I am back on the road; and it’s been a while since my last post. So, I would like to share some impressions of Vancouver, where I stayed for 12 days in total !!! Yes, I really missed the city life, refuelled on a lot of good food, and explored this new place 🙂

Greater Vancouver with its more than 2.4 million residents is the third most populous metropolitan area in Canada and the fourth most densely populated in North America following the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Mexico City.

One of the most striking features of Vancouver that became immediately apparent to me is its ethnic and linguistic diversity. Later, I found out that more than half of its residents have a first language other than English. It has been labeled “a city of neighbourhoods” of which many are unique due to their distinct character and ethnic mix. Most of the Non-Caucasians are Asians, with the Chinese being the biggest group at about 30% of the total population. One day, I was at a shopping mall and I totally felt as if I were in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Shanghai.

Vancouver is also consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life. That does not come without a reason. This is a place where the mountains meet the ocean, where you have world-class winter sports as well as beautiful beaches within less than an hour drive or ferry ride. But you don’t even have to go that far. The city itself boasts a lot of scenic parks and waterfronts, which are very inviting to stroll around or to just chill out.

In 2010, Vancouver hosted the  Winter Olympics and Paralympics. For those of you who are into TED talks, in 2014, the annual TED conference made Vancouver its indefinite home following thirty years in California. These events only allude to the great appeal of the place.

My time in Vancouver flew by fast while I explored the city on my bike. I was very impressed of Vancouver’s extensive and well-developed bike route network which does not only cover the downtown area but also the main commuter arteries into the suburbs. I also noticed a brand-new public bike share system which seemed to be quite popular judging by the number of people who use it. You basically pick up a bicycle at one of the many stations, go on your ride, and in the end drop it again at the same or any other bike station. Of course, nowadays, there is hardly any metropolis without congestion but Vancouver gave me the impression that you can work your way around all the traffic conveniently if you are into cycling.

Below you find a few shots of places I liked:

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View of Downtown Vancouver from Queen Elizabeth Park
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One morning at the waterfront
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Bayshore Marina
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Interesting yacht garage at the marina. Never seen such thing before.
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Very delicious Biryani at a Hyderabad restaurant I found by chance. It felt amazingly good to have such a meal four months after my last Biryani feast in Singapore.

 

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Lions Gate Bridge connecting Stanley Park and West Vancouver
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Small streets in Gastown, Vancouver’s first downtown core from the late 1800s
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Another one of my Asian favourites: Thai Green Curry and Thai Iced Milk Tea. I went to this restaurant three times within a week. 🙂
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I definitely enjoyed joining these guys at the “A-maze-ing Laughter” sculptures. Composed by Yue Minjun and installed in Morton Park, there are 14 bronze statues each about 3 m tall. There’s also a cement inscription which says: “May this sculpture inspire laughter, playfulness, and joy in all who experience it.” – Interesting!
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And another one 🙂
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Obviously Chinatown
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This could totally be Singapore
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View of West Vancouver from Stanley Park
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View from the bicycle lane just a 10 min ride from the city center.
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Kitsilano Beach
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Telus World of Science Center near the Olympic Village.
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One of the newer neighbourhoods. This is still Vancouver, not Singapore, even though it exactly looks like it.