An image of a street scene at Pell Street in Chinatown / New York City / Manhattan with the setting sun.

Getty Images

A walk through Manhattan's most colorful, cramped neighborhood is never the same, no matter how many times you hit the pavement. Peek inside temples and exotic storefronts. Catch the whiff of ripe persimmons, hear the clacking of mah-jongg tiles on makeshift tables, eye dangling duck roasts swinging in store windows and shop for anything from rice-paper lanterns and ‘faux-lex’ watches to tire irons and a pound of pressed nutmeg. America’s largest congregation of Chinese immigrants is your oyster.

The area has its own tourist information kiosk with local volunteers giving out free maps, at the intersection of Walker, Baxter and Canal Sts (11am to 5pm, 10am to 6pm in summer).