This is the strangest, and most unique market I've ever been to. The products were very different, than anything I've seen before, which really sparked my interest.
The official name of this store is, Cheung Sing Herbal & Birds Nest Co., but not surprisingly, to most tourists, including myself, it is simply, "The Chinese Market".
Located on Main Street, the market is the best, and cheapest place in Vancouver, to get traditional Chinese products. The store is basically, a Chinese pharmacy. All the products sold here are shipped directly from China, and are of medicinal benefit.
Although we had no idea what most of the stuff was, since it was all written in Chinese, it was very interesting to look at, though some of it was really, really strange.
I didn't buy anything, but my cousin bought a kilo of dried Goji berries, for just $15. He told me, that's the cheapest he's ever seen them. Anywhere else in town, he couldn't even get half a kilo, for that price.
Even if you don't want to buy anything, it's worth coming here, just to see the strange array of products. Plus, it's one of the few places in Chinatown, that's actually worth visiting, and the only place where you can experience true Chinese culture. I thought this was a market for tourists, but there were more Chinese customers than tourists, which makes it truly authentic. The only thing I would suggest is labeling the products in English as well, so non Chinese speakers, know what they are looking at.
This was the highlight of my visit to Chinatown. You have to drag me kicking and screaming to a regular super market, but this, I can do any day. Definitely worth visiting.
What to buy: Traditional Chinese herbs and medicinal products.
What to pay: I saw prices ranging from $3.00, to $1,000. And this place is supposed to be the CHEAPEST! But it all depends on the product, and the quantity.
There are so many choices of tea that you can buy in Chinatown in Vancouver, Canada. If you are a tea drinker like me, the best place to buy the best kind of tea is in Chinatown. There are so many stores there that sells imported tea from China. You will find the Jasmine tea, green tea and other medicinal tea.
Most of the tin cans of these tea are especially designed, too. I sometimes collect them. I buy a lot because I am not sure when I get to go back to Vancouver again. I also buy tea as gifts to my friends.
What to buy: Chinese Tea
What to pay: From $4.00 to the more expensive kind of tea.
Because of a ban on citrus products from certain countries, it can be tough to find huajiao in the US. Also known as Sichuan peppercorns, there has been some speculation about this ban being overturned but for the time being these are tough to come by. You can't buy them in big Asian markets like T&T but you can find them in small shops in Chinatown. They are not always labelled, so it helps to know what they look like. You cannot make proper Sichuan food without huajiao (trust me, I've been there), as they provide a unique ma la (numbing and burning) sensation. So if you're serious about Chinese food, hunt around in Chinatown for those most innocuous of contraband.
What to buy: Huajiao
What to pay: $2 for a large pack.
A trip to Vancouver is not complete without a shopping trip to China Town.
Here you can purchase anything from Chinese medicine to a wok. It's fun just to look around but try some of the delicasies that you can fin in some of the food shops.
What to buy: I found this was the cheapest place to buy Chinese cooking utensils and food.