Vancouver’s Chinatown covered more than three square blocks. Its heart was either side of Pender Street East but there were other streets where I glimpsed every kind of remedy inside Chinese herbal stores, grocery shops stocked a variety of Chinese vegetables and tea shops with a distinctly different aroma.
Not much was left of Shanghai Alley. Most of the original buildings from the 1880s were replaced with modern construction. At the end of the cul-da-sac, a display board included a Chinese theatre, meeting halls, boarding houses and stores that had once graced the area.
Within Vancouver’s Chinatown were two Chinese gardens. Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park offered a haven of peace within the bustling city where traffic never ceased. A pond with colourful carp was located at the centre. Artistic rockery and bamboo trees were included in the small area.
Next to Sen Park was Dr Sun Yat-Sen’s Classical Chinese Garden that was not free like Sen Park but offered a guided tour. What a bonus to roam the beautiful garden, more elaborate than the free one next door. It was the perfect place to avoid a sense of being within a busy city.