Some of these Chinatowns are small and quaint (hello London! hello Melbourne!). Modest in size but charming, nonetheless.
Others are massive. My weekend in San Francisco was nowhere near enough time to fully discover its Chinatown.
No matter what, they all have a lot in common. They have more than their fair share of shops which look like they belong in an episode of Hoarders (I haven't actually watched it, but it taunts me whenever I browse through the shows for instant streaming on Netflix).
The buildings are beautifully jumbled, close together, and crowd the narrow streets and laneways that are a standard for districts found within walking distance of other city attractions.
Until we visited LA's very own Chinatown last weekend.
Sure, there were the Hoarder-qualifying shops. And I guess it was within walking distance of other city attractions, if you count the Dodger Stadium - which is only really accessible by car. This is Los Angeles, after all.
But jumbled buildings on narrow streets? I didn't know it was possible for Chinatown to do sprawl. On wide, can't-cross-quickly roads. The closest resemblance to bustling laneways were depressing, dark arcades which would have felt right at home in the communist era.
How about some colourful vibrance, you say?
Happily, there were plenty of shops with all kinds of products spilling out onto the footpath. After walking past the twentieth shop selling turtles the size of your middle toe, the Faery now has a new obsession and wants one.
And of course, it wouldn't be Chinatown without seeing some kind of food product to turn your stomach (as well as drooling over the more appealing food).