Chinatown Central Culture Hub

Story and Photos by Steve Zavala

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Downtown Los Angeles is arguably the epitome of diversity in the city. The area is filled with a variety of different cultures that represent the history of LA. It is also a top destination for tourists visiting Southern California as there are numerous historical and intriguing areas to visit. Among them is the Chinatown Central Plaza in the neighborhood of Chinatown.

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The area is rich with history and culture that goes back decades. It is one of the oldest plazas in all of Southern California. Dating back to the 1930s, the plaza is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Downtown Los Angeles area but, as of late, it has become a hidden gem in the city. While the area has been modernized and has undergone renovations, it still has the feel of a traditional Chinese place filled with history.

The plaza holds multiple statues and sculptures of historic and influential people in the Chinese and Asian communities.

One of them is the statue of Bruce Lee. It was built as a tribute to honor the martial artist and film star. The statue is among the most popular attractions at the plaza and a must visit for long-time fans of Lee.

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Near the front entrance of the plaza is a statue of Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese revolutionary leader and former president of the Republic of China. Sun Yat-sen was a prominent figure in China during the 20th century and an influential member in the revolutionary movement against the Qing dynasty.

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An iconic wishing well is also one of the top attractions at the plaza. There are many phrases and values that are also translated in mandarin decorated across the wishing well where people can toss coins in each slot.

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The plaza also has plenty of shops and stores that sell traditional Chinese items such as  clothing, jewelry, paintings, books and antique figures.

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Many of the buildings were built to symbolize the customary and vintage Chinese architecture. The decades old Hop Louie restaurant is among them as it features a pagoda in its exterior.

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The Chinatown Central Plaza is open daily to the public. The decorations coupled with the enthralling feeling of a place of history in Los Angeles makes it a must-visit area for tourists and residents of Southern California. It holds numerous special events every year so there is always something to look forward to. For others, the Chinatown Central Plaza can be a place to just enjoy the scenery and spend time with friends and family.