A Chinatown is a staple neighbourhood in many large metropolitan cities and Vancouver boasts Canada’s largest. Located north of False Creek, you’ll find these Asian-inspired streets just east of the trendy Gastown district. Home to delicious Chinese restaurants and cafés, scenic gardens and historical monuments we recommend that everyone spends at least one afternoon absorbing the unique atmosphere of this Vancouver district. Here are seven attractions and activities that we recommend you put on your list.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Providing insight into Chinese cultures – in particular the Ming Dynasty – this was the first Chinese garden built outside China. Thanks to the similarities in climate between Vancouver and the Chinese region of Suzhou, many of the plants found in the garden are reflective of native China. Most of the garden is free to the public, however there is a small preserved area that requires an admission fee.
Explore a market
If you’re in Vancouver during the summer months you’re sure to stumble upon a market. Here you can pick up many authentic Chinese gifts and artefacts ranging from rare wild ginseng to traditional Chinese herbal medicines if you’re needing a bit of a boost.
Vancouver’s only cat café
Catfé can be found in the International Village Mall and follows the same principle as other cat cafés: guests enjoy an afternoon cup of tea while surrounded by feline friends. Remember to stop by their shop to pick up some cat-themed gifts for your cat-loving friends back home.
Chinese Tea Shop
A tea shop isn’t what would normally spring to mind when researching places to visit in a new city, but this place has become a bit a local celebrity. Opened at the turn of the millennium, Daniel Lui takes delicate care in hand-picking what teas he sells in his shop and uses only the finest leaves. There’s already restaurants in the UK that rely on Daniel supplying them with the best teas for their customers.
Indulge in Traditional Dim Sum
Vancouver is a foodie city so it’s no surprise that its very own Chinatown boasts some of the finest dim sum outside of China. There are numerous places where you try this traditional style of eating so keep your eyes open while wandering through.
Chinese Zodiac Mosaic
Find your Chinese Zodiac Sign among these beautiful mosaic art pieces found outside the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens. There’s also the nearby Chinese Zodiac Gifts & Souvenirs where you can learn more about your year of birth.
Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives
The Chinese community was one of the earliest communities to settle in Vancouver and the aim of this museum is to preserve the history and influence that Chinese Vancouverites have had on the city. Here visitors will also be able to admire displays of traditional and contemporary Chinese arts.