First Time in Vancouver!
This was part 2 of my post graduate travels. Keeping it closer to home, I decided to go to a city I’ve never visited before but heard many great things about. That city is Vancouver. This decision was also fuelled by the fact that a good friend from University grew up in Vancouver and with a city rated as one of the most livable cities in the world, what could go wrong?
So began this 2 week vacation trip planned with 4 of my friends from University and a few more who we had a chance to rendezvous with while in the beautiful city! Read on to find out about all our great adventures!
I want to preface this with the fact that we had a lot of amazing food, unfortunately I have almost next to no food photos because I was too busy indulging. Sorry! To make up for that fact. I will sprinkle facts and restaurants we’ve visit along the way.
So for the first few nights we stayed at my friends house but when the whole gang flew over from Toronto, we moved over to our rental in Richmond, BC. This rental was actually from Airbnb! This was another first. We decided to go this route because it was significantly cheaper than renting a hotel. If I were to do anything differently though, it would be to rent a more private place. The place we stayed at was basically a hostel in someone’s house. There were Airbnb’ers moving in and out everyday; also I think since we were of the younger type, the landlord gave us a bit more trouble. But for the price, I don’t think any of us could really complain.
So our first stop? Capilano suspension bridge! No wait, first stop was Tokyo Joe’s! This place was cheap, no bells and whistles but absolutely delicious. Service was friendly and upbeat. The highlight was that the sashimi pieces were absolutely HUGE and FLAVOURFUL. I normally can’t tell the difference but at Tokyo Joe’s the freshness and portion of the seafood was awesome.
Being Asian, we also had a natural attraction to Aberdeen mall. Somehow in the 2 weeks we were there, we happen to visit Aberdeen about 5 or 6 times. Aberdeen is awesome though! For those who’ve been to Toronto/Markham; it’s like a better Pacific Mall in the sense that it looks nicer and it’s bigger.
Pajo’s Fish and Chips! Another stop while in Richmond. No frills again but absolutely delicious fish and chips by the waterside. Also there was a gelato shop right beside it where we grabbed a waffle cone. My friend got the Dolce de Luche and it was AMAZING. It made me forget whatever the heck it was that I got.
The Original Guu! My first time at Guu and what better way to do it than at the original Guu! To be honest I was disappointed. The place was hyped up so much. I found the dishes to be nothing special. What was more disappointing was that the alcoholic drink hardly tasted like it had any alcohol. Blasphemy!
Onto some physical activity because Vancouver has a lot of mountains to climb! Our first hike was at The Grouse Grind. Honestly, after hiking for 4 hours straight uphill in the middle of Thailand’s summer heat, the Grouse Grind was dare I say it, fairly easy. If you were curious why they call it the Grouse Grind. It’s most likely because the trail essentially grinds up and up and up, all the way to the top.
In terms of food, Japadogs! Heard a lot about this place from friends so I really wanted to try it out. It was packed. I got the classic Terimayo. It was meh. Nothing amazing. Unique? Yes. Amazingly delicious? No.
After a stroll around Stanley Park…
I enjoyed Victoria a lot. It might have been my favourite area while on this trip. It’s a nice, small city that wasn’t too busy. The general atmosphere was more laid back and the place is surrounded by water on all sides. How can you go wrong? Nice shorelines everywhere! I think what tipped the scale though was I had the most amazing fish tacos.. or fish tacones ever at a place called Red Fish, Blue Fish.
Anyways, that wasn’t even our first stop. Our first stop was Butchart Gardens. A beautiful garden. Duh.
What else did we do other than look at pretty flowers at Butchart Gardens? We went whale watching at the behest of my friend. The whale watching was meh in itself. We mainly saw just the tip of the whale’s fin. The highlight was the boat ride itself. It was a 10 seater boat and it went fast! It was like a roller coaster on the water. Fun stuff.
Since there was water everywhere, we went to some shoreline, which I don’t even know the name of. Does it even have a name? The latter part of the day in Victoria was spent going from spot to spot and visiting different areas of the shoreline. It was quick, concise, and fun! I guess I forgot to mention that we only allocated a day for Victoria since we didn’t want to pay for accommodations. I think it was just about enough time to explore what we wanted though.
Then we visited Mount Douglas. It had an amazing view of Victoria.
A peak we went up that had the most best views hands down out of all the peaks we went up. It was also the most fun peak to climb. It had a chain link rope and ladders. The very top of the Chief was all rock and was pretty scary. One slip and you’re gone tumbling down the hill. On our way to The Chief we also stopped at Shannon Falls.
What was arguably even more fun was going back down. I basically ran and jumped off stairs to get down. Was fun. Probably took a few years off my knees but meh.
We also visited Whistler after the Chief. But I have absolutely no photos from there. So let’s pretend I didn’t actually go there.
Back in Vancouver/Richmond
My friend from Port Coquitlam also brought us to a nice bar and we had an amazing night just chilling and fuelling our post graduate alcohol cravings. Had a drink called the fireball a couple times and it was delicious. Had a bit of a cinnamon heart spice to it and a sharp sweet flavour with a nice strong taste of alcohol to it! The night was also filled with tequila and vodka. Reminded me of nights in Thailand! It was great getting to catch up with friends from Toronto that happend to be all the way there in Vancouver.
So finally winding down our days on vacation, we went to Granville Island. Visited the brewery and got our beer on.
Our last meal was at Kiriri. Again my friend hyped this up so much. But it pretty much lived up to all the hype. Fancy Japanese place. Had amazing dishes. There was udon that was breaded in like a tempura batter and served with a bowl of soup. The creme brûlée was also perfect. I don’t remember what dishes we ordered since my friend ordered everything, but it was one of the best meals I had while on this trip.
Vancouver Airport is probably the second nicest airport I’ve visited. Hong Kong Airport would be the nicest as it has amazing views, great transportation to and from, and so much food options! Our last day in Vancouver was beautiful though. With all the gloomy, rainy weather we were getting, it was great to see Vancouver decide to bid us farewell with a picture perfect day.
All in all, I had an amazing time in Vancouver and the surrounding area. It had a lot to live up to with all the hype everyone gives it about being such a beautiful city and also after having an amazing vacation overseas in Thailand and Hong Kong. But my friend did an amazing job of showing us the best of what Vancouver had to offer. As well, being able to spend vacation just chilling with friends is simply priceless.