Chinatown is an integral part of London’s history: although the Chinese community has settled here only since the 1950s, the Chinatown story goes much further back. The original Chinatown was in the East End, started by the Chinese employees of the East India Company in the 18th century.
In the 1950s, the Chinese living in the East End had financial difficulties that pushed some of them the the West, where they opened Chinese restaurants, encouraged by the British soldiers who had returned from the Far East with an appetite for Chinese cuisine. This is how the London's Chinatown of today was born. It's a lively place, rich in history, and fun to visit. Some of London's most exquisite Chinese restaurant are naturally here, but you'll also find attractions such as Gerrard Street with its bakeries, supermarkets, and souvenir shops, and naturally Chinese architecture, pagodas and festivals.