We will operate our tour programs within CDC guidelines. For the most recent info in San Francisco, please visit https://sf.gov/services.
Tours will resume starting September 1, 2020. Once your reservation is confirmed, we will send an email with details for your tour program.
Until restaurants are allowed to open for indoor dining, we are operating our TOURS ONLY programs.
Day of Tour Procedures
Masks: Guests and tour guide will wear masks for the duration of the tour. Guests are required to supply their own masks. Guests under the age of 5 or who are medically compromised will not be required to wear a mask per CDC guidelines. Children ages 5 and up are required to wear a face covering.
Temperature Checks: Your guide will use a non-contact thermometer for temperature checks. If a guest has a fever over 100.4ºF (38.0ºC) you will not be allowed to take the tour and we will issue a full refund within 7 days of the tour date.
Sanitation: Your tour guide will have hand sanitizers for use throughout the tour.
Privacy and Social Distancing: We will limit the number of guests on our tours to 8 persons. Keeping a distance of 6 feet will be maintained throughout the tour. The entire tour will be conducted outdoors. Time permitting, guests are welcome to enter stores at their own discretion.
Please email us if you have any questions about the tour before you arrive.
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance? Please purchase tour tickets well in advance. Our tours are often full. Once you have submitted your reservation, you’ll receive a reply from us within 48 hours.
Can I get a refund or reschedule my date? If you need to change or cancel and have paid for the tour, contact us 24 hours before the tour date for a full refund. Otherwise, cancellations are nonrefundable. No refunds are available for no shows, partial attendance, or late arrivals..
Should I leave a tip at the restaurant? Should I tip the tour guide? The tips at the restaurant are included, but tips to the tour guides are not. Gratuity to the tour leader is at your discretion and always appreciated.
Where does the tour depart from? The tour departs from Old St. Mary’s Church, 660 California St., on the corner of California and Grant Ave., in Chinatown.
It is NOT St. Mary’s Cathedral, located on 1111 Gough St., in the middle of the city.
How long does the tour last? The morning tour at 10 a.m. last two hours, and three hours for the tour and luncheon. The afternoon tour at 1pm is an hour and a half. The afternoon schedule is by request only. Contact us if you’d like to schedule an afternoon tour.
Are there bathroom breaks? Starbucks is located at 580 California St., one block from the church, and public restrooms are available in Portsmouth Square Park at the start of the tour. There are no public restrooms while on tour. If you are having lunch, there are restrooms at the restaurant.
What if I’m late? If you do not arrive at Old St. Mary’s Church at 660 California St. at 10 a.m., you can catch up with us at Portsmouth Square Park, bordered by the 700 block of Clay St., the 700 block of Kearny St., and the 700 block of Washington St. Our second stop might be at Ellision Herbal Pharmacy, at 738 Washington St. After this stop, it’s hard for us to determine where our next stop will be on any given day. Please try to call your tour guide on his/her cell before 10 a.m. if you are running late.
Does the tour include everything listed on the tour info page? Two hours is not enough time to visit all that is listed. The choice of sites and time spent is dependent on what you’d like to see and our ability to fit it all in. If there is something of particular interest to you, please let us know before you arrive.
What is the walk like? The walk is a leisurely stroll that covers less than half a mile from start to finish. There are a few inclines while on tour but guests of all ages find the slopes of Chinatown accessible. The walk is handicapped accessible with the exception of the visit to a temple. If stairs are a problem for you, please let us know before you arrive.
Do I have time to shop while I’m on the tour? It’s hard to resist all the great bargains in Chinatown, and you may purchase refreshments at the herbal pharmacy and cookies at the cookie factory. However, because we want to show you as much as possible, we suggest that you set aside your personal shopping at the end of the tour or lunch. To assist you, ask us to email you our Insider’s Guide to Restaurants/Shopping, updated yearly. Everyone gets a copy at the end of the tour.
Where does the tour end? Our tours begin and end in different locations. Contact us if you need to know where your tour will end before you arrive.
How many are usually on the daily tour? Anywhere from 4-25 guests. We try to limit our group size to ensure that guests see and hear everything on the tour.
Are cameras allowed? You are welcome to take photographs while on tour, with the exception of the herbal pharmacy. At the pharmacy, you can take photos of the herbs, but not of employees or shoppers.
What happens if it rains? We depart rain or shine. Half of the walking tour is inside shops and under awnings. Bring an umbrella if you would like the added protection from the rain.
Is there parking nearby? Yes. Call for current rates:
St. Mary’s Square Garage 433 Kearny St. 415-956-8106 http://sfmta.com
Portsmouth Square Park Garage 733 Kearny St. 415-982-6353 http://sfpsg.com
Golden Gateway Garage 250 Clay St. NA http://sfmta.com
FOOD & DRINK
What if I have dietary restrictions? When you purchase your ticket, please let us know if you have dietary restrictions before the tour and lunch. With advance notice, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. The restaurant offers substitutions for vegetarians and other dietary choices.
Do you sell gift cards? Absolutely! Go to the BOOK A TOUR button and scroll down to GIFT CARDS. Follow the instructions on how to purchase and redeem a gift card.
Contact us by email if you have a problem at firstname.lastname@example.org.