See the World, in Canada
Instead of China, try the Vancouver area
When Judy Lam Maxwell, owner of Historical Chinatown Tours, guides her three-hour food and walking tours of Vancouver’s Chinatown ($ 100), she introduces travelers to the neighborhood’s private heritage buildings that once served Chinese immigrants, who are came in the late 1800s to build Canada’s transcontinental railroad. They hosted associations that offered accommodation, banking, social events and protection against discrimination.
“It’s fun to come in and see the elders playing mahjong and the interior of these buildings, which are like museums,” said Ms Lam Maxwell, who continues the tour with a two-hour lesson in crafting. of dumplings, which she describes as central to Chinese culture: “It’s bonding and sharing food. “
A wave of immigration preceded the transfer of Hong Kong in 1997 from British rule to Chinese rule; another more recent wave has been linked to China’s booming economy.
Many newcomers have settled in the suburb of Richmond, which is 54% Chinese, according to a 2016 census, and home to Asian shopping malls, the International Buddhist Temple and, most famous, food. , including more than 800 restaurants, a “dumpling track”. »Over 20 restaurants, including Empire Seafood, and a night market reopening on July 23.
“In North America, Chinese food is pasteurized in so many ways,” said Alex Chen, who immigrated to the region from Malaysia as a teenager and is the executive chef of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar in Vancouver, where the cuisine is based on French techniques. .
Around Vancouver, Chinese options are regional, he added, or specialize in hot dishes, noodles, fried rice and more. Some of his favorites in Richmond include the HK BBQ Master for Peking Duck and Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant for his innovative dim sum.
“We are so lucky and fortunate to have so many choices at the highest standards,” he said.
Returning to Vancouver’s original Chinatown, stay at Skwachàys Lodge, a boutique hotel devoted to Indigenous art and culture (from $ 170), a few blocks from the classic Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.