell to the landscapers.

Getting around:

Caribe Tours bus – It takes about 3 ½ hours by to get there from Santo Domingo.

Barahona Airport if you would like to fly into the area

Guaguas – These are the large vans-small busses that run along the highway. They pass by about every 20 minutes and make stops along the way as you wish. They can seem confusing at first especially if you do not speak Spanish. Just write down the name of the place you want to go and have them take you there. Get the hotel your staying in to write the questions for you, as most of the larger hotels employees will speak enough to help you out. Ask when they will return past again so you can get back to the town (have then write it down).

Motoconchos – (around town about 25 pesos) The motorcycles you see everywhere on the streets. Just look a bit dumbfounded and usually one will stop to see if you want a ride. These are fun to get around as you can really see lots of the area and stop as you desire. A very reliable and honest motor driver is Ruddi (809-353-3901). He loves showing people around. His English is very poor but he can understand more than he can speak.

Taxis – They are always around the streets.

Your own feet – Get out and walk around. Stop and talk to people even if you cannot speak the language. This is the best way to really know the area, the culture and the wonderful people of the country.

Towns

San Rafael bay and beach area

Playa San Rafael

/ San Rafael Beach- The bay as you drive along the highway is a spectacular sight. When you drive down to the beach area where the river enters the sea there are both natural and artificial swimming holes. Locals enjoy this area and also there are small stands that sell cold drinks and fresh fish.

San Rafael swimming hole.
Los Patos swimming hole

Los Patos

(The Ducks)- The town is small and the friendly townspeople all know each other. Here there is a pretty white-stone beach with rugged waves that is great for small shell collecting. The best place to hang is where the river meets the sea is a shallow swimming hole where the locals like to refresh themselves and even take a cool bath. I found it interesting to watch the little fish enjoying the fresh water swimming along with the locals. There are many little restaurants to sit and enjoy a drink and some fresh fish including Dorado, Colorado, and local catches.

Hotels:
Hotelito Oasi Italiana – 829-926-9796

Los Patos, Barahona beach
Playa Quemaito stone beach

El Quemaito

Beach and Town (quemar means “to burn”)- A small town off the beaten path with a large and popular pebble, sand and gravel warm water beach and refreshing river on the other side of the highway. If you look close enough you can pick up small water worn pieces of larimar on the beach. It is 10 kilometers from the city of Barahona along the Barahona-Paraiso highway. There are a few stands where one can buy a cold drink and some food. The small town has a few little shops, typical Dominican restaurants and even boasts a small pool hall.

Hotels: Hotel el Quemaito 809-649-7631

River for swimming in Quemaito

Paraíso

– A small village that is just what its name says, Paradise. There are 2 rivers Nizaito y Sito which, depending on the season, the waters change colors. In May the sky seems to change colors as the butterflies arrive brightly colored wings crossing the plain.
Hotels:
*Hotel Piratas del Caribe
*Rancho Don Cesar
*Hotel SeaBreeze

Enriquillo

– A typical small town with about 21million inhabitants. The sea is in the front and the rich green jungle is behind the town. There are a few small beaches in the area that are very tranquil. There is a nice little watering hole along the main highway where there is a man made pool to collect the river water. It is very clean and refreshing.

Hotels:
*Hotel Al Mare

Festivals: Patron Saint Ana celebrated from the 18 to 26 of July
http://www.enriquillo.net/

Bay and Port in Barahona

Barahona

– Barahona is the biggest city in the southwest, a larger small town with all the normal things found in any Dominican Town of its size. There are banks and restaurants both small and large. It is a very active and friendly town centrally located near to much of the eco tourism areas of the southwest. There is a mix of both typical wooden houses with tin roofs and modern homes as well. The main streets are very bustling while the side roads can be quite calm.

Cabo Beach in Barahona

Barahona has a large port dominated by the large sugar mill. Here the sugar and molasses is loaded on ships for their journey to other parts. There is also the sugar train that runs with its load of sugar cane collected from the farms along its route. You can see one of the old steam locomotives not far from the mill area.

View of the Malecon in Barahona

Stuff to do

The Barahona Market – Here is a shopping conglomerate where one can find just about anything at very reasonable prices. It takes up a block or more of the street and a few alleyways also.
The Malecon – The usual seaside road where there are all types of restaurants and nightspots. There is usually music blaring from all these spots and people enjoying a drink, talking, eating or some dancing.

The Central Park – Lots of small bars, restaurants and places to eat outside. A good time in the evenings.
Festivals:
Virgen del Rosairo – October 7

Statue in Parque Ciencia, Barahona

Hotels:
Loro Tuerto (translated One-eyed Parrot)
This small hotel is big on service and friendliness. The rooms are simple, comfortable and clean. They have cable tv, air conditioning, 24 hour electric and hot water. It is located in the southwest town of Baharona on the main street. It is about 1 and 1/2 blocks from the bus station and within walking distance to the park. There is a nice patio where you can sit and unwind from an active day in town or at the beautiful local beaches. The staff is very friendly and helpful and speak English, French and Spanish.
The casual dining cafe on site serves a nice little variety of dishes and is decorated with lots of interesting items.
Rooms start at $1300 pesos per day. No credit cards accepted. WiFi hot spot.

*Hotel Caribe – 809-524-4111
*Guarocya Hotel and Casino – 809-524-4121

Search for all the hotels in the Barahona area at Hotels.com

Old steam engine train

Stuff to Do

Polo Magnético/ Magnetic Pole – Where the secondary road forks between the town of Barahona and the community of Cabral. Park your motor vehicle in neutral gear on the lower part of the hill and it ignores the force of gravity and moves upwards by itself.

Aguas Termales en Canoa/ The thermal waters at Canoa – Usually visited by French and Japanese tourists for some years now everyone now is discovering this unique spot. The strong scented sulfur waters are bluish in color and can reach up to 42° Celsius. People who enjoy the curing and relaxing properties of these waters visit it.

To read about my trips to Baharona area go to The DR Gringas Blog (both open in a new window)
Barahona Road Trip Tour
Trip To Barahona – A 4 Day Adventure

Sideshows of the Barahona area:
pictures around the Barahona area.
pictures around the Baoruco area.
pictures around the Los Patos area.
pictures around the San Rafael area.