Reasons to Love Vancouver: China Is a Short Drive Away

In Richmond, B.C., North America's largest Chinese outdoor market sets up shop by the Fraser River every summer

Vancouver Chinatown

Richmond’s Night Market (Photo: Grant Harder)

Forty-three percent of Vancouverites have Asian heritage. This statistic comes dazzlingly to life in Richmond, B.C., where Chinese language and culture enlivens the formerly sleepy suburb. A lot of cities (Vancouver included) have authentic Chinatowns, but Richmond could actually be a town lifted straight from present-day China.

Vancouver Richmonds Chinatown

Richmond’s Night Market is a Chinese food lover’s paradise (Photo: Grant Harder)

The Aberdeen Centre is a gleaming low-slung mall filled with modern Chinese merchants who appear to have taken a wrong turn in Shanghai’s Bund neighbourhood and landed squarely on the other side of the Pacific. But the liveliest expression of the cultural connection is the frenetic Night Market (pictured)—North America’s largest Chinese outdoor market—that erupts each summer on the banks of the Fraser River.

Vancouver Richmonds Chinatown

Dumplings and steamed buns at Richmond’s Night Market (Photo: Grant Harder)

This is ground zero for the latest Hong Kong release on DVD, samurai swords and $20 coloured contact lenses. But the real attraction here is the food: curry fish balls at Ah Fei Kitchen, crazy-cheap abalone with oyster sauce at Seafood Kingdom and crispy bubble waffles, those delectable one-bite treats, everywhere.

Vancouver Richmonds Chinatown

A chef in action at Richmond’s Night Market (Photo: Grant Harder)

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