Being in San Francisco I have never seen so many Asian people in a western city. I felt like I was in Asia somewhere, for example in Singapore, one of the biggest melting pots in the world.
We started our day with a visit to Chinatown, which was pretty uneventful. Compared to Chinatown in London, it is really not exciting at all. Maybe it’s because the Asian population is wide-spread and there are Chinese, Vietnamese or Japanese etc. restaurants EVERYWHERE. Also, I pretty much had the feeling that the part of town where we were staying was also an Asian district.
Next stop, Yerba Buena Gardens!
Next we went to the Yerba Buena Gardens, a public park nestled inside a very busy district. It is quite an oasis and very refreshing to come here for lunch break, I imagine.
The area, where the park is build upon, used to be a town in the Mexican territory before it became part of the city San Francisco. Now there are a lot of museums all around the park, arts center and even an ice skating rink (although we didn’t see it).
There is a Martin Luther King, jr. Memorial, which is just behind a waterfall. Later I found out that this waterfall is the biggest fountain on the West Coast.
From the Yerba Buena Gardens we walked all the way to Union Square in the sunshine. The square received its name from the time of the American Civil War, when the Union Army used to make their public announcements on this square. The area around the Union Square has the highest concentration of shopping malls, shops, souvenir shops, basically everything where you can spend a lot of money. (We did go shopping here the next day, by the way.)
From here we continued on to the Ferry Building, which is a terminal for ferries as well as a marketplace. There were a lot of local vendors and shops and it was interesting to see what specialties they had to offer.
We didn’t stay here long though, because we were looking for a nice lunch place. My boyfriend suggested a Chinese place that offered Xiao Long Bao, steamed soup dumplings, and steamed buns. Yummy!
On to the Golden Gate Park!
Did you know that the Golden Gate Park is even bigger than the Central Park in New York? With 4.1 square kilometers it is one of the biggest parks in the world.
And it takes quite some time to walk through it!! We arrived at the most eastern part of the park with the plan to walk the entire park until we reached the beach. It took us almost 3 hours! We had to take some breaks in between though.
The park is beautiful, it has a Japanese and a Chinese garden, some lakes (you can rent a boat for a romantic rowing boat party on the lake), a polo field and even a golf course!
After finally reaching the end of the park we also reached the beginning of the beach. The sun was already setting, the wind picked up and it was getting a bit chilly but that didn’t stop us from going to the waterfront. We walked all the way up to Cliff House while enjoying the sunset.
And finally, enjoying the sunset at Sutro Heights
We finished the day with a short hike on the trail from Sutro Heights to Lands End. It was getting quite cold already but we were determined to see the sunset from Lands End. Good thing we pulled through!
The sunset was incredibly beautiful and I am glad we were able to experience such a wonderful trip and see all these amazing sights!