London's Festive Chinatown

"A smile will gain you ten more years of life." - Chinese Proverb
The lanterns weren't lit but they ignited a spark that uplifted our spirits. Perhaps it was the decorations or maybe it was my mood that made Chinatown distinctly cheerful.
People gathered all over London, including Chinatown after the Queen died, as if in instinctual group therapy to console one another and also to acknowledge a long life well lived is something to celebrate. Not everyone has the luck to live long and well.
With dangling paper lanterns overhead we gladly signed a book of condolences that would be presented to the Queen's family. We saw a lot of heart in Chinatown, which began in the 20th century in East End London by the docks where businesses catered mostly to Chinese sailors and their families. The enterprise eventually moved West.
Chinatown nowadays is prettily situated in Central London and, although affected by earlier pandemic restrictions, typically caters to millions of visitors each year who want to savour the many delicious foods, explore the arts, gift shops and more.
A striking not-too-scary dragon mounted on the wall of a building grinned at passersby.
The relatively new gate completed in 2016 was stylized after the Qing Dynasty, the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history. I learned Prince Andrew officiated at its opening.
Snake depictions at the British Museum in the Asia section seemed a bit like what I saw on the gate's design. Was that a dragon's head on a snake's tail, I wondered?
From the regal entrance of a towering gate to the obscure alley away from the bustling crowds, each corner I turned and nook I spied held some delight or sweet surprise.
Explore more at SKYWATCH and check out my sites: Postcards from Penelope Puddle and Musings of A Puddlist In B.C.

Postscript, Sept. 30, 2022: 

Surviving devastation is a reason to smile but there is also great sadness. Mine and many hearts go out to Floridians experiencing loss and trauma in the aftermath of a wildly damaging storm. Ian tested the imagination of how extreme weather can get.    

Because the state of our planet is the most pressing issue of our time, link up and learn about the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.


  1. I think it is hard not to like that kind of decorations :)

  2. Those lanterns are magical. I've never seen so many in one place. All the decorations are wonderful.

  3. Our Chinatown here in Honolulu is very special and one of my very favorite places anywhere ever. I really appreciate you showing me yours and can well identify with your delight. At every turn. Perhaps you will get a chance to visit our historic Chinatown sometime! Aloha!

    1. It would be wonderful to see Chinatown in Honolulu. London is where I visited recently but the closest Chinatown to where I live is actually in Vancouver, B.C. where I don't recall seeing such bright decorations as in London.

  4. Maria - I am not sure I knew London had a Chinatown, but it certainly makes sense that it would, given its metropolitan nature! Lovely photos!

  5. They are cheerful! I love festivals.

  6. What an honor for the Queen. You are so blessed to have signed a book of condolences that would be presented to the Queen's family. The last dynasty was honored and even the simple alleyways. These photographs are an expression of who you are and what you see and know. You are an awesome person! Thanks for sharing London's Chinatown with the world.

  7. Very festive. Reminds me a bit of San Francisco's Chinatown.

  8. It looks marvelous. Even the back alley is clean! The intricate dragon design is gorgeous.

  9. I have been to London several times, but have never visited Chinatown. I don't think I even knew there was one, although it does seem to be a feature of most major cities.

    1. I think you'd enjoy London's Chinatown. Since you've been to London several times, I'll ask you the same question you asked me earlier ... did you do anything to offset your carbon footprint?


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