Greater Vancouver houses the largest Asian community in North America, ahead of New York and San Francisco, with 43% of the city's population being of Asian ancestry. Because of such influence, Vancouver has been nicknamed Hongcouver, winking at Hong Kong.
Vancouver's Chinatown, located between East Pender, Carrall, and Gore streets, offers a complete change of scenery. Herbalists, grocers, restaurants, teahouses, trinket sellers, reflexology massage parlours, and other exotic shops transport you to another place. The large gateway on Pender Street was inaugurated in 2002. Do not miss the bucolic Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden. With its kiosk and lake, filled with carp, turtles, and water lilies, it is a perfect reproduction of a 15th-century Ming Dynasty garden and a dream haven for enjoying a fragrant jasmine tea.
Further away to the south, Queen Elizabeth Park is the playground for tai chi enthusiasts. Observe the beauty of the movements and watch some train with swords and sticks. For another Asian atmosphere, the bustling Chinatown Night Market is held on summer weekends on Keefer Street between Main and Columbia.