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Vancouver's Chinatown

Take a walk through one of the city's most exciting and culturally focused neighborhoods and experience the Orient.
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.6 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Vancouver is a city of neighborhoods. When you walk around this city, look at the faces. It’s like being in the lobby of the United... more »

Tips:  Wear a good pair of walking shoes. Tennis shoes are fine. In Vancouver it does rain a lot so a small unbrella is always handy.

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Points of Interest

1. Shanghai Alley

Shanghai Alley, a half-block east of the Chinatown Gate, today is a narrow street that might go unnoticed. But at one time it was the bustling heart of Chinatown. It was here that Chinese immigrants, between 1890/1920, settled, establishing the early Chinese community.

Walk down this street to the replica of the West Han Dynasty Bell given to... More

Once through the walkway, walk up Keefer and turn left at Carrall Street for the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden (578 Carrall Street). It’s the first authentic classical Chinese garden built outside mainland China and is a reflection of gardens during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).

This enclosed classic Ming Dynasty garden was created with the... More

The Sam Kee Building at Carrall and Pender streets is the narrowest in the world at 1.8 meters by 30 meters (5.9 ft. x 98.3 ft.), certified by the Guinness Book of Records and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Built in 1913 it looks bigger than it really is because of the bay windows on the upper floor. The basement extends beneath the sidewalk and... More

The Chinese Cultural Centre, a few metres north of the Sam Kee Building (50 E. Pender Street) is marked by an enormous red gateway. The centre serves a dual purpose – it’s a museum and archive that chronicles the Chinese experience in British Columbia, including a military museum on the second floor, and a wide selection of art forms; and it’s... More

5. East Pender Street

Walk down East Pender Street. It stretches the length of Chinatown and embraces two different worlds. South of Main Street are the big tourist attractions. North of Main are the intimate neighborhood stores and eating places.

The entire street is a living entity lined with Mandarin, Cantonese, and Szechwan restaurants - take your pick - and... More

6. The Wing Sang Company Building

The Wing Sang Company Building (51 East Pender Street) is one of the oldest in the city and is the oldest original building in Chinatown, built in 1888/89 by Chinese merchant Yip Sang. He established the Wing Sang Company that was an agent for the Canadian Pacific Steamship Line. The typical Chinatown building at that time was a two-storey wooden... More

Hungry? If you’re with a group of four or more, you might try The Floata Seafood Restaurant at 180 Keefer St. It is Canada’s largest with some 1,000 seats. Try the lobster in cream sauce or the braised mushrooms with mustard greens.

If you’re a couple, Keefer Street and East Pender offer more than enough choices both at street level and higher.

Between mid-May and early September, Friday through Sunday evening (6pm-10pm), the open-air Chinese Market spreads out at Keefer and Main Streets. There you'll find Asian traditional handicraft, and a wide slection of things to eat. A variety of booths sell handicrafts, clothing and all things Chinese as well as minor electronic equipment. ... More