A June 2006 trip
to Vancouver by onesundaymorning
Quote: I never really though that Canada could be fun, but I was suprised at all the beauty that Canada had to offer.
Hotel | "Hostelling International- Downtown"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 17, 2007
HI Vancouver Downtown
1114 Burnaby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E1P1
I had only a few days in Vancouver before I was moving on and had to make the most of my time. My first full day in Canada I woke up early and walked to Stanley Park; my original intentions was to spend a half day there before moving onto Gas Town. Once there my plans changed. I didn’t realize that this was Vancouver’s equivalent to Central Park in New York. Stanley Park is 404 hectares park/forest, filled with more attractions than Disney World, and the biggest tourist destination that Vancouver has to offer.
There is a path called the Seawall Promenade that winds around the park offering views of the ocean as well as the cargo ships waiting to enter the port. They do offer shuttles that run the perimeter of the park as well. I decided to start off walking. I found that this was the best way to see the most possible, and quickly began stumbling across several attractions the park has. Just off of the main path is a small area dedicated to several totem poles of natives that lived in the area. At the base of each pole is an explanation of what each pole represents.
Once back on the Seawall I passed the 9’o clock gun, which fires each night at 9. The gun is surrounded by a fence, which I though detracted from its interest for me. I walked the trail for about 3 hours without turning off onto one of the side trails. Along the way there was a lighthouse, several large, purple starfish on the rocks below the Seawall, views Lions Gate Bridge, but my favorite was the Girl in a Wetsuit just after Brockton Point. The statute sits on a rock out in the water. Once of her legs is extended down the side of the rock and is said that her toe touches the top of the water at high tide.
Soon after I turned off a trail in search of Beaver Lake. It was exactly what it promised a lake, but I saw no beavers and was surprised to see how over grown this section of the park was in comparison to the other well-manicured areas.
After leaving the lake I became hopelessly lost. Luckily there was a wonderful woman from California who took me under her wing for a while, and not only helped me back to the main gate area, but also took me around the rose garden. Once back at the main gate I wasn’t ready to leave because I hadn’t even seen a ¼ of what the park had to offer, but it started to rain. Instead of trying to continue my tour of the park on foot I jumped on one of the free shuttles that go around the park. This way I got to see the actual forest that I didn’t see while walking along the Seawall and missed out on the rain.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 30, 2007
843 Avison Way
Vancouver, British Columbia V5K 1A1
Although the name might sound odd at first Gas Town got its start after the English sailor "Gassy" Jack Deighton settled the area. When I told people at the front desk of my hotel that I wanted to go to Gas Town I was given two warnings, don’t go in the early morning and second, don’t go at night. Their warnings weren’t without merit. Prior to the '70s Gas Town was home to Vancouver’s skid row.
Taking their advice I went after 9am, which was a perfect time because the area wasn’t busy yet. I quickly found out that there is really nothing more than souvenir shops, Victorian buildings, and cobble stone streets there. Its biggest attraction is the steam clock located on the corner of Water and Cambie Street. Every 15 minutes it lets out steam similar to that of a Steam train. However, the clock isn’t powered by steam at all, it’s an electric clock. I turned into a Starbucks next to the clock, where I got a cup of coffee and enjoyed the "show."
Gas town is a fun place to go if you are a tourist and are looking for survivors like a moose wearing a Canadian souvenir or a shirt that say "My friend went to Canada and all I got was this stupid shirt." It only worth and hour or two of anyone’s time to tour the area.At night there is a truly different side to Gas town. Although I did feel comfortable in the area around the clock but beyond that it was dangerous in my eyes, especially when you cross the train tracks. In the time that I was in Vancouver I had to pass through this area at night to get to the docks where I was working on a cruise ship. Each time I was with a large group of people (25+) and was still harassed by people on the street. At night Gas Town turns into skid row. I had the misfortune of being there on the Friday that welfare checks were passed out and witness more than one person shooting up on the street, tweaking out, and even one person passed out with a needle in their arm. Later I started to take taxis to avoid this area, but found it hard to find a lot of drivers who were even willing to go though this area.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 30, 2007
Granville and Main Streets
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 2K7
Just on the opposite side of Gas Town is China Town. It’s anything, but hard to miss. Think of any typical China Town that welcomes people with a giant red archway with dragons. My time here was all to short, not only was I short on time, but I choose not to stay there long because in just a few short weeks I was going to China and felt that there were other things that I wanted to see in Vancouver instead.
My one reason for going to China Town was to see Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Classical Chinese Garden…it didn’t disappoint. The garden was build solely from items sent from China with the intention of showing visitors the Taoist philosophy of harmony in nature. It is the first full-scale classical Chinese garden built outside of China and covers one hectare of land.
Built to the designs of the Ming- dynasty; the garden offers beautiful ponds and walkways that twist past waterfalls. I truly had the sense that I left Canada and was transported to China.
Free tour guides only enhance the experience. They turn a beautiful lake into a meaningful work of art and harmony and explain how the garden was built to flow from one sight to the other and the symbolism of it all.
Admission is $8 for adults for more information visit their site. The garden is one of the most popular sights in Chinatown and possibly in all of Vancouver. Early mornings and late night, just before closing, are the best time to stop by in order to miss the crowds.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 3, 2007
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
578 Carrall St.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5K2
(604) 662 3207
Los Angeles, California