Cyrildene, Johannesburg

Cyrildene is known as Johannesburg's Chinatown. Its streets, particularly Derrick Avenue, are lined with a myriad Chinese supermarkets with names like Jing Hua supermarket and Jong Hua Tea Shop that bring with them a quaintness and authenticity that has given the suburb a feeling all its own.

Jo'burg's old Chinatown in Newtown at the bottom end of Commissioner Street upped and moved here almost soundlessly as the heart of Johannesburg gave way to vagrants and peeling paint, and what used to be principally a Jewish suburb (there is still one functioning synagogue) became a cosmopolitan collection of shops whilst retaining its residential homes.

Cyrildene lies just below Observatory, virtually next door to Gilooly's Farm and Bruma Lake, which now resembles a fisherman's village with a series of restaurants, shops and bargain hunters. Cyrildene, like many other southern suburbs, has joined the penchant for rejuvenating older properties. The suburb is full of typical 1950s solid face-brick homes, many of which now have stripped floors and restored pressed ceilings.

As well as the fisherman's village, Bruma Lake also has one of the most interesting lakeside markets with over 600 traders that stock a plethora of arts, crafts, textiles, antiques and curios that give one a real sense of the grassroots trade in the city.

Gilooly's Farm, which lies in the southern reaches of the Harvey Nature Reserve, is a haven for family picnics over weekends. Lying just west of Cyrildene in the suburb of Bedfordview, Gilooly's has a series of beautiful gardens that bring a real country feel into the heart of the suburbs, in which one can picnic or walk (there are hiking trails).

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Destination Cyrildene
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