Chinese District in Paris: What to See? What to Do? Where to Eat?

The Parisian Chinese District was created when a failed real estate project met Indo-Chinese people seeking refuge from communism. The “Triangle d’Or” (golden triangle) – as it is commonly called – is delimited by Choisy, Ivry and Tolbiac Avenues. You would like to visit the district, but don’t know where to start? Here is our selection of visits, activities and restaurants worth seeing.

 

What to see in the Chinese District?

Visit the temples of the district

Buddhist temple in Paris
Taoist temple in the Chinese District of Paris – Credits: Sam Nabi, flickrCC BY-SA 2.0

There are two temples in the Triangle d’Or.

The first is a Buddhist temple built by the Association des Résidents en France d’Origine Indochinoise*, located 37 rue du Disque. The entrance is in a parking lot and the front doesn’t look like much, but it is still a place of peace and sharing. Aside from the religious activities, the temple offers to the people of the district Chinese classes and help with their administrative procedures. The atmosphere is calming and relaxing.

In the temple you can see the statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin, the goddess of compassion. All kinds of offerings can be found on the altar (food, cleaning products,
etc.).

The second is a Taoist temple built by the Amicale des Teochew and can be found at 44 avenue d’Ivry. This temple, too, is a place of sharing. In the first room you can have a cup of tea, read a book and talk with the people around. In the second room is the temple. You can observe the statues of the eighteen immortal guardians of the Law, as well as three statues of Buddha on the altar, accompanied by the Buddhist triad – the three incarnations of Buddha. The place smells like frankincense and is lit by candles.

Make sure you remember to take off your shoes before entering.

 

Check out the street art in the district

Giant murals in Paris district 13
Credits : Jeanne Menjoulet, flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

The 13th District is an urban culture hot spot* and – naturally – so is the Chinese District.

As you wander through the Triangle d’Or, you can observe all kinds of murals and other installations. Many artists made their debuts in the district but the most famous is Stew , a French street artist whose work is inspired by Asia.

You can take a look at one of his most famous artworks on the Place Vénétie, on the front facade of the Tiroli Tower: a mural depicting a giant blue heron.

If you want to you can also take a look at the work of Pantonio, a Portuguese artist known for the work he did throughout the 13th District. One of the most noticeable pieces is on the front facade of the Sienne tower, on the Place Vénétie. The name of the piece is “Tourbillon de Sardines” (sardines whirlwind) and its beauty is breathtaking.

 

Take a look at Italie 13 and Les Olympiades

Olympiades and their skyscrapers
Credits: Albert Bergonzo, Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 4.0

Italie 13 was the name of an urban development plan for the 13th district in the 1970s. It was centred around the Avenue d’Italie, hence its name. The project was abandoned and out of the 50 towers that were supposed to be built, only 30 were.

The Chinese District started when Indo-Chinese refugees came to Paris and found all these empty apartments.
The Paris you get to see there has nothing to do with the Paris you can find on postcards. The skyscrapers are mixed with the Olympiades – the “village in the city” as it is called – one of the key elements of the Italie 13 plan. Many shops can be found in these buildings with their pagoda roofs.

Urban photographers love the district for its unlikely architectures, far from blending
together and standing out from the landscape.

 

What to do in the Chinese District?

Chinese New Year

Chinese new year parade
The Chinese New Year Parade is something not to miss – Credits: Rog01, FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0

The Chinese New Year takes place, of course, every year, at the beginning of February. What better place to celebrate it than in the Chinese District?

A lot of activities are planned: street performances, screening-debates, open-air festivals, expositions and – of course – the oldest Parisian parade.

Beautiful traditional dresses can be seen on the people of the parade, as well as unique costumes.

Be careful, though, firecrackers are everywhere!

 

Shop at Tang Frères

supermarket specialized in asian products
Credits: Shihchuan ,Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

You would like to bring back a souvenir from your trip to the Triangle d’Or? You can shop at Tang Frères*, the most famous store of the district. It is now a chain store but the original shop is on the Avenue d’Ivry and it is the biggest.

You can buy DVDs, souvenirs and trinkets, of course, but the shop is mostly known for its fresh food aisle.

The quality fruits and vegetables are fresh and numerous. You most likely won’t be familiar with half of them.

Asian produce is also well represented with a large selection of well-known produce as well as niche ones.

 

Where to eat in the Chinese District?

Have a cup of tea at L’Empire des Thés

L'Empire des thés

Google review: 4.6/5

You would like to have a break after all these activities? Come have a cup of tea at L’Empire des Thés*, one of the most famous tea shops and houses in Paris.
The motto of the shop is sharing. The sharing of a tradition, of course, but also the sharing of a philosophy and a way of life.
All teas are directly imported from China and were selected with care.

There are two categories: the Mixéo selection, which is composed of flavoured teas (floral, fruity, spicy, etc.) and the Orichine selection, which is composed of plain origin teas (white, black, yellow, green etc.)

Whether on the spot or loose, there are more than 200 types of tea available, as well as a large collection of tea accessories.

