Monday, July 10, 2006

Vancouver – on a shoe string!

There are places where prices matter…but not necessarily here. Vancouver has tons to offer without ripping your wallets. Its all up to you however, to experience Vancouver on a shoe string!
Picture perfect weather, culturally rich and vibrant, supporting diverse communities, and always finding itself on the cutting edge of innovation and advancement, Vancouver prides itself in offering the very best to its residents and tourists! Yes, tourism is a big part of its economy.
But you can enjoy and immerse deep enough into its culture without financially getting broke! Or lets say, even if you ARE financially broke, you can still enjoy what this city has to offer! That is what is so great about this place, and what possibly attracts hundreds of visitors every year!
Put on your walking shoes…and go get a day pass first!

We were here for soaking in the urban culture that defined Vancouver, and were prepared to flex our leg muscles to get us there. Getting a day pass just made it all the more easier! A day pass can be purchased at any sky train ticket vending machine, and is good for travel for the entire day on any mode of transportation including, Bus, Sky train and Ferry (seabus) within the downtown and surrounding areas. It is a great bargain for $8 and the rides are unlimited.
Head for Canada Place Building and get yourself maps!
The information center downtown is huge! The knowledgeable staff has answers and solutions to all your queries, and boy …do they have maps! Depending on where you want to travel, they provide you with the most up to date information on means of transportation, lodging, attraction tickets, passes …you name it! It is definitely worth spending sometime and getting all the info you need for your visit. The central hub of all transportation (bus depot), also is very near to the visitor information center.

A Canyon is a canyon is a canyon…and a suspension bridge…guess what….is a suspension bridge…is a suspension bridge!
So, there is all this hype about the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and how everyone visiting Vancouver must experience it! But would I pay $30 for a crowded impersonal experience that might last a few fleeting moments, instead of paying ‘nothing’…yes I said nothing, for a much less crowded, personal I-have-all-the-time-in -the-world experience?? If you agree with the later…opt for Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, located in Lynn Canyon Park. It is not publicly advertised which is why, you get to take your time experiencing the nature trails and paths around the park. Not to mention admiring the waterfalls deep down in the Canyons.
Stanley Park Downtown – Everyone’s favorite!
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s first park spanning 1000 acres of prime land close to the heart of downtown. Very popular amongst visitors, this park boasts hosting nearly 8 million people every year!
A lesser known fact is that the free Stanley Park shuttle bus service allows for visitors to leave their cars behind, and hit the park’s most popular highlights all from the convenience of this shuttle. Plus an added bonus is the animated narrations you get to hear from the shuttle drivers. They are informative and entertaining!

Museum of Anthropology at UBC
This wasn't planned, but we were plain lucky when it happened. The museum has an exquisite collection of Native First Nation Art, and is a must see when you are in town. It is good to know that on Tuesday evenings, the entry fee is waived, and the museum is all yours to see and indulge in without spending a penny!

So you see, these and many other attractions, are both enriching in its cultural appeal, and at the same time, are friendly towards your pockets! Its no wonder then, that Vancouver is constantly rated as one of the most livable cities in the world. And after spending nearly 3 days here, I am a believer!

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