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“My goodness... bad neighborhood!”

Vancouver Chinatown
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$170.69*
and up
Full Day Best of Vancouver Private City Tour and Wine Tasting
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$243.84*
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Full Day Best of Vancouver Private City and Gardens Tour
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$199.20*
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Vancouver Private Walking Tour of Downtown Chinatown and Gastown
Ranked #223 of 359 things to do in Vancouver
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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.
Reviewed August 20, 2014

We visited the Chinatown without prior knowledge that it's right next to the notorious Vancouver east side that's considered one of the bad neighborhoods. We started noticing some homeless people but pretty soon the whole area is full of them. One was even harassing a couple of guys waiting for the bus and they eventually called the cops, which arrived minutes later. We didn't feel it's a dangerous place to be, just unpleasant to see the whole area being so run down and full of homeless people loitering, can't be helpful to the tourism. For this reason, public restrooms at McDonald's or Tim, etc. are all locked with cctv guarding the doors!

4  Thank yk2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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314 - 318 of 683 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2014

Chinatown has a lot of little shops and stops that are very worth seeing. The tea shop on the corner of Pender & Columbia is a perfect throw back to old Chinese way of sipping and tasting different teas. These folks are experts in tea tasting. A little up the street you'll find the Old Time Bakery, they are known for their Apple Dumpling Pies; the recipe is 5 generations old and was sold to them by a tea shop that has since closed it's doors after being in Chinatown for over 6 generations! A little further up Pender in the alley just before Main Street you will find the most amazing mural of Jumping and Joy. This impress wall is over 9000 sqft and a new addition to Chinatown. Don't let the activities of the alley put you off, it's worth seeing the whole wall! Cross over Main Street to the East and you'll find a variety of grocery shops and herbal shops. Stop into any of the herbal shops and tell them what ails you....they will have a herbal remedy! Cross over to East Georgia where you will find a great new spot for a great coffee at Matchstick Coffee Brewers then if you like cross the street and have a brew at the old English Pub...funny location but great pub and nice natchos!

2  Thank aliapis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2014

Compared to other Chinatowns in other US cities this is the most sordid quarter I have ever been. Although I was visiting at 3pm many shops were closed. The whole area around Keefer/Pender/Main St. was dirty, ugly and run-down. Chinatown is adjacent to Downtown Eastside which is the area in Vancouver you definitely should not visit. Hence you will meet a very high amount of homeless and junkies strolling around in Chinatown. Not worth a visit.

4  Thank MichaelNbg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2014

We are used to the brightness and liveliness of London's Chinatown.

Vancouvers Chinatown was very different. Although there was an inexpensive museum on the history of Vancouvers Chinese population, the area was very run down and definitely not a place to stay around too long. The Sun Yat Sen gardens are beautiful - but try not too look too closely beyond the bushes as you may find needles and drug abusers.

If you want Chinese markets - I'd recommend Richmond, and recommend avoiding this part of town.

3  Thank TheSonic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2014

We walked through China town via the public park that borders the Dr Sun Yat- Sen Chinese garden. The park was nice, but nothing outstanding, but given the TA reviews of the Sun garden we opted for the free version! We them entered China town and were totally underwhelmed. Druggies, drunks, vagrants on almost every corner. Virtually nothing to see part from very run down shops and eateries. A VERY uncomfortable 10 mins trying to find something to appreciate about the area. Having not enjoyed the experience, we moved on to Gastown. We would not recommend anyone to visit China town unless your are on a tour bus, and even then it would not be worth the fare! Come on Vancouver, you need to clean this area up and work with the local Chinese residents to make something worthy of the city and the Chinese legacy. Our worst experience in any of our many sight seeing 'tours' on our extensive travels.

3  Thank familytravel4x4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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