Chinatown, Port Louis

Chinatown, Port Louis (must see)

Chinatown in Port Louis is a cultural gem within the busy capital of Mauritius. Although it is relatively small and less animated compared to Chinatown areas in other countries, it has a unique charm that reflects the Chinese contribution and culture throughout the years. The area runs for about 500 meters along the well-known ‘Rue Royale’ in Port Louis and is a true cultural heritage for Mauritius.

The first wave of Chinese immigration to Mauritius took place during the 18th century, and thousands of voluntary migrants settled along the street in the center of Port Louis, forming a small Chinatown. They worked as blacksmiths, carpenters, cobblers, and tailors. While most of the first Chinese migrants spoke Cantonese, those speaking Hakka grew in number, coming from Meixian, further east in Canton. Over time, more immigrants came to the area, and they were directed to Chinatown, where it was easier for them to settle with the help of those who were already living there. By mid-century, the total population of Chinese residents reached 5,000.

Nowadays, Chinatown is a living proof of the Chinese contribution and culture throughout the years, although the Chinese community in the Mauritian population comprises only a minority (3%). The streets in Chinatown are always busy on weekdays, and people rush around for business meetings and trading.

The area is well-known for its tasty food, and Chinese cuisine now forms an integral part of Mauritian culture. Fried noodles, dumplings, chopsuey, and Pekin ducks are dishes that are appreciated by all Mauritians, whatever their origin. The old shops found there offer a wide variety of articles ranging from toys, Chinese paintings, clothes, and books all under the same roof and at cheaper prices. There are also shops that deal in traditional medicines, and the smell of Chinese spices along with authentic Chinese cakes will tease your taste buds.

Every year, Chinatown holds a food festival that celebrates the diversity of Chinese cuisine. This is the perfect occasion to enjoy a melting pot of flavors and immerse yourself in the Chinese culture. Crowds of people gather around the spicy smelling stalls and discover unknown dishes and traditions straight from the land of the rising sun. The event also enables you to enjoy typical Chinese shows such as lion and dragon dances, cracking of firecrackers, street arts performances, cultural and music shows, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese games, and Chinese calligraphy.

This is the perfect time for a stroll in the streets with the opportunity to visit numerous shops and grocery stores selling a variety of items. Taste the delicious foods such as noodles, dim sum, dumplings, paow, Moon-cake, and many more on the menu, at the sound of traditional Chinese music.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Port Louis. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Chinatown on Map

Sight Name: Chinatown
Sight Location: Port Louis, Mauritius (See walking tours in Port Louis)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Port Louis, Mauritius

Create Your Own Walk in Port Louis

Create Your Own Walk in Port Louis

Creating your own self-guided walk in Port Louis is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Port Louis Introduction Walking Tour

Port Louis Introduction Walking Tour

Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, is a major commercial port and the island's main city with a wealth of colonial past carefully preserved and reflected in the local architecture, rendering Port Louis a colorful blend of the French, Indian and African influences. To explore the city's main attractions, follow this orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles