Centro Interactivo Sol del Niño
This children’s museum (López Mateos and Alfonso Esquer, tel. 686/554-9595 or -9696, www.sol.org.mx, 9 A.M.–7 P.M. Mon.–Fri., 10 A.M.–2 P.M., Sat.–Sun., free), located in a former cotton seed warehouse, has more than 250 interactive science and technology exhibits.
Mexicali is home to Mexico’s only distinct Chinatown. The intersection at the heart of the district is Calle Benito Juárez and Calle Altamirano, close to the border crossing. The city itself boasts 100 Chinese restaurants, mostly serving Cantonese-style cuisine. Earlier in the 20th century, the percentage of Chinese residents in the city was much higher, and the only two cinemas in the city played movies in Chinese.
Today relatively few Chinese families remain, but Chinese culture and traditions live on. The signature monument to the Chinese presence in Mexicali is the pagoda on Plaza de Amistad (just outside the district). It was made entirely by Chinese craftsmen using materials shipped from China and was dedicated in 1994.
Bosque de la Ciudad
Visit Bosque de la Ciudad in southwest Mexicali (Ocotlán and Alvarado, 9 A.M.–5 P.M. Tues.–Sun.) when you need a break from the dusty downtown. This large city park has its own lake and zoo.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition