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“A big disappointment”

Vancouver Chinatown
Experience for Yourself
More Info
and up
Full Day Best of Vancouver Private City Tour and Wine Tasting
Ranked #205 of 352 things to do in Vancouver
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: A bustling community started by Chinese immigrant laborers in the 1880s, Chinatown today is vibrant and full of exotic sights, sounds and smells.
Harrogate, UK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A big disappointment”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Having read the tourist information we had relatively high expectations of Chinatown. Like a previous reviewer we visited Gas Town first before walking onto Chinatown. The difference between the two is striking - Gas Town is clean, tidy and you feel safe as a tourist whereas by comparison Chinatown is dirty, tatty and feels anything but safe. As we walked through it we passed a number of unsavoury characters sprawled on the floor. We visited the Chinese Garden which was nice but after this we decided to leave and take the Sky Train back to Canada Place. I would not recommend visiting, especially if travelling with a family. We had thought of eating there one evening but after seeing it during the day will now not bother.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank mikeorton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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634 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
65 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Not much to speak of”
Reviewed July 30, 2013

I didn't find Vancouver's Chinatown much more special or different from other Chinatowns we've visited. The shops were all selling the same touristy things, and there wasn't much in the way of architecture to look at.

The New Town Bakery is worth seeking out as is the garden.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank wendt85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Do not take your kids!”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I agree with the other reviews. We walked from GasTown (clean and touristy) to Chinatown and got totally shocked. Homeless drug addicts everywhere. In our haste to get out of the area we went from Bad to Terrible and walked to Hastings street. I never seen so many drug addicts, beggars, and prostitutes in my life. That is saying a lot! Our two kids were in shock as we walked from one side of the street to the other to escape. It was scary, like a scene from the Walking Dead. In our haste we took the first bus in any direction to get out. Do Not Go and do not believe the flyers! Read the reviews on this site.

Visited July 2013
10 Thank BredinFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
137 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“A fun walk, but not the greatest part of town”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We created our own walking tour of Chinatown based on information I'd found online. We visited the Millenium Gate, the Winds of Change mural, the historic alleys, the West Han Dynasty bell, the Sam Kee building, the China Gate, the Zodiac Mosaic, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens (rated separately), the giant abacus, the neon Chinatown sign, and the monument to the Canadian Chinese. It was a nice walk with a lot of history, but parts of Gastown and Chinatown were pretty rough and rundown with a lot of homeless looking characters moving around. I would only recommend Chinatown if you are comfortable with this sort of environment (a confident independent traveler), and if you have little kids I'd recommend staying away.

Visited June 2013
4 Thank LizEWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A wet firecracker”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

My biggest complaint with Chinatown is this: the only shops that seem to be bi-lingual are the ones that sell clothes or home decor. There were several shops selling a plethora of intriguing dried goods and/or produce, but ALL the signs were written in Chinese. I'm sure if I had any idea what these things were, I'd've walked out with an armload. I felt quickly like an outsider who'd be snubbed for asking.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank Arwen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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