Canada personal reflections travel budget Vancouver Vancouver YVR

Richmond, British Columbia for an Asian experience around YVR

Richmond, British Columbia is where many of the Vancouver Airport YVR hotels are located. Richmond is a city of 200,000 residents south of Sea Island where YVR is located. The city is bordered on the north and south by river banks at the mouth of the Fraser River, British Columbia’s longest river at nearly 900 miles with headwaters in the Canadian Rockies. Downtown Vancouver is ten miles north of Richmond.

Google Maps Richmond BC

Depending on your level of monetary travel budgeting, you can catch an airport hotel shuttle to a Richmond hotel and take the SkyTrain to Vancouver for $4.00 CAD or less on weekends and in the evening, and avoid the $5.00 airport surcharge for SkyTrain Sea Island departures.

Sunrise in Richmond

Fraser River Middle Arm separates Richmond on the north from YVR Vancouver Airport on Sea Island. YVR Airport is also part of Richmond.

My first night’s hotel stay after arriving at YVR was at the Radisson President Vancouver Airport. I walked around the northern downtown Richmond area for an hour on a sunny April Saturday evening. Sunset is 8:00pm at this latitude in mid-April.

I felt like I was in Asia, rather than Canada. Richmond has the highest population proportion of immigrants for any city in Canada or North America with about 60% ethnic Asians, primarily Chinese.

Next door to the Radisson hotel are Chinese markets.

Richmond market-1

Next to this market was a large grocery store. It was kind of like a Costco dining experience with several taste sample tables around the market.

Super Size Atlantic Lobsters

In the mid 1990s I lived in Maine for two years.  My wife and I ate hundreds of lobsters during that period when we often went to the harbor and purchased lobsters directly from the fishermen. I rarely saw Atlantic lobsters as big as these in the Chinese market. I might have splurged on a $50 USD super-size lobster if I’d had a kitchen. Through experience though, I found the best tasting lobsters were under three pounds. The meat is tougher when you eat super size older lobsters.


My weight estimate for this big lobster in the middle is about 3.5 to 4 pounds. These were selling for $17 CAD or about $13.50 USD per pound.

In the Aberdeen shopping center across the street from Radisson Vancouver Airport is H Mart, another Asian foods grocery store.

H Mart

I had to photograph the large seasonal banner.

“Touch a beautiful sping with H-mart.”

My wife has recently become quite fond of Fuji apples. The Fuji apples were much larger than the ones I have been buying in California at Safeway and lower priced too at $1.28 CAD. What really blew me away were seeing tomatoes at $.99/lb. I have been paying more for tomatoes these past two months in California.

The market had hot food too with several types of cooked fish including sole, mackerel and some others for about $5 each for a meal.

Aberdeen shopping center

Aberdeen Shopping Center Richmond, British Columbia.

As I often do when visiting an unfamiliar place, I wandered aimlessly along the streets of Richmond. There were crowds waiting for restaurants to open at 5:30pm for Saturday dinner hours.

Richmond restaurants

There are a large number of Korean restaurants, which had me wondering, is Korean food to ethnic Chinese similar to going out for Chinese food to Americans?

The very English sounding name places accompanied by Chinese character signs is an interesting blend of multiculturalism in Richmond.

Of the many hundreds of people I saw during my one hour walk through Richmond, there were very few people, like perhaps five other people, who were not visibly ethnically Asian.

Fairchild Square

I am glad I had the opportunity to experience Vancouver’s Airport city. I have stayed in Richmond’s Vancouver YVR airport hotels a few times in the past 20 years, but always just for a brief overnight when arriving in the evening at YVR before heading into downtown Vancouver or the night before a YVR flight. This was the first time I walked around Richmond to experience the city from the streets. I enjoyed the experience.

Richmond Culture

Richmond, British Columbia is an Asian cultural experience in Canada.


  • dubaych April 19, 2015

    If there in the summer, definitely visit the Night Market!

  • EY April 19, 2015

    Yes, definitely second the Night Market!!!!! It’s not exactly like the Night Markets in Asia (specifically Taiwan, the queen of night markets), but we don’t have this in California, so it’s close enough. 🙂

    And no, as a half-Korean (half-Taiwanese), I can tell you the Korean food in Richmond is very legit, there are some places that give LA Koreatown some tough competition. It’s not like “going out for Chinese food to Americans.”

    I love Richmond, it’s one of my favorite parts about visiting Vancouver. 🙂 The Japanese food in Vancouver is also excellent!

  • Jessica April 20, 2015

    This was awesome to read! Always fun to read about places I live around. I live in downtown but Richmond is definitely where I go for asian food cravings.

    Agree with #2, the Korean food here is quite authentic. So many Koreans live in the greater Vancouver area, and are first generation. The chinese food in Richmond is varied and phenomenally good, it is very comparable to China. Basically if you’re searching for authentic East Asian food, Richmond/GVA is where you would go. It’s actually hard to find the pseudo-asian type fast-food restaurants here, there’s no culture for that. —-Actually, the closest thing to that here is quickie sushi places, and the ones in Richmond really know how to give you value for your money – huge, and I mean, HUGE, portions of sushi and sashimi. I’m always a little baffled as to how they can make money while giving away pounds of protein in every combo order.

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