Sep 21, 2016

Vancouver Trip Highlights

Our Labor Day Weekend trip to British Columbia was rounded out with two full days in Vancouver. If you missed my previous post, I wrote about our fun day trip to Victoria and Butchart Gardens.

This was my second trip to Vancouver. My first having taken place over 8 years ago. Since it was so long ago, I did not mind at all visiting some spots that I had been to before.

Here are my favorites from our short trip to Vancouver!

Granville Island

One of my favorite things to do in other cities is visit their public markets. I love Reading Terminal Market in Philly, Grand Central Market in LA and Chelsea Market in NYC. Granville Island Public Market has the same kind of buzzing energy that I find so exciting and there is beautiful food as far as the eye can see.

Our apartment in Yaletown was perfectly situated for us to walk 2 minutes to the Aquabus ferry terminal to get to Granville Island. It was so easy!

The public market is filled with artisanal bakeries, fresh fruit stands, butcher shops and a food court with a huge variety of eating options.

I loved these rainbow cakes. They are so colorful and happy-looking! The market was crazy busy on this Saturday morning and trying to find seating for six for lunch was a bit of an ordeal, but we were able to enjoy ourselves without too much pain.

We explored some more of Granville Island, including perusing the local hand crafted items available at Net Loft, gourmet groceries of Edible Canada and some souvenir shops.

By mid-afternoon, it was back to the Aquabus for us!


We made a trip out to Richmond on Saturday night. It is a suburb of Vancouver with a 60% immigrant population and 50% of residents identifying as Chinese. Just as I typed this, I got a little angry about the political rhetoric the Orange Devil has been spewing - closing borders and building walls. It is disgusting. Diversity is not a scary thing. Rant over.  

Many of Richmond's residents hail from Hong Kong, so we decided to visit one of the shopping malls that are similar to the ones found in Hong Kong. 

Aberdeen Centre was having a "London Calling" theme, so we got to hang out with Sherlock Bear. The mall also had a ton of food options.

For dinner, we headed to Sun Sui Wah Restaurant. A number of the restaurants we tried were closed for wedding banquets, so our choices were slightly limited.  

We had mantou (steamed bread with condensed milk), clams in black bean sauce, loh mai fan and a veggie dish with mushrooms. Not pictured were soup and salted chicken. Yum!

Stanley Park

We picked the right day to visit Stanley Park. The weather was gorgeous but not too hot. Stanley Park is a huge public park right on the Vancouver Harbour and is a must-do!

We used the Stanley Park shuttle to get around since we wanted to do the whole park. It was not as convenient as I would have liked but there weren't too many other options for us since we didn't have a car and didn't want to rent bikes.

Totem Poles

The park has a ton of landmarks to visit including the totem poles and the Girl in a Wetsuit statue. We did wind up walking a lot during our visit since some of the landmarks are relatively close to one another, and we used the shuttle to take us further distances.

Girl in a Wetsuit

I think it would have been fun to do a run through the park but that didn't happen this trip. Maybe next time!

The Empress of Japan Figurehead overlooking the Lion's Gate Bridge

My favorite viewpoint of the day was from Prospect Point. It was just such a lovely day to be outdoors. 

Lion's Gate Bridge from Prospect Point

Take advantage of what you stumble upon

We headed downtown one afternoon to do some shopping and wound up stumbling on some fun things. The Taiwanfest just happened to be going on. 

I am a pretty strict planner when it comes to travel, but sometimes you just have to take advantage of things when you stumble on them. We walked the length of the festival to see what was happening and also grabbed some street snacks while we were there. 

Vancouver also has a ton of public art that is very easy to stumble on, especially if you are doing a lot of walking. We got stuck near Stanley Park after our visit and lunch. My biggest complaint about Vancouver is the lack of transportation options. There is no ride sharing and trying to get taxis always took a really long time. The Skytrain was super convenient when it was available, but there are parts of the city that not serviced by Skytrain. We wound up waiting for a bus for over 30 minutes one time, and when it arrived, it was full! It was quite annoying, so we eventually gave up and walked and walked and walked. It was very far! Vancouver, you really need to get your act together on this front.

Although we weren't planning to, we wound up visiting the Olympic Cauldron because we were walking so far that we were passing right by.

Olympic Cauldron

Next to the Olympic Cauldron is a piece called "Digital Orca." Super cool sculpture with a great view of the harbour.

Digital Orca

Hopefully, I will see you again soon, Vancouver. Hubby and I really want to go skiing in Whistler some day! Maybe you will have ride sharing by then!

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