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Chinatown Vancouver (pronounced “Vancoover”) is a historic district.

The Chinese are hardly immigrants here in Vancouver they are pioneers who came over to build the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1800’s.

Chinatown Vancouver

The new immigrant workers were not treated very well and developed their own community and helped each other to become successful.

Nowadays the local merchants welcome all visitors and have even started a campaign where store advertising is done in both Chinese and English.

It’s worth a trip to this historic part of town so if your time allows get away from your downtown Vancouver hotel and take a walking tour. You get a group together of at least 10 and go with a guide or pick up some information at the Chinese Cultural Centre and go on your own.

Chinatown is both foreign and exotic at the same time and it's a popular tourist attraction for the adventurous kind of traveler.

Unlike any other neighborhood in Vancouver you really can feel like you're in another country when you're walking about in this part of Vancouver.

Part of it is the fascinating Asian foods overflowing out to the sidewalk from the stores.

Another thing that brings the feeling of being in a different country is the Asian music coming from store speakers as you walk along the and the sounds of Cantonese and Mandarin that you hear on the street as the shoppers and merchants barter and share gossip at the same time.

For extra fun in Chinatown surprise the merchants and learn some easy Mandarin phrases before you visit.

Chinatown Vancouver

For great inexpensive shopping the best stores are the ones that sell a variety of goods.

There’s one there called the Bamboo Village that sells everything from antiques, baskets, linens and pottery to martial art supplies and some just plain junk...it’s great!

There are some extra special times to visit Chinatown.

  • The first Sunday of Chinese New Year somewhere in January or February is one of them. The date for Chinese New Year varies from year to year according to the Lunar Calendar so you have to check.

Chinese New Year always starts with a huge parade and thousands of locals and tourists come to watch dragon and lion dances.

  • During the summer there's the Chinese Night Market every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30pm until 11:00pm) from May until September.

You can shop for all kinds of handicrafts and electronics, watch multi-cultural performances on stage an assortment of snacks and ethnic food.

  • In December there's the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival. The festival is the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens in Chinatown and all the trees in the garden are decorated with lit paper lanterns to celebrate the shortest day of the year.

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens are the first classical Chinese garden built outside of China. It was built with materials that were brought over from China without any nails or electrical tools.

Have you paid a visit to Chinatown Vancouver?

What did you think of it?... Tell us about your adventure.

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