From Frankfurt to The Hague in search of a Chinatown

Eileen, from Germany’s Frankfurt, moved to the Netherlands a few years ago to study at Leiden University. She’s currently completing her bachelor’s degree in International Studies there.


She has a fondness for everything Chinese because she fell in love with China and Chinese culture when she visited the country for the first time when she was only fourteen years old.


She’s always wanted to live in a city with a Chinatown. Now that she lives in the Hague, her dream has come true: “I now only live one kilometer away!” She told us she runs through Chinatown every morning and has some beautiful early-morning photos to share with us. Because of her enjoyment of Chinese culture, Eileen has many favorites in Chinatown, almost too many to count. But curious as we are, we asked her, and she delivered! But first, check out this wonderful almost foggy early-morning shot!


“I really like cooking, so I often go to Wah Nam Hong. Recently I went there to buy taho tofu and pak choi. I also bought supplies to make mapo tofu.”



It shows that you like cooking! This dish looks so beautiful and tasty that we believe it could be served at a restaurant. And look at the garnishing with spring onions, super fresh. You bet, we’re jealous!


“When I went to China for the first time, I went to Shanghai, Beijing, and Jinan. I stayed with a host family there. I’m veggie, and they were so nice to me that for the time I stayed, they cooked only vegetarian meals, so that I could try out everything: baozi, jiaozi, tofu, you name it! It was a wonderful experience.”


We can imagine! Baozi(包子)is such a comfort food. A delicious bun full of goodies. And dumplings(餃子)are delicious no matter the occasion. You were lucky to meet such an amazing host family!


“Yes! This one is maybe more for eating dim sum, but Full Moon City is a great place to eat real Chinese food in Chinatown. They do have dumplings of course, as well as countless other delicious foods. They also have quite a lot of cocktails too, I once went there on a first date with someone. I think it’s a really cute place.”


So cool to hear! Besides the food (which we can agree on is one of the best parts of China), what are other things you enjoy, for example, things about Chinese culture?


“I enjoy watching kung fu movies and Chinese dramas. Especially the ones with Bruce Lee. In fact, I am so passionate about him that I even managed to write one of my essays for a course I had taken about him! On top of that, I’ve seen people eat hot pot so often in those kung fu movies, that I want to eat it myself too. It seems to be such a nice social way to eat good food!”


True! However, you’ve got to be careful and know how long to cook each food item for. Don’t undercook nor overcook them.


“True, true. I found many YouTube videos explaining how to cook each type of hot pot food. It should work out!”


Eileen spends a lot of time in Chinatown with her friends too. One time, her friend from Aruba (who’s studying the same program as Eileen) joined her for a visit to Chinatown. “It happened to be during wintertime, and it was quite snowy. We went to get bubble tea, this time we got a hot cup instead of cold to warm up.”


So does that mean you have photos of Chinatown during the few days of snow this winter?




Oh, wow! We’re so happy to share this with everyone. Enjoy Chinatown’s winter photos!



Eileen, do you have more fun stories to tell about Chinatown?


“Of course! One time, after we had exams at university, my friend and I actually went to Chinatown to have post-exam drinks. We thought it was very much deserved because we’d been studying quite intensively. It’s great to relax after exam periods!”


It is a beautiful picture! It must have been a great afternoon.


“Yes, it was! Now that we’re talking about exams, do you know the store Oriëntique?”


The Chinese furniture store located at Wagenstraat?


“Exactly. That one. One time I had two exams on East Asian history. I was so motivated to study that I went to Oriëntique and looked at all the furniture pieces there. Also history, right?”


You bet it is!


Eileen, thank you so much for sharing your story with us! We hope to hear from you again! If you want to follow Eileen on Instagram, her handle is @eileen_stdt.


This article is part of ‘Chinatown Chats’ – stories of people who have a connection to Chinatown The Hague. Do you have a story to share? Let us know via the contact form on our website or send us a DM on Facebook or Instagram!