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hially Vancouver - A travel report by Alice
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Vancouver,  Canada - flag Canada -  British Columbia
5234 readers

hially's travel reports

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

  20 votes

Vancouver travelogue picture
No matter how many times I return to Vancouver after traveling to other parts of the world, I am always delighted to see the gorgeous Rocky mountains and the Pacific Ocean as I land at YVR (Vancouver International Airport). I spent most of my life in Vancouver; lived there from 7 years of age until the ripe old age of 30. Vancouver is a clean, pretty, medium-sized city by North American standards. The downtown area of Vancouver is not very large and it is positioned beautifully for snapshots from across one of the many bodies of water that surround it. The climate in Vancouver is temperate for much of the year and it is rare to experience heavy snow for long periods. Summers are incredible - not too hot (hovers around the mid-twenties), not humid, and there are many clear days. There is a lot of rain during late fall, winter, and spring and the skies seem grey for much of the year. However, it is this abundant rain that provides such a beautiful green landscape around the city.

Favourite spots:
Vancouver travelogue picture
My personal favourite spots include: Spanish Banks, English Bay, Wreck Beach (nudist beach), UBC Pacific Spirit Park trails, Stanley Park trails, Commercial Drive, the West End, Yaletown, Fourth Avenue, Fifth Avenue Cinemas (more foreign and alternative films), Whitecliff Park (technically in West Vancouver) for picnics and walks, Tinseltown cinemas for theatre-style seating and huge screens, walking the trails on Bowen Island, driving around the perimeter of UBC or near the coastline of West Vancouver for the scenic views...the list goes on...

What's really great:
Vancouver travelogue picture
The landscape is the most special thing about Vancouver for me. It is a wonderful place to just be and feel close to nature yet also be in an urban setting. Most areas are smoke-free! Culturally speaking, Vancouver has a fairly diverse linguistic fabric. There are many people of Chinese origin who speak Cantonese or Mandarin. There are growing numbers of Korean and Vietnamese immigrants as well. Other established communities include Indian, Aboriginal American, Italian, Polish, Iranian, among others. As a result of this multicultural context, there are some excellent restaurants to be found in Vancouver. It's also a fairly tolerant city with one of North America's largest gay communities in the West End. Although many people see the lack of a thriving arts and entertainment scene in Vancouver as a negative, I see it as a positive because the result is a quieter city in the downtown area. It's a special city in which to get to know nature and your relationship to it.

Vancouver travelogue picture
Queen Elizabeth Park
Grouse Mountain
Simon Fraser University Campus (it's on a mountain)
University of British Columbia campus (beautiful walks in the gardens and near the Museum of Anthropology)
Museum of Anthropology at UBC Campus
Stanley Park
Granville Island
The suburb of Richmond City if you want to experience a mini-Hong Kong! Lots of yummy Chinese food in Yaohan Centre or Parker Place
Commercial Drive

Vancouver travelogue picture
The Sylvia Hotel in the West End (unpretentious, has character, not overly expensive and in the heart of residential downtown West End Vancouver - you can feel like a local here. Great views too!)

My personal favourite is LUVAFAIR on Thursday nights for The Best of British music. Tuesday nights plays retro hits for those of you who want a more pop oriented night out. Also try THE LOTUS which is in a seedy area of town, but it's lots of fun for dance music (on Fridays and Saturday nights deep house, sexy house, etc). There are a number of funky lounges for hanging out such as JUPITER on Davie Street or MILK AND HONEY near The Lotus Club. The best concerts are in the small venue COMMODORE BALLROOM on Granville Street. I've seen some incredible shows here and been close enough to see and read the playlist taped to the floor of the stage: Travis, Charlatans, Supergrass, Stereophonics, David Gray, Angelique Kidjo, St Germain, Thievery Corporation, The The, Badly Drawn Boy, Coldplay, and more! Check out the free Georgia Straight entertainment newspaper weekly that can be found outside most theatres and 7-11 stores in the downtown area. It comes out on Thursdays.

Vancouver travelogue picture
THE IRISH HEATHER in Gastown is cool for hanging out in casual clothes with your buddies. I like to go to the FOX AND FIRKIN in the West End with friends if I happen to be looking for a pub after the beach.

Vancouver travelogue picture
PINK PEARL for Chinese dim sum between 10am and about 3pm on weekends. JUST ONE THAI BISTRO in the West End for cheap Thai lunch specials. CHIANTI'S on Fourth Avenue for Italian (pasta special dinners on Mon and Tues night), THE KEG on Granville Island or downtown for steak, prime rib, lobster, etc., TOPANGA CAFE on Fourth Avenue for excellent California style Mexican food, TROPIKA on Fourth Avenue or Cambie Street for delicious Malaysian food, THERESA'S CAFE on Fourth Avenue or Denman Street for an inexpensive greasy spoon American-style, breakfast, HAVANA on Commercial Drive for tapas, lunch or dinner. There are lots of places to eat for less money on Commercial Drive.

Other recommendations:
Vancouver travelogue picture
Last tip, in the fall (around October) the VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival) kicks off in the city. Most cinemas participate in the festival and you can see great (and not so great) films from all over the world. For film buffs, it can be a theme vacation in itself! Most of the theatres are in Vancouver's downtown area. *Note: all photos on this page were taken by my friend and former partner-in-crime.

Published on Monday October 14th, 2002

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Sun, Feb 13 2005 - 04:07 AM rating by hieronyma

isn't Vancouver a wonderful city? Although I liked the old Vancouver more than the new one. It was more human, but I still love this town.

Tue, Dec 07 2004 - 08:25 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hii alice,
excellent place and very nicely written by you
keep it up

Fri, Dec 03 2004 - 07:03 PM rating by magsalex

Great report. Keep up the good work.

Thu, Nov 18 2004 - 04:56 PM rating by picasso

Dear Alice,I want to visit Vancouver nex year probobly,and your wonderful report on the city will help me out a lot.

Thanks a lot


Mon, Nov 08 2004 - 06:33 AM rating by tbrickell

What can I say, fantastic detail and fantastic pictures! Great info on the clubs. Very impressed. Tim

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