Buenos Aires’ Chinatown, locally known as “Barrio Chino”, is a largely commercial section in Belgrano neighborhood. The area is known for the chinese community but another Asian have their presence here, the other majorities are Taiwanese and Japanese.
The Oriental community started to settle down around 1980 due to a massive immigration, the Taiwanese were the major group at that time. During the past years they started to change the appearance of the neighborhood with the opening of differents activities for the Asian people. Most of the tourists start their walking tour in the arch, it is located in the intersection of Belgrano Train Station and Juramento St., the arch was a donation in 2009 by the Chinese Government, made with reinforced concrete and stone. This cause friction with the other communities who lives there because they said it has been done without consultation.
Arribeños is the main street where you will find restaurants, grocery stores, different kind of shops like comic store for manga and anime and even a Buddhist temple inaugurated in 1988. This is the center of the Asian community in Buenos Aires. During weekdays there is a normal circulation of visitors mixed with locals but everything changes when weekends arrives, tourist come here to enjoy this rare inside the city.
Traditions are respected and also are an attraction for visitors, the Chinese New Year for example, is celebrated on February, during this month there are two days with a bright festivity. Concerts, activities, fairs and crafts are placed with this tematic.
There is something for everyone, I must say it’s so filled with bric-a-brac but for me was charming too. candles, aromatic smoke, trinkets, toys, beauty products and other stuff made in Asia, this is cheap and sometimes if you really look closely you will find nice things. The chance to decorate your house with oriental style is another well-known activity, paper lamps, kitchen stuff, plants and other traditional decoration like masks or related to feng shui are the most wanted. An advice for the shopping lovers: take cash, most of the places don’t have credit cards.
Anime/ Manga or K-pop material is easy to find here and even fans meet to share their love for this kind of things. I was blow away with anime and manga cosplay, of course the are special events around the city, this is not the main center, but it is connected with this area.
Gastronomical suggestions are for all: the are food trucks for take away meals with traditional dishes and if you are a person who likes to sit down and enjoy a nice dinner or lunch a restaurant is your best options, there are great places with chinese, thai or japanese cuisine to taste. Be aware that on monday is not the best day to go for a supper, it is said that fishermans rest on sunday so there won’t be fresh fish the next day.