Through the Dragon's Gate: Chinatown Walking Tour in San Francisco, CA

Walks LLC10 Mark LaneSan Francisco, CA 94108
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Through the Dragon's Gate: San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour is not currently available.

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Discover a local's perspective on one of San Francisco's most beloved neighborhoods! This Chinatown walking tour takes you through notable landmarks, like the Dragon's Gate, and some of the best local bakeries and apothecary finds. Not only that, but with help from your local guide, it's an excellent way to understand the less touristy spots of the area!

up to 1.5 hrs 1 or more people

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Francisco Travel Experts
  • This Chinatown walking tour is a good introduction for first time visitors to San Francisco.
  • Ask your tour guide for recommendations of local places to visit on your own time.
  • Tour duration is approximately one hour and 30 minutes.
  • Includes a visit and food tasting at the Fortune Cookie Factory, and a personalized fortune cookie.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour's start time.
  • Arrive early to be assured of nearby parking.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.
  • Bring your camera, along with sunscreen, and a hat or umbrella.


from Through the Dragon's Gate: San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour
As the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and the oldest in North America, your personal local will weave you through the most vibrant spaces and lesser-known sites. Take in the small bakeries, peek into a traditional Eastern pharmacy to see the various herbs and medicinal powders, and stop by the legendary Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory for insight into the art of fortune cookie making! Not only will you be able to try warm cookies just off the machine, but you will also take home a personalized treat just for you!

Begin your tour just outside the Dragon Gate, where this traditional "Paifang" style entrance flocked by two Imperial guardian lions (shishi) protects the southern entrance into a land where wonder greets history. It is here your guide will set the stage - quickly dissecting the symbolism within its concrete.

As you begin your journey into the heart of the neighborhood, learn of the flood of immigration in the mid-19th century (and why!), the thriving businesses that post up on these streets, and all the vice that followed. As you visit the sites of significance such as Old St. Mary's Cathedral and Waverly Place, your local guide will divulge the sometimes "too incredible to believe" stories and factual history paving the way for Chinatown's significance not only in San Francisco but the story of the United States.

With visits to some modern stores beloved by locals while keeping their foot in the traditional past, visit a local apothecary, a shop selling essentials of the afterlife, and a few of the "strictly locals" spots for dim sum, Sichuan, and Cantonese cuisine. Cap your time with a visit to the famed Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory where warm treats await you! See these handmade cookies come off the oven and take home a custom treat just for you!

As you weave your way to the closing of the tour, your guide will prepare you for your evening - departing at the crossroads of three “foodie” neighborhoods where you can easily walk to some incredible places to enjoy dinner based on their experience and local knowledge.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Through the Dragon's Gate: San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour

Where is the meeting point?

This tour meets at 10 Mark Lane (The Irish Bank). Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour's start time. The tour guide(s) will be holding a sign with the Walks logo and “MEET HERE” on it.

How long is this tour?

Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

What if I'm late?

If you are running late, it's best to contact the tour operator at the phone number on your e-ticket so they can reach out to your guide. This is not always possible for all tours - their guides are with other clients and are already into the tour (they ask them not to use their phones during their tour). But in some cases, a few-minute delay can be remedied. Most times, guides leave the meeting point within 5 minutes of the tour start time.

What is included in this tour?

This experience includes a 1.5-hour guided walking tour that begins at the Dragon Gate and journey's into the heart of Chinatown. The tour includes a local expert guide, as well as a food tasting at the Fortune Cookie Factory and a custom take-home treat just for you. This tour is conducted in English only.

What landmarks will we be visiting?

You will see the Dragon Gate, Grant Avenue (main street of Chinatown), Old St Mary's Cathedral and Square, a beloved bakery, a local Chinese apothecary, Waverly Place, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, and Alleyways of Chinatown.You will be experiencing and seeing a lot of American-Chinese and Chinese customs and traditions during this trip

Is transportation included?


Is parking provided?

No, but multiple parking garages and street parking are available near the departure point. The departure point is also near public transportation.

Are there any age/physical/health/etc. restrictions for this tour?

There are no age restrictions for this tour and most people can participate. Guests should be able to walk at a moderate pace without difficulty.

Is the tour wheelchair accessible?


Can I bring my camera?

Yes! There are a lot of photo opportunities on this tour.

What should I bring?

You may bring water, a hat, sunglasses, parasol, and/or sunscreen, a coat, umbrella, or outer layers for the cooler months), and a photo ID for some of the stop-over sights.

What should I wear?

Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

What is the protocol for when it rains?

The tours run rain or shine, and the guides are great at navigating various weather conditions to ensure you're as comfortable as possible. On rare occasions, if the weather is particularly dramatic, some sites may close. If time allows and they have a prior warning, they will contact you as soon as they find out.

Should I bring the confirmation email?

A physical or digital copy of this confirmation email is not required to join your tour. Your guide (or tour coordinator) will have your name in their database so as long as you know the name on the booking, you're set!

How many people are on a tour?

The tour has a maximum of 20 travelers and is ideal for small groups.