D.C. Chinatown Walking Tour

The DC Chinatown Walking Tour project peels back the layers of today’s Chinatown to explore a geographical snapshot of the Chinese diaspora in Washington DC. While the history of DC’s Chinatown is winding, complex, and stored predominantly in memory, this tour aims to shine a light on the past and present of this historical space as it has been lived by people and communities. This project acknowledges that there are an abundance of stories, experiences, and lived realities that are uncapturable on a page and by a limited authorship. Nevertheless, this tour serves to grapple with the perception that DC’s Chinatown is a ‘inauthentic’ or ‘dying’ ethnic enclave. When we look to history, what are the factors that have shaped today’s threatened neighborhood? Who is DC’s Chinatown ‘inauthentic’to, and who is forgotten when this assumption is made? Through a guided walk through the three-block radius, centered around 7th and Eye Street NW, you are invited to re-engage, reorient, and reflect on DC’s  Chinatown through the eyes of its residents, families, and community leaders, rather than architects, city planners, and governments. 

Explore the tour below, and keep an eye out for in-person guided tours in the future.

Click here to see citations. Special thanks to Harry Chow for photographs provided to the 1882 Foundation.