Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Vancouver Chronicles - Chinatown

I've been doing quite a bit of exploring other great cities recently but also had a visit to our very own Chinatown and thought it was worthy of a post.

Vancouver's Chinatown is the largest in Canada and third largest in North America.  You know you've arrived in Chinatown as you are greeted by the Millenium gate and the giant dragons.

There are so many fun shops and here are the highlights of my day.  I love the hand painted scenes and the Chinese script.

This store completely drew me in with its whimsical umbrellas and colourful displays.

So pretty and so inexpensive.

If you're not sure where to get incense I'd say check your local Chinatown

Lanterns of all shapes and sizes.

 Bamboo screens which look like a diy project just begging to happen don't you think?

Everywhere there are baskets of inexpensive bowls, cups, plates.  Better than the dollar store for sure.

The best discovery of the day was a store that carried a gigantic selection of Asian hardware.  Definitely tucked that one away for future use.  This is only a small section of their offerings.

Food markets are abundant and there are dried fish and legumes lining the sidewalks at every market.  It's difficult to tell what some of the food is but it sure looks cool.

While there's plenty of traditional Chinese eateries to satisfy any of your cravings, there's also a small area of Chinatown that's become a little trendy.  A couple of fantastic eateries/bars have made their appearance and bring a youthful and hip vibe to the area as well.
Okay, I'm definitely hungry now.  If you're planning a trip to Vancouver you gotta put Chinatown on the list friends.  And don't forget to call me and I'll meet you there:)


  1. My husband and I are thinking a Seattle/Vancouver trip next summer. I'll be sure to ask you for recommendations!

    Those stores look like a lot of fun! Love the rice bowls!

  2. Those bamboo screens are inspiring! PS - It's been way too quiet around here without your regular posts!

  3. Such goodies!! Those rice bowls would be adorable on a dresser or entryway table. And the hardware! My husband and I have talked about going to Vancouver at some point - it seems like such a great town.

  4. this makes me want to go explore my own China town. BTW- my friend is getting married next summer and Miss Forever a Bridesmaid (that's me) is maid of honor. I'm thinking Vancouver might be a fun and unique place for a bachelorette party. We want to keep it classy, but still have fun, and it's just far enough away from Portland that we can make a a weekend get-a-way out of it.

  5. Have not visited Vancouver yet and would love to. Chinatown looks fascinating, I know my daughter loves the one in San fran...

  6. Love your thought of diy for the bamboo screens, they're gorgeous! Loved this post, and all the little bowls for clutter. The hardware is DEFINITELY a great find.

  7. I never get to just walk around in China town lately. I remember in photography school the whole class walked around in awe.

  8. Those bamboo screens are calling to me. Were they terribly expensive? I need to get to SF China Town and see if they've got any...

  9. Chinatown is such a great area to wander and be inspired, as your pics show! I haven't been in too long!

  10. Love this post! As a Malaysian from Chinese descendant, this post feels very at home. :) While I have visited many Chinatowns in the States, I haven't seen one that sell Asian hardware. The Chinatown you visited is so cool! Oh, by the way, I thought it would be fun to tell you which one is which regarding the dried food stuff.

    First picture: (clockwise from L-R)

    Dried beancurd, anchovies, cashew nuts and melon seeds.

    Second picture: (clockwise from L-R)

    Dried salted fish, dried scallop, dried squid and dried baby shrimps.

    Hope it helps!

    By the way, I am hosting a giveaway so stop by and enter for a chance to win a piece of fabulous jewelry of your choice!


  11. Wow...makes total sense that you would have such a large chinatown but I never really thought about it. LOVE those screens. I think when I am back in PDX I am going to have to visit Vancouver again including a visit to these markets with you! I'd love to go to that hardware store too - I have a chinese chest I bought in Singapore with a latch that got lost during our last move...and I'd pick up a few other fun things there too I'm sure!

  12. Sweet!!! We are heading to Vancouver in 5 weeks, and I will definitely be stopping in Chinatown! Shall we meet for some tea and retail therapy?! I am dying for those screens and urns!

  13. I went to Vancouver on part of my honeymoon and wish we'd have extended the visit. We never made it to Chinatown and now I'm sad :( However, I cannot wait to go back one day!

  14. This looks so fun! You're so right about those bamboo screens! Did you buy 9 of them?? I need to find the nearest Chinatown!! Great post!

  15. Thank you thank you...I haven't been for years....I will take my family & go!

  16. I am BACK - did you miss me??? I love Chinatown and can't wait to shop there soon, those bowls are so irresistible. We have fun exploring Chinatown in San Francisco, the largest in North America! Bought some gorgeous scarves for cheap!

    Can't wait to see your DIY projects for Dabble! Hey, we need to plan a thrift shopping date in a few weeks!

  17. Every time I visit Chinatown in San Francisco, I stock up on the beautiful and inexpensive dishes. I use them by the side of the bed to put my jewelry in at night or as soap dishes.

  18. Where is the great store with the hardware? I am a Vancouverite as well and would love to check it out. Thanks!

  19. great photos! It makes me want to rush over to our china town in Toronto!

  20. I've only been to Chinatown in San Francisco and NY....this looks amazing, too!
    Stacy ps...over from Haus and so glad to be a new follower. Hope you stop by sometime!

  21. I didn't realize that Vancouver's Chinatown was so large. I've been to the one in Toronto, but it looks like I'll definitely have to venture there the next time I find myself on the west coast. Terrific pics! Thanks for sharing.

  22. I'm catching up on back posts now that I've discovered you! I LOVE this post! Thank you for reminding me to actually stop and shop Chinatown. When I'm in Vancouver I'm always driving through Chinatown, but it's been years since I've wandered the streets of... That Asian hardware is worth the stop alone!

    I hope Kelowna is treating you well. Have you started painting yet?

    Have a great weekend Carol!
    xo Sheila


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