Vancouver for 3 days in May 2014

Old Mar 18th, 2014, 11:28 PM
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Vancouver for 3 days in May 2014

Hi Everyone

I wanted to get some expert advice and recommendations for a 3 day trip I'm planning to take to Vancouver in May 2014 - specifically May 8 to May 11.

A few details:
- About me: M/36. I'll be traveling alone from SF.
- Vegetarian (eggs okay): I love asian fare (spicy) and good salads. I love mock meat as well. I'm Indian, so prefer home-cooked Indian meals than eating out
- Not a big party person.
- I like museums, history and photography.

I was thinking of the following itinerary and would love your critique, suggestions and changes:

Hotel: Considering the Westin Bayshore using SPG points.
Getting around: I prefer public transit as much as possible. If I needed a car for a bit, there's always zipcar!


May 8 (Thursday): Arrive late night, check in to hotel.

May 9 (Friday):
- Early morning (7 am): Any photography suggestions?
- Morning: Canada place, Museum of Anthropology
- Afternoon: Gastown
- Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner: Any suggestions?
- Evening photography: Any suggestions?

May 10 (Saturday):
- Morning: Stanley park
- Afternoon: Chinatown
- Breakfast/lunch/dinner: Any suggestions?

May 11 (Sunday)
- Lynn Valley (use zipcar)
- What else?
- Flight back to SF at 8:30 PM
- Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner: Any suggestions?

Questions:
- What other things am I missing? Downtown?
- How would you re-arrange my itinerary - add/remove/shift?
- Any cool bookstores, cafe's to hang out at?
- Good photo spots I should go to in the evening? I will bring my tripod with me for evening shots.
- Would really appreciate recommendations for veggie places. I don't care if the place serves meat - as long as vegetarians are catered for.

Look forward to your responses!

Thank you!
-R
rahulm is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2014, 06:37 AM
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Your itinerary is already busy with interesting places , but if you want more ideas you can look at Fodor's Destinations section on this website. Many of your questions revolve around food. Preferring "home-cooked" meals is not much help since it means making friends with someone who takes you home. So many South Asians live in the suburb of Richmond that you should be able to find restaurants to suit you. But, like SF, Vancouver offers a bonanza of other kinds of cooking, some of it expensive, adventurous gourmet, and especially seafood. The Granville Island market should whet your appetite. http://granvilleisland.com/
Reviewer pages such as Yelp or Chowhound could give you ideas.
Translink is the regional transit authority http://www.translink.ca/
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Old Mar 20th, 2014, 08:18 AM
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If you're after a bit of nature I'd suggest a day trip to Whistler Or maybe Grouse Mountain - It's close, rugged, and has a spectacular view of Vancouver.

Also you could rent a Kayak in Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak and spend some http://www.fodors.com/community/imag...essage.pngtime on the water! Its really beautiful!
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Old Mar 20th, 2014, 08:22 AM
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If you go to Granville Island there is also the Aquabus that can take you to other sites along False Creek. You can see these on the first map too.
To get around check this map of downtown so you can see how compact it is. You can easily walk to alot of places from most downtown hotels. www.6717000.com/skycorp/vancouver.html
As well as www.translink.ca for any public transit you may need. Its great to just take a skytrain ride to see more of Vancouver, or the sea bus over to the North Vancouver market Lonsdale Quay Market.
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Old Mar 20th, 2014, 11:27 AM
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I'd probably scrap an afternoon in Vancouver's Chinatown, especially since you're from San Francisco.

First, it's tiny. You don't need a whole afternoon. It's old and historic, a pioneering working class Chinese community that established itself in the late 1800s, but you can see most if it in half an hour.

It's not really a hub of Chinese restaurants like you might imagine, or what you might have heard about. Vancouver's famous Chinese restaurant scene doesn't actually exist in Vancouver at all, it exists primarily in Richmond, which is a 20 minute subway ride south of Vancouver.

Richmond is where the majority of Vancouver's affluent Hong Kong immigrants moved to in the late 80s and early 90s, bringing Hong Kong style cuisine to the forefront, literally transforming the sleepy suburb of Richmond into a mini Hong Kong with massive Asian shopping malls with exciting food courts, with 2 sprawling night markets, and hundreds (literally) of restaurants, from bubble tea cafes, to Shanghainese restaurants, to hot pot, dim sum, BBQ, and more. THAT is where you could easily spend an afternoon if authentic Asian cuisine's a major interest.

