"Chinatown" Chinatown Tip by Carmanah
Chinatown, Victoria: 32 reviews and 66 photos
The Chinese people play a big role in British Columbia history and are certainly considered pioneers. Chinatown is part of that history. It's an old part of Victoria which holds onto Chinese heritage.
If you've been to Vancouver or San Francisco, or any city with a really large Chinatown, don't come to Victoria with the same expectations. While Victoria's Chinatown is the oldest one in Canada, it's possibly the smallest as well. The area is pretty much confined to one and a half blocks. However, you'll see Chinese restaurants, produce stores, traditional medicine stores and more. If you look closely and zoom in on the photo I've attached, you can even spot a Chinese-style telephone booth!
The best part about Victoria's Chinatown, in my opinion, is Fan Tan Alley. Fan Tan Alley is a very narrow gap between 2 buildings, and if you weren't looking for it, you would walk right past it without realizing it was there. Once you walk through the narrow path between the 2 brick buildings, it opens up into a narrow courtyard with a bunch of little shops. There's a great used music shop, and a fantastic musical instrument shop. There's some great clothing boutiques, and my favourite, the Chinese store full of little trinkets and novelty items. The store looks small, even from inside, but once you go around the corner, you realize it extends into several rooms!
Address: Douglas St. to the Warf of Upper Harbour
Directions: Off of Government Street, about 5 blocks north of the Empress Hotel.
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