Mexico's Secret Chinese Underworld 🇲🇽 Mexicali, Mexico

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Mexicali, Mexico – This is the capital of Baja California, Mexicali, and it has such a unique history to the fabric of Mexico, I had to add this place as the last stop on my first Northern Baja road trip.
Between the mid-1800s and the 1940s, Mexicali, became Mexico’s largest Chinatown.
By 1920, Mexicali’s Chinese population outnumbered the Mexican population 10,000 to 700, and yet, many people still didn’t even realize how many were here.
We meet up with our local guide Diego, to get the full story.
Now here’s the most interesting part for me about La Chinesca.
Just beneath the surface of central old town, in the neighborhood of La Chinesca, there’s a labyrinth of basements and tunnels that once were home to an entire population of Chinese immigrants.
During Prohibition in the United States, La Chinesca in Mexicali housed just about all of the city’s casinos and bars, and established a tunnel system to connect bordellos and opium dens to neighboring Calexico on the U.S. side.
Along with being a passageway for bootleggers into the United States, this underground world was also where Chinese people would live here in Mexicali.

Casa de Piedra
There’s a lot of rumors that surround this abandoned rocky hideaway, way out in the middle of nowhere. Some say Casa de Piedra was a gift from an ex Mexican President to a beautiful actress, while others believe this remote location was used by narcos to torture people.
Whatever the truth was, Casa de Piedra has since been taken over and cleaned up by a local organization.

La Rumorosa
From one legendary landmark to another, the mountain pass that connects Tecate with Mexicali, known as La Rumorosa is said to be the most dangerous highway in Mexico.
There are sheer drops virtually along the entire route and hairpin turns the weave you up and then back down the 4,000 feet of elevation change, not to mention the supernatural beings that are said to haunt this drive.
At the risk of ruining the dramatics for this scene, we were lucky enough to cross La Rumorosa from Tecate to Mexicali without much traffic or bad weather, so honestly, for us, it wasn’t that bad at all.


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Hi! My name is Gareth Leonard, an American Travel YouTuber with a passion for slow, meaningful Travel. I have spent the past 12+ years traveling around the world while creating travel vlogs to help inspire and educate people to “Travel Deeper.”

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  1. That egg tart is a cantonese style egg tart which is an influence of the British egg tart. The Macau one looks just like the Portuguese ones with the burnt top. The cantonese egg tart came before the cantonese version of the Portuguese tart..

  2. Mexican American here that went on a short trip to the aerospace office in Mexicali. Stayed at an upscale hotel and was received with love by the Mexican engineers who all spoke English. I had Brazilian, Japanese and Chinese food during my stay. Beautiful women out there too.

  3. la comida tipica de mexicali es la comida china! fue una sorpresa para mi cuando la visite x primera vez.
    tambien el calor de mexicali es impresionante en junio, julio, agosto
    la gente de mexicali es a toda madre, algun dia volvere

  4. I like how you mentioned the Portuguese style of egg tart on how it is seared, they have that style in Macau and of course it has spread to Hong Kong and regions of the world with significant Cantonese diaspora. I can give you some fire egg tart recommendations that are large and seared in the SGV if you are interested!

  5. I am a Mexican citizen of Chinese descent; when I heard about the free Mandarin lessons I got excited… But I am all the way down in Mexico City haha

  6. I'm honored that u made this video❗❗ I'm less than 2 hrs away & been coming here ever since I was a kid & its A TRUE Gem❗❗ MANY people I know r from there & gotta try the tacos❗❗

  7. I appreciate the fact that they don't gloss over or lie about the fact that Mexican society is overtly racist and that the Chinese immigrants were illegal in Mexicali and had to literally go underground. Honesty is rare, especially in cases where it shows an ugly truth. Much respect.

  8. Mexicali is just a wonderful city, it has great food, u dont go to Mexicali to eat tacos, you go to Mexicali to eat chinese food, sushi and hot wings

  9. This is a beautiful video well made tons of information that I didn't even know , me being a citizen of mexicali I fully appreciate you putting all this information about our town so the rest of the world can see

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