Address: 101 avenue d’Ivry, 75013, Paris

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm

 

Have a real bubble tea at Bubble House

Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea, a Taiwanese traditional drink

Google review: 4.3/5

A bubble tea is a mix of green and black teas, with a fruity flavour, and milk, in which are added tapioca pearls – it is served fresh.
It originated in Taiwan and it has been a real success in France in the last few years.

Even though a lot of specialised shops have opened since the beginning of the trend, it takes a lot of knowledge and savoir-faire to make a true bubble tea.

Bubble House* has all that. The atmosphere of the shop is cosy and they make bubble tea on demand. You can pick between black and green tea, with or without milk and tapioca pearls, and offer a large selection of different flavours.
It is a delight.

Address: 45 Avenue de Choisy, 75013, Paris

Opening hours: every day from 1pm to 7pm

 

Eat a pho at Pho Bành Cúon 14

Pho, a Vietnamese traditional dish © DeaShoot

Google review: 4.1/5

No superficialities here, the setting is very minimalistic. The focus is put on the food and it says a lot about the quality of Pho Bành Cúon 14 – which is now one of the most renowned of the Chinese District.

The recipes are not extravagant but they are delicious. After all, it takes no more than fresh products and expertise.
If you like pho – a traditional Vietnamese soup made of noodles – you have found the right place. Whether with beef (raw or cooked, your choice) or chicken, everyone agrees when they say that they are the best in Paris.
The bo buns and nems are delicious, too.

Careful though: with a menu at only €15/person, you might have to wait to eat. We
promise it is worth the wait!

Address: 129 avenue de Choisy, 75013, Paris

Opening hours: everyday from 9am to 11pm

 

Feast at Impérial Choisy

Asian dish

Google review: 3.9/5

If you would prefer a wide range of Asian dishes, Impérial Choisy is the perfect place for you.

On the menu: different fish / duck / chicken / beef / lamb / tofu / pork dishes, noodles, fried ramen, different types of soups, doughnuts, dumplings, nems and more.
If you want something, it is almost certain that it is on the menu of Impérial Choisy.

The portions are large and the service is perfect.

Address: 32 avenue de Choisy, 75013, Paris

Opening hours: everyday from 12am to 11pm

 

Where to sleep in the Chinese District?

AMHotel Italie

AMHotel Italie

The AMHotel Italie is located at the heart of the Chinese District. It offers modern and comfortable studios, which are well-equipped and will allow you to remain independent during your trip and to visit the town at your own pace.

If you would like to immerse yourself for a few days in the culture of the Triangle d’Or, by celebrating the Chinese New Year for example, this hotel is perfect for you.

Prices start at €95 a night.

Address: 96 Avenue de Choisy, 75013, Paris

 

Hôtel Novex

Novex Hotel

Hôtel Novex welcomes you at only a short walking distance from the Chinese District (4 minutes from the Place Vénétie). The rooms are all soundproofed with en suites and satellite TV, and the private bathrooms are rather large (shower or bathtub).

With prices starting at €46 a night, this is the perfect hotel for lower budgets.

Address: 8 Rue Caillaux, 75013, Paris

 

Best Western Amiral Hotel

Best Western Amiral Hotel

The Best Western Amiral Hotel* is not directly inside the Chinese District but at a short distance from it (10 minutes from the Place Vénétie), which allows you to visit the Triangle d’Or during the Chinese New Year without being caught by the festivities.

It offers large, nicely decorated rooms. Breakfast can be served in your room or in the dining room according to your preference.

You have access to a private parking lot, an inside pool, a Lounge bar, a garden and a beautiful terrace.

Prices start at €86 a night.

Address: 98 Avenue d’Italie, 75013, Paris

 

Ibis Styles Paris Massena Olympiades

Ibis Hotel

Located at a 10 minutes’ walk from the Place Vénétie and only 4 minutes from the métro stop “Porte d’Ivry”, the Ibis Styles Paris Massena Olympiades* gives you access to the Chinese District as well as the rest of Paris.

The rooms are comfortable and minimalistic, and they are well-equipped and decorated in a modern fashion.

Breakfast can be served in your room or in the dining room, according to your preference.

Prices start at €66 a night.

Address: 82-84 rue Regnault, 75013, Paris

 

Ibis Paris Avenue d’Italie 13ème

Ibis Hotel

The Ibis Paris Avenue d’Italie 13ème hotel is the most remote from the Chinese District (about ~15 minutes from the Place Vénétie) but it has the advantage of being at a 2 minute walk from the Place d’Italie. You can visit the Triangle d’Or during the day and have a drink in one of the bars of the place, or shop at the Italie 2 mall when you are done.

The rooms are especially comfortable and are elegantly decorated.
Breakfast is served in the common room.

You can also have a drink at the bar or eat something at the restaurant of the hotel, all day long.
You have access to a private parking lot.

Prices start at €48 a night.

Address: 15, Bis Avenue d’Italie, 75013, Paris

 

*the website is not yet available in English

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