Living in Haymarket and Chinatown

Chinatown is a vibrant area of Sydney located in the CBD and is everything you would expect from a major city's Chinatown. It is a ten minute walk from either Central or Town Hall Stations interconnecting George Street and the tourist Darling Harbor. Haymarket is within Chinatown where Market City and Paddy's Market are situated and all nationalities enjoy their hunt for fresh vegetables, fruit and seafood with cheap prices in this area.

Housing

Several apartments are along Sussex Street in Chinatown and they are usually about 20 levels. Unit rental price in these apartments are, not surprisingly, be very high because of the location. Facilities such as gyms, spas, and swimming pools are common in these buildings free for resident use. The Peak is an outstanding luxury apartment which is a main part of Chinatown's skyline. It's just above the Market City shopping mall and on the opposite side is the library for the University of Sydney, Technology. Between Chinatown and the Darling Harbor four-star hotels can also be found.

People

Chinatown is always bustling with people with the vast majority being Asian and Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese) is the language you hear most on every corner in Chinatown. Since its close to attractions, transportation and filled with many kinds of shops, bars and restaurants, people tend to like going to Chinatown for shopping, eating and clubbing. As a result of a strong cultural promotion effort by the Council of the City of Sydney, Chinatown is very popular with tourists.

Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment

The Sydney Entertainment Center is located in Chinatown and plays host to concerts, shows, and plays. A number of clubs align on the historical Dixon Street and will get very busy late at night. The famous Three Monkeys Club is at the edge of Chinatown and is usually full of people afternoons and nights. Karaoke is very popular in Chinatown where mainly young Asian people gather to sing and drink.

Reading Cinema on the top level of the Market City is the only cinema in Sydney to show popular Asian movies namely Chinese, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese ones. Indigenous people perform at the entrance of the Market City most of days.

Parks

Chinese Garden is the only park in the Chinatown area. People need to buy tickets to access this park which displays Chinese gardening and presents ideas of Chinese philosophy. Fountains and small, artificial lakes lead up to the entrance of Darling Harbor where Chinatown ends.

Shops, Restaurants and Takeaways

Boutiques are one next to another in shopping centers including the Market City and other plazas but the prices are often higher than expected. More unique products such as Chinese costumes and Chinese jade jewelry are available in the area alongside souvenir shops. You can find all kinds of Chinese products in the Paddy's Market. A little haggling over the price is possible but the quality is not always so good.

Yum Cha is popular in Chinatown and many restaurants open in the morning seven days a week to provide all kinds of fresh made dim sums. If you are going to have dinner in Chinatown you will find that you have almost too many options. Standard Hong Kong dinning restaurants, Chinese hotpot, Taiwan fish ball shops, bubble tea franchises and proper Chinese banquets are all easily found along Dixon Street. If you want something on the go, food courts are available in every shopping mall and the prices are usually lower than in the restaurants.

Transportation

Buses don't go into Chinatown but do stop at the edge along George Street. Routes come from Inner-West, South West, and the North Shore suburbs and pass Chinatown on their way to Circular Quay. People coming from the Eastern Suburbs (except for Bondi Junction) by bus have to walk for about 10 minutes from Central Station. Bondi Junction train service terminates at Town Hall Station, which is the next stop after Central towards the heart of Sydney CBD and is also a 10 minute walk from Chinatown.

In Chinatown everything is within walking distance. The Sydney tourist tram service goes through Chinatown from the Star City casino but the ticket price is higher than that of the CityRail train service. If you choose to drive to Chinatown it's always difficult to find a parking spot.

Good Points

  • Represents Chinese culture
  • Full of Chinese traditional and contemporary goods
  • Convenient public transportation
  • Shops stay open late

Bad Points

  • A bit messy and dirty on the street
  • Violence is frequent in nearby Ultimo
  • More of an Asian experience than an Australian one

Areas of Sydney

  • Bondi Beach
    Great for beach lovers but pretty and popular and therefore expensive.
  • Chatswood
    Multicultural area close to the city centre has everything you may need.
  • Coogee
    A lively area with a good beach and lots to do, day and night.
  • Darlinghurst
    Accepting of all types of people and lively at all hours of the night.
  • Glebe
    An artsy, multicultural suburb filled with students and backpackers.
  • Haymarket and Chinatown
    Asian influences abound in this lively area.
  • King's Cross
    Some would say seedy and dodgy but good for a cheap night out.
  • Manly
    Beautiful suburb with beaches, surf and a laid back lifestyle.
  • Newtown
    Crammed with funky clothing stores, cafes and bars playing live music.
  • Randwick
    Nice, relaxed area that is close enough to the beach.
  • Surry Hills
    Close to the centre of Sydney and full of character.

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