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Introduction

Vancouver lines the Western Canadian coast in the province of British Columbia and is a bit more than an hour north of the United States. The scenic city is home to a diverse range of cultures from Europe and a large Asian population. The mountains, Pacific Ocean and mild climate make Vancouver a popular destination for both Canadians and foreign visitors alike.
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What to See


Gastown
Gastown is the historical centre of Vancouver and named after Gassy Jack Deighton who established a hotel in the area in 1867. The area became popular and what is now the city grew around Gastown over the years eventually to become the metropolis of Vancouver. The area is known as a popular entertainment spot both at night and in the daytime with many bars and restaurants.

Stanley Park
Stanley Park at sunset

Beluga Whales
Vancouver's largest park. The park is a popular attraction for both locals and visitors from abroad. Beaches, hiking trails, swimming pools, golf course and tennis provide ample activities for sports enthusiasts.

On the eastern side of the park has an extensive collection of intricate totem poles on display. Totem comes from Ojibwa, the poles are carved by Native Americans as a type of family or tribal insignia and they also serve a spiritual purpose and are believed act as guardians.

The park also houses the excellent Vancouver Aquarium. There are daily shows of the popular Killer Whale. Also of interest in the Aquarium is the Beluga whale tank.

Chinatown
One of the largest Chinatown's in North America. Vancouver is home to a large population of Asian Canadians with many holding true to their roots and culture. The area is dotted with restaurants with ducks hanging in the windows, signs advertising products in asian characters and shops with oriental products.

The Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese garden is worth a visit, it's the only one of it's kind outside of China.

The lookout
Take the glass elevator up roughly 170 metres to the observation area for spectacular views of Vancouver, the Pacific Ocean and mountains.

Vancouver Island
Just a short ferry ride away is the large Vancouver Island, the provincial capital city of Victoria and beautiful wilderness.

BC Place
Home of the stadium, for sports, concerts and other events, this is the "place". The area was zoned for major redevelopment several years back with a view to regenerating the whole area. The stadium was the first step in this direction with more to come including shops, restaurants, theatres and residential buildings.

Canada Place
This ship like building was built for Expo' 86. The building has a variety of shops and restaurants and also houses the popular IMAX theatre.

Grouse Mountain
Grouse mountain is a popular leisure place for tourists and Vancouverites alike and is just a short 15 minute drive from central Vancouver itself. The views of the city from the top are fantastic and the mountain is a great place to enjoy the outdoors with hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding and moutainbike trails. The world famous lumberjack shows are held daily on Grouse Mountain displaying the rugged skills of Canadian Frontiersmen. Find out more at www.grousemountain.com


What to Do


Ski
British Columbia has excellent ski resorts and some of the best skiing in the world. A popular resort is Whistler Blackcomb.

Picnic
Pack a lunch and stroll through Stanley and settle in under a towering tree or under an umbrella near the beach and tuck into your picnic.

Fjord Cruising
The nothern Pacific ocean and the B.C. coastline have beautiful fjords. Hop on one of the many boats out of Vancouver harbor and enjoy the beautiful serenity.

Museums
Popular museums include the Vancouver, Maritime, Anthropological and the Hastings Mill Museums. The Hastings Mill Museum is the oldest building in Vancouver.

Outdoors
Vancouver and the Greater province of British Columbia has stunning scenery. The lush forests, Pacific Ocean and mountains are an outdoor playground for hikers, canoers, skiers, divers, campers, bird-watchers and fishermen.

Salmon Fishing
The many rivers of British Columbia are home to Pacific salmon during the spawning season. The rivers literally team with this delicious and feisty fish. Why not try fishing?


What to Eat


Maple Syrup
The sweet syrup of the Maple tree.

Breakfast
Canadians like their big breakfasts. Eggs, bacon, beans, potatoes, toast and coffee. Especially weekends!

Salmon
Canadian salmon is among the best in the world, fresh as can be in Vancouver. Have it smoked, poached or oven baked.

Beer
Canadian beer is good and quite strong so do be careful. Molson's, Labatt and Kokanee are staples.

Beef
Beef in Canada is very affordable and delicious, especially in the western parts of Canada.

Bacon
Canadian Maple smoked bacon is very good and always welcomed at breakfast.


Where to Sleep


Hotel
You can find excellent hotels in Vancouver. Many of the main hotel sites will have listings for you in Vancouver. Find Hotels.

Hostels
There are many conveniently located hostels in Vancouver. Prices vary from hostel to hostel but are generally affordable. Search and book a hostel in Vancouver.

Motels
Motels are a cheaper alternative to hotels. They can be found pretty much everywhere and generally offer good value if you are looking for a place to rest your head.

Bed & Breakfast
Bed & Breakfasts are may people's favourite options. Vancouver has it's share.


How to Move


Airport
Information on Vancouver airport can be found at www.yvr.ca. There are regular buses between the airport and the city centre. Inquire at the airport information desk for more frequency and departure times.

Taxi
Very often the best way around town when you don't have a car or know where you are going.

Car
Cars are the most convenient and private way of getting around, especially to visit the surrounding country side, coastline and mountains. Visitors should note that the traffic in Vancouver can be quite heavy.

Public Transport
Vancouver's public transportation system, run by BC Transit is efficient and affordable. Services include buses, trains and ferries. Find more information at www.bctransit.com or www.translink.bc.ca.


Locals


Language
English

Currency
Canadian Dollar split into 100 cents.

Time Zone
GMT -8






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