Vancouver, BC. The Saltwater City. Other than Toronto, this oceanside city is the most multicultural in all of Canada. It’s been said that if you haven’t seen it before, you probably can in Vancouver. There is so much to do and see in this huge metropolis, you could never see it all. There are hundreds and thousands of restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, art galleries, theatres, museums, parks, and small businesses, that you could never get bored and never feel familiar with it all.
I have highlighted some of the more interesting places I visited while touring vancouver and put them in this post. There is a ton more that I could share with you about this trip, but these are definitely the highlights.
Chinatown was like a different world. From street one, the entire vibe changed. I was no longer in Vancouver, I was on a wet street in a foreign, Asian country. Herb shops littered the streets, and there were many fish and meat markets as well. The colors red and yellow were very prominent, and strange smells filled the air. Most of the stores items I didn’t even know existed. Graffiti, discount clothing, and alleyway murals were sights to see and remember for sure. One shop was selling lizards on sticks, a sort of kebab that is supposedly good for your kidneys.
One of the many herb and food shops seen in Chinatown.
Lizard on a Stick
Never have I in my life seen such blatant, sobering sights as I have on Hastings St., which is known for it’s great number of homeless and underprivileged people. Blanket tents and bums selling dirty items filled both sides of the streets, and there were great lineups for shelters and soup kitchens. It both intrigued me and horrified me, but most of all it hurt to know the life they are living. Or rather, the life that they are not living. I wished I could have helped each and every one of them. However, life is not easy and if you get on the wrong side of it, it certainly can ruin you quickly.
I seen these two underpriviledged native Canadian men whittling away and staining wooden feathers on the side of the street. I approached them and offered them a ten dollar bill for one of their smaller pieces. To say the least it made their day. They smiled and we took these pictures. We helped each other. To this day whenever I travel, I carry this piece with me for good luck and to remember that happiness is found in the little things.
He was very proud of his work
A beautiful piece of art
Gas Town was just a few streets down from Hastings, and it reminded me of a rustic European city, with the cobblestone style street and the old buildings and landmarks. It was a very cool place to see, but there still appeared to be a lot of poverty in the area. Gastown is famous as a filming location. You have probably seen countless movies with scenes from this famous street. For example, “Fifty Shades of Grey” “I, Robot”, and “Legends of the Fall” are all movies with scenes from this community.
Famous building often seen in TV series
Morton Park was just off the water and the wind from the waves would hit you and chill you if it was overcast. It was not a large park, but it was unique because in its center was a bronze artpiece by Yue Minjun called “A-maze-ing Laughter” (see pictures below). The statues were huge and the heads oversized. You couldn’t help but laugh with them. I wonder what was so funny? It probably wasn’t because they are worth over $1.5 million.
Morton was a very nice park nonetheless, surrounded by small pubs and restaurants and on the otherside was a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
I was standing while taking this picture. These guys were huge.
Stanley Park was just beautiful. So green! It was great to see the water, and the bridges and ships. It is a sight to see, and pictures can’t describe it well enough. It is a great hiking and jogging area, but due to high crime rate and drug use, one should exercise caution and travel in pairs here.
Lions Gate Bridge
One of the most beautiful sights to see while touring Vancouver is overlooking the Lions Gate Bridge. It makes you feel free, tiny, and powerful all at the same time. It is like a headrush seeing cars pass under you and over a huge architectural masterpiece. You can feel the fresh air hitting your lungs and wind from all directions as you look out over such a huge city. This is definitely a place to see.
Seeing this city was amazing. There is so much culture diversity! Yet all of the cultures and microcultures seem to come together in a huge melting pot called Vancouver. There is so much beauty here. The art, the ocean, the architecture, everything. If you ever get a chance to visit, make sure you take the opportunity. You wont regret it, that is for sure.
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