Another point about Chinatown is that, as much as I actually like it and appreciate it for what it is, it borders on a really sketchy part of Vancouver. It's not unsafe, but tourists imagine Chinatown to be like San Francisco's Chinatown, but then end up finding San Francisco's Tenderloin district instead. Would you spend an afternoon in the Tenderloin district with only three afternoons in San Francisco?

Instead, I'd probably recommend taking the Canada Line to Richmond, exploring Aberdeen Centre, Parker Place, and Yaohan - grabbing dinner, and then head over to one of the night markets (if that interests you). The historic fishing village Steveston (and its many restaurants and historic sites/small museums), and the International Buddhist Temple are also in Richmond, so that's one day right there.

Anyhow, just some info to chew on!
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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I'm piqued by the idea of exciting shopping mall food courts !!
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Old Mar 26th, 2014, 12:33 PM
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NorthwestMale - Haha, okay, maybe not exciting, but they're certainly not typical! tThey're like food courts full of vendors selling Hong Kong/Taiwanese/Shanghainese street food, rather than your typical North American fast food joints. Some of the most authentic Chinese food is served there, for when you're by yourself and you don't feel like a sit down meal.

Look up images of the food courts of Yaohan, Parker Place, Aberdeen Centre, and Richmond Public Market for proof.
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Old Mar 30th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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Whoa... what's really funny is, that within an hour after writing my last comment here, I went to Uwajimaya for the first time, and was quite awe-struck by a food court filled with vendors of Asian cuisine punctuated, hilariously, by a place called Herfy's, which uses the same logo/design as an ancient local burger chain here in the Seattle area.

But I needed the new-and-interesting-to-me collection of Asian fast food venues to best set-off the Herfy's. (I wasn't there to eat, sadly)
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Old Apr 6th, 2014, 01:59 PM
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You need to try Viji's. It is hands down the best Indian food.

http://www.vijs.ca/
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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Do make sure you see the Steam Clock in Gastown - fascinating. We were very disappointed with Whistler and felt we had wasted a precious day. We are not skiers, and other than the Olympic history, felt there was nothing for those who did not participate in winter sports.
Vancouver is an amazing city with lots to do. Enjoy it.
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Old Apr 8th, 2014, 09:40 PM
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Ah, dottp, sorry to hear that. We aren't Whistler fans, either. Grouse Mountain - now that's a good excursion from Vancouver, only about 20 minutes and readily accessible from public transportation.
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 02:02 AM
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Thanks for that recommendation, sludick. Funnily enough, today we had lunch with friends who have been to Vancouver and we talked about Grouse Mountain and how great it was. Oh well, I'll add it to all the places we didn't have time to visit in preparation for our next trip . . .
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Old Apr 15th, 2014, 08:30 AM
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when you go out to the museum of Anthropology, you might also walk over to the Nitobe Memorial garden. Its a thoroughly beautiful Japanese garden and as a photographer, i think you will love it.

And while we didn't really explore Chinatown, we did visit the Sun Yat Sen park and garden which was more crowded than Nitobe but very pretty. We walked from there to Gastown which was a little seedy, but combining these 2 things was pretty easy. also, we did make use of Vancouver's HOHO bus that day, and it made for a nice day...first stop off the HOHO in Chinatown, then walked to gastown, then hopped on the bus, got off at Granville Island. then back on, and got off at Stanley Park where we walked a bit, then ended up using the hoho bus again for a tour of the park, as we were pretty tired. But it made for convenient transportation for the day.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 12:44 AM
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If you can, try to fit in Commercial Dr. It's a hippy area that you may find great for some photography. Fab cafe's and restaurants, and some funky shops.
My particular faves:
Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria
Fets Bar & Grill
St. Augustine's Craft Brew House
& totally check this place out if you do venture out to "the drive" - The Prophouse Café. Its on Venables off Commercial.

Enjoy Vancouver my friend!
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 12:47 AM
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For fun I looked up what's happening at "the drive" during your dates, as my birthday is on May 9th. I found the stone soup festival is happening on the 10th - and I think I just may! hah!
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 12:48 AM
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http://thedrive.ca/event/stone-soup-festival
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