Dixon Street, the heart of Chinatown
Return to the intersection of Thomas and Hay streets to locate our next POI. Cross the road, turn left, pass by the Covent Garden Hotel on your right and walk a few meters until you see the Chinese-style ceremonial arch or paifang. This marks the entrance to the southern end of Dixon Street.
The Dixon Street strip between Goulburn and Hay streets is pedestrian only. Here you will find an array of traditional and modern Asian restaurants, herbalists and jewelers. Keep in mind that Dixon Street is also the site of the Chinatown Friday Night markets and most of its restaurants are open until very late at night, seven days a week.
Teenagers can peruse:
Emperor's Garden Cake & Bakery: Join the lines for the emperor puffs, which are miniature custard puffs. These cost around $1 for four, and the automated cooking contraption they are made by is also worth a look. You'll find sweet and savory buns, cakes and pastries here, too.
75 Dixon St., Haymarket (next to southern entrance)
Kwong Wah Chong: Teenager history buffs should check out this place, which is the oldest remaining shopfront on Dixon Street. It was established in 1912 when Chinese immigrants first set up private banks, tearooms and gambling houses in this part of Sydney. Why not take a family photo in front of the store?
Opposite the East Ocean Arcade on Dixon Street, Haymarket
Rong Bao Tang: This store features a huge range of Asian entertainment, namely K Pop, J Pop and Mandarin Pop CDs, martial arts movies and Asian feature films and TV dramas, animation, PC games, books and magazines.
50 Dixon St., Haymarket (just outside the northern gate)
While on Dixon Street all of the family should take time to explore the hidden arcades that connect through to Sussex Street, such as Dixon House (Corner of Dixon and Little Hay), East Ocean Arcade (427 Sussex St.) and the Sussex Center (401 Sussex St.). In these arcades are a labyrinth of international food courts (look out for the places producing fresh sugar cane juice) and quirky FOB stores with clothing imported from Korea, Japan and China.
Tip: There are even more restaurants at the other end of Dixon Street beyond the pedestrian-only zone. You may find these restaurants are less expensive than those located in the pedestrian-only "tourist" zone.