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.
The afternoon tour does not include the luncheon. The tour makes all the same stops as the morning tour, but we move a little faster, and often ends at the tea shop – a good place to sit, relax, and recharge.
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.
Are there bathroom breaks? At the start of the tour there are public restrooms in Portsmouth Square. It is difficult to find other public restrooms while on tour. If you are having lunch, there are restrooms at the restaurant.
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
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 is 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.