Thursday, August 30, 2018

Vancouver Sightseeing, Shopping, and Richmond Night Market

Vancouver is the gateway to Asia for Canada for many airline flights and there is a huge Asian population here.  We were visiting some family and also wanting to see the various sights around the city.  Our arrival in the city was almost a day earlier than expected as we did an unexpected detour from Prince Rupert to here as our ferry to Vancouver Island had broken down.  This meant I found a hotel in Coquitlam at a Best Western for a night.  The Best Western turned out to be right next to an H-Mart and in little Korea there.  Kind of interesting.  We went to Metrotown Mall in Burnaby that night and had some excellent ramen at Jinya Ramen Bar there.  Metrotown had some kind of Panda event going on so there were panda dolls everywhere.  This mall has a T&T Asian Market, the biggest UNIQLO in Vancouver, a MUJI, and a Uncle Tetsu cheesecake shop.
Skytrain line next to Metrotown.
Tasty brussel sprout tempura.
Good takoyaki.

My Jinya tonkotsu ramen.
Scenes from around Metrotown.
UNIQLO display.
We also checked out Aberdeen Centre in Richmond with the small H-Mart, Daiso, a Utsuwa-no-Yakata for pottery, and the great food court.  The Daiso here is huge and is always fun, but we didn't buy a ton of stuff here.  Before we went here we stopped at Izumiya Japanese Market Place to load up on instant ramen and snacks.  Izumiya is pretty nice with a big selection of everything a Japanese family would need to cook or snack on.  Their rice balls are good too!  There is a Beard Papa and a Saboten for tonkatsu in the food court at Aberdeen Centre.
Scenes from Aberdeen Centre.
I had a tonkatsu-don for lunch.
They got a Taiko drumming game.
Later on we also did a bit of walking on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver.  The street is always full of people and shops including the MUJI flagship store for the city.
Scenes from Robson Street.
We managed to hit up Guu Original Thurlow for a dinner of many small dishes.  Our party got lucky and we just walked in to get a table right away.  They have a very tasty menu with many meat dishes.
Guu menu.
We tried about eight different small plates including yuzu mussels, grilled tuna belly, grilled pork belly, marinated eggplant, takoyaki, and a deep fried pumpkin ball with an egg inside.  Beer and yummy food.  Jinya and Guu both had a great busy atmosphere inside.

Really nice figure of D.Va from Overwatch seen in a comic store.
Our hotel was the Best Western on Davie Street.  Its an older hotel, but the room was good with air conditioning that worked good for us.
Nice view of the city at night.
We went to Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium was a great place to visit.  Their Jellyfish tanks were awesome and the jellies were so pretty.  The aquarium has sea otters, a shark tank with rays, seals, a couple of walruses, dolphins, and some great amphibian and tropical sections.  The Pacific NW biomes they had were pretty interesting too, but the octopus was hiding.
More jellyfish.
We did a drive around Stanley Park.  You can buy an all day parking pass that pays off if you visit the aquarium and tour around the park.  It is a great park with plenty of big old trees and natural areas.
Totem poles.
Lady in Wet-suit statue.  She is life-sized, but always looks so small.
Lions Gate Bridge.
Had a good bowl of shoyu ramen at Ramen Koika on Davie.
One evening we hit up the night market in Richmond as we had never been to it.  Took the Skytrain out there.  We had some more bad luck here as it just poured rain that night.  The only time it had rained in the last two months!  They sold out of umbrellas.  We had brought umbrellas but were still pretty damp.  Some booths had to shut down as they were flooding or too much rain was getting in.  There were still tons of people there.  The food we tried was pretty good, but we could have passed if we had known it would be this wet.  The market reminded me of Calgary Stampede market and Taste of Edmonton mixed together.  More food than shops though.
Scenes from the rainy market.  I tried the battered fish sticks on a skewer which were pretty good.

Chef James lamb skewers!  Very tasty.
A visit to Vancouver isn't complete without a visit to Granville Island and its bustling farmers market.  We took a water ferry there as it was near our hotel.  The market had so many good food stalls.  If you visit, have breakfast or lunch down here for sure.
Harbour view
Scenes from the market.
Produce boxes.
Finally we went to visit Gastown.  Gastown is okay, but not my number one place to visit in Vancouver.  We hadn't been here in years, but we did visit a Japanese restaurant here with really good prices.  I don't know how they do it.
Steam clock at Gastown.

Tempura bento at Momo Sushi.  Great place to grab a bite.
The bento was huge and it also came with this sashimi and roll.
Downtown Vancouver.
That was pretty much the highlights of Vancouver for us with some family visiting thrown in.  Later!

Prince Rupert, Cancelled Ferry, and BC Wildfires (August 2018)
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