Not wanting to waste any of my limited time, I immediately started my little San Francisco adventure once I was done at the Embassy. With a map in hand, my intended first stop was Chinatown. It is located just a few blocks north of the Embassy. San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. I was craving for an authentic Chinese food and I thought the better place for that is right where the Chinese community exists. Here you will see the heavily photographed Dragon Gate which was built in 1970, the entrance to Chinatown. You will also find the most ornate Asian architecture in this area. Walking around the colorful streets was such an enjoyable experience on a chilly morning.
Like I've said, food was one of the reasons why I went here. I ate in two Chinese restaurants and both times they didn't disappoint. I had one of the best Chinese meals ever. No buffets. I ordered right from the menu. Food was inexpensive but very tasty. Both times I had to ask for additional rice. They've brought out the true glutton in me, lol! Their Thai tea was excellent and it was pretty cheap as compared to the bland mango iced tea at Chili's. Sorry I had to say that, lol! We had dinner at Chili's right after Jeff and Caleb picked me up from the airport. We both ordered mango tea, he liked his but I hated mine, lol! But anyway, that's off topic.
Chinatown is not just a home to a bustling Asian community, but obviously geared towards tourists. Here you will find a plethora of little stores selling all kinds of goodies and stuff. The wide array of Chinese merchandise specifically reminded me of our own "Tabo sa Banay" and Carbon market in Cebu. It was really cool. It almost felt like home.
Honestly, I didn't expect California to be very windy and chilly at this time of the year, so I didn't pack any jacket at all. Not even a hoodie. I brought a light blazer for passport picture purposes but even wearing that, I can still feel the chill in my bones. I expect to be on the road all day so I thought I'd better get something like a thick scarf to at least make me feel comfortable. This cute $10.00 dollar black and white scarf caught my eye so I bought it. They actually sell 4 for $20 but I have too many scarves at home and I really don't need to buy more. To complete the look, I "borrowed" one of their trendy white sunglasses off the rack for a quick glam pose, lol! One drawback of traveling alone is that no one can take a picture of you so you'll just have to settle for those not so very nice, quick up-close shots. I had to be real sneaky because I didn't want other people to think I'm one crazy Asian girl, lol!
I definitely had a great time exploring that part of San Francisco. Chinatown is about as San Francisco as you can get so I was really glad I included that in my itinerary.