Chinatown in Vancouver, Canada, is one of the largest, most vibrant, and historic Chinatowns in North America. Come here to experience the authentic Chinese lifestyle; eat traditional food, join in with typical customs, and immerse yourself in Asian culture. Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Vancouver’s vivacious Chinatown.
Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a tranquil paradise in the middle of bustling Vancouver, and was designed as a ‘bridge of understanding’ between Chinese and western cultures. Come here to see colorful flowers, lush grass, and a plethora of fascinating artefacts in the Ming dynasty-inspired scholar’s study. Sit on a bench and take in the peacefulness of your surroundings. The contrast of traditional Chinese horticulture with the modern city towers in the background makes for a striking photograph.
The Jimi Hendrix Shrine is a memorial shack for the internationally acclaimed musician and legendary guitarist. Raised locally, the shrine is on the site of Vie’s Chicken and Steak House where his grandmother worked, and Jimi regularly spent time. Like any adoring groupie’s bedroom, the walls are plastered with charming memorabilia, including the letters Jimi wrote to his grandmother. Stay tuned for a rumoured 32ft (10m) statue of the musician, which could only make this hotspot more alluring.
Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie is a top-notch restaurant offering authentic Asian plates with a creative twist. Diners are greeted by the intoxicating aromas of traditional herbs and spices, which make the food here so flavorful. Recommended dishes include beef tartare, the marinated eggplant appetizer, succulent pork belly, and the cold sesame noodles served with chicken confit. Delicious!
If you have a liking for mystery-solving games or crime dramas, then this is the place for you. Curious displays of confiscated weapons and police gadgets can be found at the Vancouver Police Museum, a fascinating and wide-ranging exhibition that aims to provide an in-depth look at the history of law and order in the city. As you might expect, the staff here are extremely helpful and friendly (as long as you abide by the rules).
Treasure Green Tea Company in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown specializes in many types of tea (not just green) and most notably the aromatic oolong variety. Olivia is the name of the owner here, and she’s incredibly knowledgeable and experienced in the careful preparation of this hot beverage. Take a seat at the bar and study the comprehensive menu. You’ll find samples, gifts, tea oils, and a broad array of tea-making goodies.