New Chinatown- The streets 

here are never quiet. Deep 

within the ethnically 

segregated ghettos of South 

London, Triad gangs vie for 

exclusive control of the 

rackets, while honest 

inhabitants work endless 

hours to make ends meet. 

The days here look safe 

enough, but at night its a 

different story.


Far removed from the touristy "Chinatown" north of the Thames, New Chinatown is less a Little China then it is an ethnic ghetto. With Hong Kong's return to communist rule in 1997, the late 90s saw an influx of Chinese people into the UK. Thousands came to London with little money and were forced to move in to decaying housing projects south of the Thames river. This district is the major triad stronghold in London, with at least two major gangs (Lotus Eaters, HK7), and multitudes of smaller less organized ones. Most of the taller buildings in the area are multilevel housing tenements, all of witch are in poor condition.

#1 Man Wah Chinese Cafe

Man Wah is a small Chinese fast food restaurant occupying the first floor of this building. The food here is quite popular but is no where near healthy. The upper two levels house four other businesses including two small nick-knack stores, a tattoo parlor and the office of Jay Lee, Private Detective.

#2 Club August

This club appears to be your basic low rent bar/dance club but on closer inspection you will find the real reason for the crowd. If you know the right people you can enter the casino in the back of the bar and gamble the night (and all your money) away. The bar is owned by Wong Po, who is the boss of the local Triad group, the Lotus Eaters.

#3 Excalibur Inn

This is one of the many cubical/coffin hotels owned and operated by the Red Door Inn hotel chain. For £24 a night you can stay in a small cubicle compete with a small folding bed, a small storage locker and a small sink. Or for the even more thrifty, sleep coffins are available for only £12. This flophouse is a magnet for robberies, since there is no security.

#4 Hong Kong Supermarket

Your average Chinese grocery store with fish, vegetables, canned goods etc...

#5 Ming’s Fine Oriental Foods

A high quality restaurant with a variety of Chinese cuisine. The restaurant caters exclusively to the Chinatown population, and any outsiders will be treated with hostility. Ming’s is considered a "cease fire" area by the local triad gangs, and any sort of rowdiness is simply not tolerated by the owner.

#6 A to Z electronics

This small building and the parallel structure serve as the storefront and warehouse for this successful enterprise. Upon entering, the customer will see a cluttered mess of parts for all kinds of electronics dating back to the 20th century. The store’s proprietors, Bobby and John Leung, are excellent tech and can fix almost anything you can bring them.

#7 Chinese Open Air Market

One of the land marks of the New Chinatown area is its market. It is your typical outdoor market, with hundreds of fresh food dealers, noodle stands and some of the finest sea food in London. The market is popular with the Chinese and Gwailows (whites) alike.

#8 Buddhist Temple

Actually, this so called temple is simply a makeshift place of warship in a cramped little building. The owner, Hai Kit Wai, teaches a blend of Buddhism and Taoism. The back room of the temple is lined with hundreds of jars and containers containing various herbs. Hai Kit Wai can usually be found watching an old TV in a closet sized room in the very back.

#9 Authentic Oriental Massage

Housed in an old hotel, Authentic Oriental Message offers an "authentic" oriental message (surprise, surprise) for £40 an hour. Also available are the popular "stress relief massage", and other "special" services. The building also contains a small tattoo parlor on the first floor and a drug den run by the HK7 Triad on the top floor.

#10 Hainan Business Complex

An indoor shopping center which contains a large quantity of small shops, most of which are pretty much the same, and none of which are worth mentioning.

#11 Tanjin Tea House

This popular tea house occupies the bottom two floors of this building. Tanjin is your basic teahouse but also serves small seafood plates. Its decor is modern, and it is laid out into a table section and a "bar" style section. One of its more striking features is the large saltwater aquarium running the length of the bar. It is from this aquarium that most of the seafood entrees are prepared. The Tanjin Tea House is a popular spot with local triads, who do business here frequently.

#12 Low Rent Flats

This is one of the many multilevel housing projects left over from the building spree in the early 1960s. This particular one is owned by a Spanish slumlord, who is currently at war with the Triads over ownership of this building. The building is filled with hard working people as well as with brothels, drug dens and other illicit establishments.

#13 The Sea Breeze

This tacky looking bar, with its light blue exterior and its multicolored wave logo, is actually one of the best bars in the area. It features live jazz nightly and the coldest drinks in town. A great place to wind down after a hard day.

#14 Strip Mall

A small strip mall containing a Laundromat, a hair salon and a liquor store.

#15 Ng’s Market Pharmacy

Robert Ng is a local pharmacist who uses his drug store as a cover for his ripperdoc practice. He is the man most triad thugs see after getting wounded in a street fight. Ng’s is not considered a "cease fire" area and the local gangs have been known to drag certain patients back out into to the street to finish the job. Needless to say Ng asks for his payment up front.

#16 Shopping Complex

This shopping complex contains the following:

Hong Kong Video is a basic Chinese video store. They have tons of current releases, old releases and

braindace. If you talk to the right people you can get the newest illegal braindance including porn and snuff.

The building also contains a convenience store and a pawn shop.

#17 Starcade

An arcade with both regular games and braindance versions. Popular with youths everywhere. The owner is said to have a side career as a black-marketer.

#18 News +

A newsstand carrying entirely Asian publications. The owner, Wong Lin, is a good source of information if you are Chinese.

#19 Chin’s Motor Works

Chin specializes in fixing all sorts of motorcycles and scooters, but is also quite handy when it comes to cars. Chin will also help you "unload" any "extra" motorcycles you may have acquired.

#20 Kar-wai Imports

Run by an older Chinese couple, this establishment deals in imported eastern goods.

#21 Warehouse Complex

What more is there to say.

#22 Water Treatment Plant

This facility was once used to treat and store water for the area. After a newer facility was built to the west, this one was abandoned. Its anybody’s guess what goes on here after dark.

#23 Good Luck Family Grocery

Good Luck is a mediocre connivance store with a large liquor section. It has been busted several times for selling hard core porn to minors.

by Paul Minor (pminor@pacificnet.net)