Meet & Greet the New Chinatown!

Written on 07/23/2020

Alluring architecture adorning vibrant red colour, streets echoing, busy restaurants and groceries and that pleasant smell of traditional freshly baked cakes, this is Chinatown! As you set foot into this part of Port-Louis, you’ll soak into the Chinese Culture! 

Chinatown has been an eminent part of the Capital City since the 1800s, till today people like to spend their Saturdays in this incredible part of Mauritius. Time, like it always does, slowly faded the beauty of the architecture but the New Chinatown Foundation found creative ways to intervene and bring a fresh look to the buildings . A group of young talented people of all ages and backgrounds, lead by Mr. Jean-Paul Lam, the aim was the same: to revive our loved Chinatown!

Revitalize Chinatown

Born and raised in Chinatown, Mr. Jean-Paul Lam and his team put great effort in bringing this lively spot back to life, boosting its economy, making it more attractive to both locals and tourists and helping traders to improve and develop their businesses.

What better way to promote the cultural heritage than through restoration of meaningful places such as the old shops (in front of which a lot of Mauritians spent their childhood), the museum and the pagodas. Worry not! Local souvenirs, food and spices can still be shopped.

Adding some colours to the Magical chinatown

Without paling this vibrant red off the wall of the Chinatown of yesteryear, the New Chinatown foundation created something unique with a touch of colours. The walls of the streets were embellished with some fascinating painted frescoes, which leaves you spellbound.

If you are a fan of anime, bless your camera with photos of those frescoes but if you are not, the other original frescoes with famous actors, cartoon characters and Marvel characters are worth the detour!

New look with a great touch of ‘‘Green’’

The wall's embellishment began a few months before phase two for The New Chinatown, which consisted of implementing sorting bins. Designed to match with the neighborhood’s architecture, the sorting bins are divided into three parts: organic waste, waste intended for sorting and cigarette butts. A good initiative to educate Mauritian to the art of sorting waste and of course to keep the streets clean.

Chinatown is well-known for all their festivals, catwalks, shows and the famous dragon dance of which we can never get enough. Well, this has undergone no change and events at Chinatown are present like never before! 

Part of their future projects is the Social Tech! Equipments such as wireless projectors, iPads, launch pad, visual reality camera and hover boards were bought to learn the youngsters how to use them and be part of this advanced tech world we are living in.  Besides, the Foundation is trying to have a cultural center: a place that can empower the young generations and gather the elders for sharing together a common goal, visions and traditions for the legacy of our rich heritage.

The goal of the New Chinatown Foundation is to make Mauritius's Chinatown amongst World Top 10 Chinatowns! Very ambitious but they sure are on the right track. 

Chinatown may have a new look but the feel when you walk in those streets is still the same, the authenticity in the taste of the traditional chinese-mauritian food is still present and hospitality from the old shopkeepers has not paled!