Free Chinatown Tour

Chinatown Underground


Our San Francisco Free Chinatown Tour unearths the true story of a neighborhood often visited, but rarely understood.

We begin with a journey into an underground tunnel where the Barbary Coast met Chinatown, an area that thrived in lawlessness and debauchery. The next stops take us into a Taoist temple, Chinatown’s main square, past the tourist trap of Grant Ave, down architecturally stunning streets, and finally, paying a visit to America’s last fortune cookie factory producing by hand.

Why underground? The truth is, a complex network of tunnels did not really exist in Chinatown. Extravagant stories abound (and even some fake tunnels) created by enterprising tour guides in the early 1900’s, which exotified the neighborhood and Chinese residents.

When we say Chinatown underground, our intent is to show you the story of Chinatown no tourist will ever come across. Join us as we explore the living, breathing community that boldly remains to this day on this free SF tour into the real Chinatown!

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Free Chinatown Tour Highlights

What we see…

  • A relic of an “underground tunnel”
  • Taste samples from a Fortune Cookie factory
  • A Taoist temple
  • Stop at a local cafe
  • The old Great Star Theater
  • A Chinese herb shop
  • The plaza where the Gold Rush began
  • The birthplace of Bruce Lee
  • Portsmouth Square, Chinatown’s “living room”
  • Photogenic Chinatown alleys
    • (as seen in The Pursuit of Happyness)
  • Painted balconies of Waverly Place

What we experience…

  • Hear tales of revolutionary leaders
  • The dire journey from China to San Francisco
  • What it was like for women
  • Court rulings that changed America forever
  • Unique architecture, food, tea and fortune cookies

Answer questions like…

  • Were there actually underground tunnel systems?
  • What makes Chinatown so important today?
  • Why did the Chinese flee to San Francisco?

Hear the stories of…

  • Rose Pak –
    the legendary matriarch of modern day Chinatown
  • Look Tin Eli 
    the entrepreneur who rebuilt the neighborhood
  • Edsel Ford Fong –
    the ‘mean waiter’ who won the nation’s hearts
  • Willie ‘Woo Woo’ Wong –
    1st Chinese-American national basketball player
  • Supreme Court Heroes
    • Mary Tape
    • Sang Lee
    • Wong Kim Ark
  • Ma Tsu/Tin How –
    the goddess of the sea, eponym of countless temples
  • Brandon Jew –
    current day restaurant owner
  • Donaldina Cameron –
    who took 3,000 women out of indentured servitude


Your Guides

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CLOSED UNTIL 2021

SF’s Best Haunted Walking Tour

Haunted SF is our 1.25 hour ghost walk through Union Square streets. This tour is family friendly and not too scary.

Our 5 Star Rated walking tour is a macabre and murderous tour through the streets of downtown San Francisco.

Not “just a ghost tour,” this night tour includes tales of unexplained deaths, scandalous murders, ruthless cult leaders, the old red light district, famed spirits, serial killers, assassins, the Black Plague, and much more.

For fans of real ghost hunting, join the Paranormal Investigation Tour. You will get exclusive access to known haunted buildings and use ghost hunting tools. Click here to book Paranormal Investigation.

Haunted Ghost Tour Details

  • Tours start between 6:30 – 9:30 pm – This is a night time walking tour. See our schedule to find a time that works for you tonight. Please arrive 10 minutes early to meet your guide.
  • Tour Duration – The tour is 1.25 to 1.5 hours. Total walking distance is about .6 miles at a leisurely pace on a flat route. We can accommodate wheelchairs, but no service animals. Please notify your guide if you’d like special assistance.
  • Professional Guides – You will be led by one of our three professional guides. Our dedicated guides have been conducting haunted walking tours for over 4 years and are rated 5 stars on Yelp, Google and TripAdvisor. Learn more about Rainey, Lisa and Wes below.
  • Family Fun – While the tour does have some disturbing details and creepy history, it is considered a family-friendly night activity that’s a ghoulish good time for all.
  • Haunted History – We hope you don’t mind getting the chills. The haunted history lesson you’ll get is a well-researched tour through true crimes and hauntings that took place on the very streets we’ll walk.
  • Haunted Locations – Visit mysterious and ghostly places in San Francisco, where residual ghost impressions are felt, poltergeists heard, and after death after consciousnesses are witnessed. For true ghost hunters looking for real hauntings, we recommend Paranormal Investigation, which will explore known haunted spaces.
  • Ghost Sightings – No guarantees, but this tour has been known to stir up spirits and invite apparitions. We’ve had guests report strange sensations, hear shrill sounds, and document unexplainable images in photographs from the tour.

 


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CLOSED UNTIL 2021

SF’s Best Haunted Walking Tour

Haunted SF is our 1.25 hour ghost walk through Union Square streets. This tour is family friendly and not too scary.

Our 5 Star Rated walking tour is a macabre and murderous tour through the streets of downtown San Francisco.

Not “just a ghost tour,” this night tour includes tales of unexplained deaths, scandalous murders, ruthless cult leaders, the old red light district, famed spirits, serial killers, assassins, the Black Plague, and much more.

For fans of real ghost hunting, join the Paranormal Investigation Tour. You will get exclusive access to known haunted buildings and use ghost hunting tools. Click here to book Paranormal Investigation.

Haunted Ghost Tour Details

  • Tours start between 6:30 – 9:30 pm – This is a night time walking tour. See our schedule to find a time that works for you tonight. Please arrive 10 minutes early to meet your guide.
  • Tour Duration – The tour is 1.25 to 1.5 hours. Total walking distance is about .6 miles at a leisurely pace on a flat route. We can accommodate wheelchairs, but no service animals. Please notify your guide if you’d like special assistance.
  • Professional Guides – You will be led by one of our three professional guides. Our dedicated guides have been conducting haunted walking tours for over 4 years and are rated 5 stars on Yelp, Google and TripAdvisor. Learn more about Rainey, Lisa and Wes below.
  • Family Fun – While the tour does have some disturbing details and creepy history, it is considered a family-friendly night activity that’s a ghoulish good time for all.
  • Haunted History – We hope you don’t mind getting the chills. The haunted history lesson you’ll get is a well-researched tour through true crimes and hauntings that took place on the very streets we’ll walk.
  • Haunted Locations – Visit mysterious and ghostly places in San Francisco, where residual ghost impressions are felt, poltergeists heard, and after death after consciousnesses are witnessed. For true ghost hunters looking for real hauntings, we recommend Paranormal Investigation, which will explore known haunted spaces.
  • Ghost Sightings – No guarantees, but this tour has been known to stir up spirits and invite apparitions. We’ve had guests report strange sensations, hear shrill sounds, and document unexplainable images in photographs from the tour.

 

Wes Leslie: Co-Founder + Guide

Wes Leslie is a songwriter, tropical bartender, and almost-local, with a long family history in the Bay. He makes “bedroom soul” music which you can find on Spotify and his website. He has spent time backpacking through much of the world, including a year living in Madrid, Spain, where he dreamt up this walking tour company. Follow him on IG @wes.leslie