If you find yourself roaming the streets of New York City’s Chinatown, you should probably make it a point to stop at the Museum of Chinese in America, more commonly referred to as MOCA. This small interactive Chinatown museum makes an excellent educational stop while in the area, the perfect way to learn about the culture, the people, and the experience of Chinese Americans throughout history. Small but powerful, this museum gives guests a new perspective on New York, a history and heritage perhaps unexplained before. Chinatown is about much more than the tourist-based culinary and retail experiences, Chinatown is about a vibrant community with a diverse heritage that brought entirely new ways of living to the city of New York.
The museum itself was designed by architect Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C. Within the stunning walls you can take student tours, guided gallery tours, and even Chinatown walking tours, each an excellent educational experience you won’t find anywhere else. Explore stories of local heritage as you hear dialogue from locals and explore prominent neighborhoods with the Highlights Tour, a 45-minute excursion that you may also add a lunch of dim sum to if desired. Another popular tour option, The Chinatown Walking Tour, takes you through the museum and all the major neighborhoods surrounding it and lasts 75 minutes, if you have a bit more time. Before you go you may want to check and see if there are any evening or weekend programs or events happening as well, this cultural hotspot often featuring night markets, artist visits, and lectures.