Which tour should I chose?
By far our most popular tour is the Chinatown Experience. Most people enjoy being taken on a historic and culinary journey through the neighborhood and learning how and what to order at dim sum.
For people who really want to focus just on expanding their culinary expertise, the Market tour is an efficient tour through the grocery store.
The Market Plus tour takes a deep dive into the grocery store and adds a few tasting stops, but skips dim sum.
I want a customized tour?
I’m happy to create a customized tour for you. Just interested in specialty grocery shopping? We got you, ginseng tea, “dried goods” (such a wide variety encompassed there!) our favorite seafood market?
Looking for a sugar rush? We can share special treats beyond Bubble tea and Pikachu cakes (of course we can include those, too!)
From time to time we’ll offer a specialized tour that we’re testing out, if you’d like to be part of our test crew, email me, and we’ll let you know when we’re going to do it.
Where do tours begin and end?
All tours begin under the beautiful green Paifang or gate at the corner of Beach and Hudson Streets. Look for me and my big yellow bag!
Market tours are 1 hour.
Market plus tours are 2 hours.
The Chinatown Experience is 3 hours.
How long are the tours?
If my tour is on a Saturday, I shouldn’t have worry about traffic, right?
HAHAHA okay, so you’re new here? There’s ALWAYS traffic and often construction! There are Red Sox games in the summer, Celtics, Bruins, all add to congestion and traffic. Summer festivals, graduations...
If you insist on driving, parking will be limited.
There are two garages near us. One on Beach St., one on Lincoln St.
Okay, you’ve convinced me, what train should I take? What about the delays I keep reading about?
We are so conveniently located to public transit! Chinatown sits right between three train lines. The Orange line has a stop IN Chinatown (it’s called Chinatown, clever eh?) There’s a couple of Green line stops near by, Boylston is probably the closest. The Red line South Station is just a stone’s throw.
It happens sometimes, if you’re running late text or call me at 617.851.4880. We will start right on time, but I don’t turn my phone off until everyone’s accounted for. I’ll let you know where to meet us.
I do if I’m running late?
Are there bathrooms on the tour?
There are one or two, but I recommend you come early and take your bio break before we start.
Our tours run all year, in all kinds of weather. If the governor closes the roads, we’ll concede. Some of our most fun tours happen in crazy weather.
if it rains or snows?
What if the tour doesn’t meet the minimum number of guests?
If a tour you’ve signed up for fails to fill (usually 5 guests for the Chinatown Experience) we’ll offer you the next available tour. If that doesn’t work for you, we can usually find another.
What about accessibility issues?
We are walking through one of Boston’s oldest, most historic neighborhoods. Many shops have steps up or down to enter. Strollers won’t fit. No ramps for wheelchairs. That said, I’ve had people with limited mobility join the tour and sit out when they needed to, rejoining us for dim sum. If you have concerns about your ability to join a tour but want discuss what accommodations we can make, call me. I’m more than happy to try to create a wonderful tour experience for you with modifications. A private tour may be the way to go in that case, and I’m happy to discuss this with you. Really, there’s no reason to miss out!
Many people enjoy picking up cooking ingredients, snacks, treats, herbal remedies, or more while in Chinatown. Unless we’re on a private tour, we ask guests to save their shopping for after dim sum, so we can keep the tour moving and complete on time. You’ll be given a handout that will easily enable you to find the shops you want to re-visit later.
Will I be able to shop on my tour?
How big are the tours, will I get lost in a crowd?
Our shops are small and the grocery is huge! Experience shows me the ideal group size is 5-10. I pride myself on engaging each guest and giving everyone a great experience. Unlike some tours where you’re trailing a large group down a busy street, we prefer an intimate experience
Can we do a group tour?
We also get rave reviews from our group tours! I especially love the school tours and connecting kids with this rich culture. I like grownups, too! Let me know what your group is (goals, size, ages) and we can design a rich, fun experience.
I love my school groups! From middle school, to high schools, to summer enrichment or culture or language classes... please let me know if your school or your kid’s school might be interested. I’d love to connect.
I want to suggest my kid’s school bring their class on a tour, do you do school tours?
What if I don’t eat [fill in the blank]?
As I’m a food allergen safety trainer (and retired lawyer and adult onset allergic person) I take food issues seriously! If you have a food allergy or intolerance, or don’t eat pork or shrimp, maybe you’re vegetarian or even vegan... give me a call. With notice, I can usually accommodate your needs.
If you need to cancel, we’ll find another date when you can join a tour.
What happens if I have to cancel?
I continually research, prepare, update my materials to ensure I’m giving my guests the best tour possible. I appreciate gratuities offered as a show of appreciation!
I had a terrific time, is it appropriate to offer a gratuity?
You seem to care so much about the community, do you donate tours to good causes?
I do care deeply about this community. I live here, and I’ve married into a wonderful Chinese family. I donate quarterly to support community organizations that do such good work. Donations have included Josiah Quincy School, BCNC (Boston Chinese Neighborhood Center, Asian American Diabetes Initiative of the Joslin Diabetes Center, and more.
Do you offer shop and cook combo events?
I have done special shop and cook events. This would fall under private tours. Please call me to discuss.
Do you give discounts for children, seniors, veteran or active duty?
Children under two are free. Seniors 65+ enjoy a 15% discount. Active duty military and veterans also get 10% discount.
What if we want to do an after work group tour?
This can be arranged! It’ll be different as shops open at different hours, and some things won’t be as fresh or available at night, but then, other things will be. Call me to discuss.
I loved my tour and want to give a tour as a gift, do you have gift certificates?
My concierge told me about your tour,
how can I thank them?
Please let them know you enjoyed the tour! I also offer complementary tours to concierges to enable them to gain first-hand experience of these tours. I believe most concierges also appreciate tips.
How will I remember all the shops you took me to?
You’ll receive a terrific handout on this tour complete with information on the shops we visit, maps of both Chinatown and China, and more!
This is updated continuously as needed to deliver the best info available for you.