Vancouver Chinatown…

…is one of the oldest in the whole North America. There is even a statue honoring all the Chinese that helped to build the city back in the day. Some older buildings are from the end of 19th century.

Though in reality, I heard that most Chinese live in Richmond just north of Vancouver. But since residents of Richmond nor the ones from the current Chinatown area didn’t like the idea of transferring the name “Chinatown” to Richmond then it stayed as it has always been. I guess that’s why all the main China-related events are being held in this smaller but older Vancouver Chinatown.

As the February 16th was the beginning of a new year (the Year of the Dog) for Chinese then as a celebration there was a big festival held in Chinatown. The parade (already 45th) lasted about a few hours and was really entertaining. After the parade it was possible to check out some shows in local shopping centers and try out different local foods. For me it was the first time to drink bubble tea with pearls (pretty crazy, right? Considering that I’ve been to every continent in the world). Anyway, it convinced me to try some more;)

And of course the weather. Being in Vancouver in winter/spring you never know what it will be like. But luckily it was pretty nice – little chilly but sunny. At least those a bit lower temperatures didn’t stop people to come out and celebrate. As you know, sometimes pictures say more than thousand words, so here’s a little gallery of how it was…

There were participants of all ages (specially funny was the coordination of those little bunnies in the back :D)

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden where you could have a walk and watch the fish.

Like this…

As I was taking photos I noticed some people had gone to the upper levels of this building to get a better view…

And the better view there was.

East Hastings

Vancouver Chinatown lies actually in kinda sketchy area. That is in the beginning of East Hastings street where a lot of homeless people live and so you might encounter some shady guys strolling around there.

East Hastings is infamous of its amount of homeless people. Seems like the whole Vancouver is relatively clean and decent because most of the low-lifers are kind of concentrated to this one street. It sound like a really bad place but actually they say it’s not so dangerous and nobody will attack you (unless you provoke it, with taking pictures of them etc). Some urban legend says that there used to be a mental hospital but it was shut down and so all the patients were left on the street. I doubt it’s true but it sure sounds thrilling. There are also many flicks available on Youtube where you can see what’s going on there.

Lately has Canada been in trouble with a fentanyl epidemic and that can also be seen around East Hastings.

Have you been to Vancouver Chinatown Spring Festival too? Let me know in the comments!