Vancouver Journals

A smug city on a cool coast

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A May 2010 trip to Vancouver by MagdaDH_AlexH

YWCA Hotel Vancouver Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: Vancouver

Things to do in Vancouver

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Story/Tip

Museum of Anthropology at UBC Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Vancouver is one of those lucky cities that seem to have everything: a beautiful situation, great tourist attractions, vibrant food and night life, world-class cultural institutions and plenty of opportunities to just wander about and take it all in. Even the climate is pretty good by Canadian standards. For those who only have a few days, choices will have to be made – but some places are a must-see for every visitor. Downtown Vancouver is a busy, bustling confident place full of modern architecture, good shopping, art galleries and creatively designed and used urban spaces. Next to the downtown centre, Vancouver's Chinatown is one of the biggest in North America and if you h...Read More
Vancouver Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Vancouver is, just as the tourist blurb and word of mouth alike claim, a city blessed with a breathtakingly beautiful location between the mountains and the ocean, mild weather (though they complain about six months of rain) and wealthy, educated, multicultural population.Driving into the city (we skipped the train, which I still regret a bit, and got a rideshare from a good humoured and intelligent maths' post-grad) I have an intense feeling that, for the first time since we left Toronto almost a month ago, we are entering a civilised area - civilised meaning developed, densely populated and with enough cultural variety and resilience to support a degree of sophistication that is not matc...Read More

Lookout!

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Attraction | "Simply great views"

Lookout! Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Vancouver Lookout is a viewpoint over the downtown city of Vancouver and Vancouver Port, located at the top of the Harbour Centre, otherwise unremarkable office block in central Vancouver. The circular lookout (as well as the unrelated Top of Vancouver restaurant) sit in a strange flying-saucer type edifice added to the top of a normal, square block. It looks quite unassuming from outside, and the 130m elevation sounds distinctly unimpressive in comparison to many other towers and lookouts in major cities, but the views are excellent and the whole lookout proves that you don't necessarily need to get very high to enjoy interesting vistas.In fact, in a way the views from lower lookouts (li...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 16, 2010

Lookout!
555 West Hastings St
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 4N4
+1 604 689 0421

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

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Attraction | "Cultural crossroads"

Museum of Anthropology at UBC Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia displays a rich collection of artefacts and artworks of Canadian indigenous inhabitants (particularly the First Nations of the Pacific North West) as well as major ethnographical collections from other world cultures. Museum of Anthropology is a major visitors' attraction in Vancouver as well as an important research and teaching institution, being a part of UBC and in fact located on the campus. The MOA's building is a purpose-built, strikingly modern construction designed by Arthur Erickson inspired by post and beam architecture of the Pacific West Coast (although built mostly of concrete). There is quite a bi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 16, 2010

Museum of Anthropology at UBC
6393 North West Marine Drive
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z2
(604) 822-5087

Vancouver Aquarium

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Attraction | "And thanks for all the fish"

Vancouver Aquarium Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Vancouver Aquarium is rightly considered to be the west-coast city's prime tourist attraction. Situated in the splendid Stanley Park, with a fountain adorned with a beautiful bronze by the most celebrated Native Canadian artist Bill Reid, a visit to the aquarium impresses from the very beginning.Inside there are several areas devoted to various ecosystems, both inside and outside. The native displays include Pacific Canada (one vast tank with fish and other creatures from the Straits of Georgia), Arctic Canada (live and non-live displays including belugas), The Wild Coast (outdoors area that includes dolphins, sea otters, porpoise, seals and similar), Treasures of the BC Coast (indoor disp...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 16, 2010

Vancouver Aquarium
845 Avison Way
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 3X8
(604) 659-3474

Gojo Cafe

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Restaurant | "Amazing African flavours"

Gojo Cafe Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Five minutes walk from our Vancouver hosts' house, and ten minutes from Commercial/Broadway intersection and Skytrain stop is Gojo cafe. We saw it on the way to the train several times, always closed at the time, and became intrigued by the fact that it was an Ethiopian place – and as we never had Ethiopian food before, we were rather curious about it. Coming home late one night we saw it open, not too busy but not completely empty either, and decided to walk in. The place is friendly, comfortable, cosy even (but without any of the twee implications of the concept of cosiness), with a lovely ochre-red-and-yellow décor and a very authentic feel to it (although I can't judge the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 17, 2010

Gojo Cafe
2838 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, British Columbia
604-708-5394

Granville Island

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Attraction | "Shoppers' paradise, non-shoppers' hell"

Granville Island Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
Granville Island is an area in Vancouver, opposite the downtown on the southern side of the False Creek, known for its shops, market, marina and other, mostly leisure-oriented businesses. Granville Island is a peninsula actually, and it's located pretty much under the southern end of the Granville Street Bridge. Granville Island divides people and provokes extreme opinions. Many tourists flick to it en masse, enticed by its listing as one of the Vancouver's major visitors' attractions and the promise of interesting shopping and good food. To be fair, it's not just a tourist area, and many locals like Granville Island too. It has several cultural institutions, including Emily Carr Universit...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 17, 2010

Granville Island
False Creek, under Granville Street Bridge South End
Vancouver, British Columbia V6H 3S3
(604) 666-6655

YWCA Hotel Vancouver

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Hotel | "Good position, good beds, but greedy and institutional"

YWCA Hotel Vancouver Photo, Vancouver, British Columbia
Quote:
YWCA Vancouver is far from old-fashioned imagery of YWCA/YMCA hostels for penniless youth and homeless. It is, in fact, modern budget hotel suitable for all types of money-conscious travellers and often used by organised tours (which might be an inducement or a put-off depending on what you feel about being surrounded by a bus-load of elderly Americans). And of course you don't have to be Christian, female or young to stay here.Tours or not, YWCA's block rises over 10 storeys on the edge of Vancouver's bustling downtown and thus the YWCA has a prime location, great for walking the city and near public transport (5 minutes walk from Chinatown/Stadium Skytrain station). They off...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 16, 2010

YWCA Hotel Vancouver
733 Beatty Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 2M4
(604) 895-5830

Inlet's End

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Story/Tip

The end of the Burrard Inlet Photo, Port Moody, British Columbia
Quote:
Port Moody qualifies as "inland BC" only just – in fact it lies at the end of the Burrard Inlet which is one of the main inlets on which Vancouver spreads out. Technically a part of metro Vancouver area, Port Moody is a municipality of its own and feels miles away from the cosmopolitan beat of Vancouver's centre. Port Moody is typical suburbia, a middle class sprawl whose only saving grace is the Rocky Point Park. The park is adjacent to the inlet and covers 8 acres – but due to being narrow and extended along the shore, feels bigger – including a great playground, a spray park (in the summer – it was closed in May when we visited) a boat launch and a pier. Beyond the mostly open, grassy a...Read More