movie poster

Rating: 6.5 stars


chinatown immigration travel travelog tour food culture new york city Hong Kong malaysia singapore California san francisco

Seen 1 time

Seen on: 07/15/2019

View on: TMDb

Globe Trekker: Chinatown (2007)

Directed by Scott Welsh, Navin Thapar

Documentary | History

Most recently watched by sleestakk


In this special edition of Globe Trekker Chinatown, Lavinia Tan, Justine Shapiro and Megan McCormick travel worldwide to explore the magic and mystery of Chinatowns across the globe. Lavinia Tan begins the journey in Malaysia and Singapore where overseas traders led the earliest migrations of Chinese people. The journey continues from there to the United States, where Justine Shapiro visits San Francisco. Megan McCormick explores New York s Lower East Side, home to the largest Chinatown in the Western Hemisphere. After a short trip to London s Soho district, Lavinia Tan ends this journey with a visit to Hong Kong exploring the world famous film industry and the 21st century migration of Chinese back to their homeland.

Length 90 minutes


Justine Shapiro | Megan McCormick | Lavinia Tan

Viewing Notes

Started this the day before but didn’t realize it was 90 minutes long!! Thought it was around an hour like other Globe Trekker specials I’ve watched. There is also an extra feature highlighting Chinese New Year.

This edition is a collection of the episodes each of these hosts did that featured a Chinatown during their segment. They re-edited it into one big feature with updated voice-over narration by Lavinia Tan. That’s why there are two directors listed (one for the original shoots; one for the special edition DVD release compiling all the segments into this long feature).

The feature is good… not very good just good. It’s more history of Chinese immigrants and where they settled and less on the features, attractions and food of Chinatown. For example, Justine Shapiro visits California and the small town of Locke, which was founded by Chinese immigrants. She chats with some folks there about the history then moves on to San Francisco and gets a bit of the history / culture from the locals. This is all fine!

I wish I had known this going into my viewing. It’s such a departure from all the other Globe Trekker docs where it’s all travel & attractions that I didn’t know was getting a quick classroom discussion on Chinatown. With the appropriate expectations this may be better than I’m giving it. Also it was late (early?) and I was tired.

Still worth a viewing to learn more about how the Chinatowns came to be. And I learned about Locke which was new to me but now I’d like to visit.


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