Vancouver Travel Guide is part of the Bula! Fiji Hub Trip Report.
TPOL’s Guns & Butter Travel Guide is the best way to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Here’s how it works: A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy. The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa. The guide includes inefficient activities i.e., tourist traps that should be avoided and aspirational activities that are worth doing but may be impossible to see given the constraints of time and resources.
“I hate organic cities, never take me to Portland.” Those were my parting words on my way back to YVR airport. Hate is far from the right word to describe how I feel about Vancouver. The city itself is quite pleasant. The price gouging disguised as local, farm-to-table is where I was turned off.
TPOL’s Disclaimer: I had one day in Vancouver (see Close Call? Connection Flight before Fiji Cancelled), so this is an abbreviated Guns Guide. However, according to my Uber driver, I saw as much as humanly possible in the short time I was there.
Train from the Airport
I took the train from the airport to the Waterfront (see Uber Or Train from Vancouver Airport? Depends on How Many People).
Coffee Is Mandatory
Before embarking on a day of adventure, I needed a double shot. Where you choose to have that is up to you.
Gastown Steam Clock
No trip to Vancouver would be complete without seeing the Gastown Steam Clock go off.
TPOL’s Trivia: Did you know that the Gastown Steam Clock was named after “Gassy” Jack Deighton?
Aesthetically, Chinatown looked a little run down.
Fortunately, dim sum was quality at Jade’s Dynasty.
TPOL’s Tip: Jade’s Dynasty is located at 137 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T6, Canada.
At dim sum, I met a Vancouver ‘local’, a Mexican expat. He recommended that I spend the day walking around the city. And so we did.
The highlight of my time in Vancouver was False Creek, “a short narrow inlet in the heart of Vancouver, separating the Downtown and West End neighborhoods from the rest of the city.”
It’s worth the trek up and over the bridge for these colors:
The Mexican also suggested that I go to Granville Island for Vancouver’s famous donuts. It’s under the aforementioned bridge.
After an hour of walking, the moment of truth came as we arrived at Lee’s Donuts. Would it be worth the hype and effort?
It was not. Like Domino’s pizza, I’ll run on Dunkin’ before walking to Lee’s again.
TPOL’s TIP: 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
Lee’s is located within the Public Market, a variety of lively, local shops. Browsing, I wondered who would pay these prices for basic groceries. The restaurants were equally as expensive. This unassuming place was more of a tourist trap than a local way to spend an afternoon.
Disappointed by the overpriced Public Market, I sought to find the natural beauty of Vancouver. Instead of jumping into an Uber, I walked to Burrard Bridge, the parallel Bridge to Granville, for more views.
Running out of time, I Ubered to Stanley Park for more nature.
On a cold, windy day, I visited the Girl in the Westuit.
“Although some believe it was a replica of Copenhagen’s The Little Mermaid (see Guns & Butter: Copenhagen Travel Guide), the creator has said: I didn’t believe we should have a copy of the mermaid. She is rightfully a symbol of Copenhagen… I proposed to have a life-size scuba diver seated there. At that time scuba diving was getting quite popular here in Vancouver and, just as important, I didn’t know of any similar sculpture anywhere in the world. It was a new idea… There was tremendous opposition and great controversy. I still don’t know why.”
I’m not sure I buy that. Here’s The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen:
Water creatures aside, Stanley Park is worth the visit.
The final stop was the Olympic Village. There’s not much to see here as the area has turned into a residential neighborhood.
In terms of big Canadien cities, I prefer Toronto or Montreal over Vancouver. While the scenery in Vancouver is beautiful, I am not paying a premium for this organic tranquility. I suggest you spend your time outside where the experience is free.