23 reasons why the ID rocks

People always ask us, ‘Why should we come down to the International District?’ ” Well, we’ve compiled 23 reasons why. This list is, by no means, comprehensive, so if you’ve got tips or insight, we’d love to hear them.

Image by Chinami Tajika/NWAW (Photos by Jared Chang, Yuji Nelson, and George Liu/NWAW)

1. It is rich in culture. What is notable about the ID is that many Asian ethnicities live together in the same neighborhood.

2. It has a gorgeous Chinatown Gate to greet newcomers and old friends alike. The gate was built in 2008 from authentic materials brought over from China.

3. It has a long Asian immigrant history, which began in the mid-19th century. Before ethnic newspapers took over, the bulletin board shown was one of the few ways to keep up-to-date on the latest happenings of the community.

4. If you come hungry, there are more than 100 restaurants ready to fill your belly. Consider Shanghai Garden’s famous barley green noodles or visit Maneki, which is more than 100 years old.

5. It is home to the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, which is the only Pan-Asian museum in the nation. It also underwent a $23.2 million dollar remodel during the last few years.

6. If you have a hankering for some good reads in Asian languages, the Chinatown-International District branch of the Seattle Public library has a huge section dedicated to non-English works.

7. It is home to a factory! Tsue Chong is family-owned and ran. Though best known for its fortune cookies, the factory also makes great noodles.

8. There are many languages spoken in the ID — and you can learn them in any of its language schools (Shown on the right is the Chinese Language School.).

9. There are fresh produce and seafood everywhere you look, whether you like the mom and pop stores or supermarkets like Uwajimaya or Viet-Wah.

10. It has a tradition of being family and community oriented. Tongs and family associations were started here a century ago (Shown is Soo Yuen Tong.).

11. It is a spiritual place, whether you are looking to visit a Buddhist temple or a Christian church.

12. If you’re looking for alternative medicine, the ID is wrought with informed herbalists, acupuncturists, and naturopaths like Zhu Fengshan (left), Raymond Chan (middle), or his daughter Salina Chan.

13. Though Seattle can be an expensive city to live in, the ID is a place known for its affordable rent.

14. Where other cities don’t even have one Asian newspaper, the ID is home to many.

15. In the ID, there is always a social service organization to lend a hand. These include Legacy House, International Community Health Services, InterIm, Chinese Information and Service Center, Nikkei Manor, Helping Link, and many more!

16. Though the ID is arguably best known for its restaurants, it’s also a business district. Banks litter the streets — in a good way.

17. Want to learn kung fu? How about karate? The ID has it covered with its many martial arts schools.

18. There are plenty of opportunities to engage in a little retail therapy. You can find a good deal at Goodwill, visit Uwajimaya’s gift shop, find a book at Kinokuniya Bookstore, or find a mahjong set at Modern Trading Co.

19. It has plenty of food for people on the go. Take out some roasted duck from nearby BBQ shops or buy a sweet bun from any of the bakeries.

20. Want to go watch the Mariners or Seahawks play? Qwest Field and Safeco Fields are just a hop and skip away.

Photo provided by Seattle Seahawks

21. It is a transportation center. Need to take a train, bus, or light rail? The Union Street Station can help.

22. It has lots of facilities to rent out for special occasions like pageants, fundraisers, or shows. Check out the ID  Community Center or Ocean City for big parties of 500.

23. Need to fly to Asia on the cheap? There are many travel agencies like China China or Jade Holiday Travel that will hook you up.

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2 Responses to “23 reasons why the ID rocks”

  1. tj says:

    What about the Panama Hotel and Tea House at 605 1/2 S. Main? Not only is it an important historical Northwest treasure, making the Japanese Internment real, it houses one of the last true Japanese baths in the country, and the tea and espresso are superior. The Panama Hotel figures prominently in a best selling book, called the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

  2. p-glo says:

    ohmygoodness, you have overlooked what is perhaps the best thing ever about the ID….. Seattle’s Best Tea shop located at 506 s. king street. the tea mistress there (ms. lydia) is truly lovely and believes in tea as part of a healthy lifestyle and not just as another beverage. and she carries a wonderful variety of excellent loose leaf teas, from inexpensive to expensive hand picked tea from the high mountains of taiwan. ms. lydia is the perfect hostess and is very wise. she will entice you to sit down with her to try some of her wonderful offerings, so listen closely when she speaks and you will find yourself greatly comforted, at least for a little while. if you’re a tea enthusiast this is definitely one of the best highlights not just in the ID but in all of seattle.


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