Richmond  is a riverine city to the south of Vancouver in the Lower Mainland. Comprising several islands, the city is protected by a system of dikes from the Fraser River's occasional flooding. Richmond has the country's largest Asian-Canadian population by percentage, many Cantonese speaking.
Richmond is mainly composed of four main islands: Lulu Island (Richmond proper), Sea Island (Vancouver International Airport (YVR)), Mitchell Island (industrial) and Iona Island (parks and city maintenance).
Steveston, historically a fishing village and now a tourist and shopping district, is located at the southwestern tip.
The character of Richmond has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. It was previously primarily a farming community with a large fishing village. It has become a center of new immigrants, mostly from Asia, especially Hong Kong. There are now a number of residential high rise towers and Hong Kong style shopping malls, e.g., Aberdeen.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located within Richmond city limits, so it's a short ride by taxi or SkyTrain from the airport (just remember to transfer to a train heading south to Richmond Centre at Bridgeport Station). If you're already in Vancouver, or elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, Richmond is well integrated with the region's road and public transit system.
By public transit
The regional public transit system operated by Translink  has both bus and SkyTrain connections in Richmond. Canada Line, part of the SkyTrain system, connects Richmond with downtown Vancouver. The line is actually two lines with one going to the airport and the other going to Richmond Centre. Trains alternate between the two destinations and there are signs on the trains and station platforms saying which destination the train is headed for.
The bus is useful for getting into Richmond only if travelling from other parts of the Lower Mainland. Key regional connections include:
- #301 - Connects to Scottsdale and Newton in Surrey
- #410 - Connects to 22nd St SkyTrain station in New Westminster
- #430 - Connects to Metrotown in Burnaby
The fare to get into Richmond is $4.00 from other parts of the Lower Mainland ($2.75 evenings and weekends).
The main highway in and out of Richmond is Highway 99. From Vancouver, it is accessed via the Oak St bridge. If coming from Surrey or New Westminster, Highway 91 / 91A can also be used.
Richmond is mostly a grid with fairly wide streets so driving around isn't a problem. Major north-south roads tend to be numbered (No. 1 Rd, No. 2 Rd, and so forth). Major east-west streets include Bridgeport Rd (alternate access to the airport), Westminster Highway (access to Richmond Centre, the closest thing Richmond has to a 'downtown') and Steveston Highway. Traffic congestion can be a problem around Richmond Centre and nearby malls, especially on weekend afternoons.
Richmond Brighouse Canada Line station (across from Richmond Centre mall) is the primary transit hub for buses within Richmond. Key routes include:
- #401 (One Road), 402 (Two Road), 407 (Gilbert) and 410 (Railway) all go to Steveston, and combined provide a very regular service.
- #403 (Three Road) serves the Buddhist temple and the Riverport Complex.
Fares for local travel within Richmond are $2.75.
International Buddhist Temple
- International Buddhist Temple, 9160 Steveston Highway (between No. 3 and No. 4 Rd), ☎ +1 604-274-2822 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The first and largest authentic Chinese Buddhist temple in North America. It is noted for its attention to detail (see the holden ceramic roof tiles in the four grand halls), the traditional Chinese art pieces, such as paintings, calligraphy and statues, as well as housing the largest Buddha statue in North America and the largest Buddhist mural in the world, which took over two years to complete. The classical Chinese garden is serene and beautiful, with its gazebos, wisdom fountain, lotus ponds, dragon fountains, and stone bridge. Guided tours can be held for groups of 15 or more people. The cafeteria serves Chinese vegetarian lunches, and the gift shop offers a variety of Buddhist items. The temple welcomes everyone and admission is free. edit
- No.5 Road Religious Shrines - A road in which a portion of it has religious shrines celebrating all sorts of religions. Given Vancouver's multicultural nature, this is a great way to express it. located here are the International Buddhist Temple, Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, Vedic Hindu Society, Jama Masjid, and a Jewish day school. This is also a great way to learn of other religions and cultures while you visit Richmond.
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery, 12138 Fourth Ave, ☎ +1 604-664-9009, . Open May - mid Oct on M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-5PM (note - closed Tu & W during Sept and Oct). National Historic Site located in Steveston. Commemorates the history of Canada's West Coast fishing industry from the 1870's to the present. $7.80/$3.90 (adult/youth). edit
- Steveston is located is the southwest corner of Richmond. It was originally a fishing village although it has become a great deal more touristy in recent years. There are a number of good fish and chip shops in Steveston, and on sunny days you can sit out by the water on the boat docks and eat. A number of movies and television series have been filmed here. A nearby park towards the western end of the village offers great views of the ocean and is a common area for barbecues in the summer.
- River Port (Silvercity), 14211 Entertainment Way (Down 6 road in richmond, near the Ironwood mall), ☎ +1 604-271-2739, . A commercial zone dedicated to fun times and activities. Includes a huge movie theatre with an Imax screen, bowling, a large swimming pool and indoor waterpark. edit
- Blossom Winery, 5491 Minoru Blvd, ☎ +1 604-232-9839 (email@example.com, fax: +1 604-232-9836), . Mon-Sat 10-18h, Sun 11-17h, holidays: call for info. Produces ice wine (from frozen grapes harvested in December instead of September, with more sugar and less acidity) and fruit wine. Wine tasting and retails sales are available at the winery. edit
- Sanduz Estate Wines tasting, 12791 Blundell Road, ☎ +1 604-214-0444 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 604-273-5646), . 11-18h. A variety of grape and other fruit wines, for tasting and purchase. Free. edit
- Indoor Kart Racing @ TBC, 2100 Viceroy Place, ☎ +1 604-232-9196 (fax: +1 604-232-9197), . Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-Midnight. Drive small but fun go-karts around a twisty indoor course. A typical race is 10-12 laps in 7-8 minutes. Helmets supplied and wear closed-toe shoes. Kids are ok with parents signature.! $20/race (discounts to $10). edit
- Richmond Centre Mall, No. 3 Rd (Opposite Minoru Park), ☎ +1 604-713-7467, . M-Tu, Sa 9.30AM-7PM, W-F 9.30AM-9PM, Su-hols 11AM-6PM. The largest mall in Richmond, with over 240 stores, its a shoppers delight. edit
- Richmond Night Market, . Haggle over kitsch items during the evening at this night market. edit
- Steveston Village, 3651 Moncton Street, . A wide variety of small shops line this popular tourist area. edit
- Lansdowne Mall, No. 3 Road at Alderbridge Way, ☎ +1 604-270-1344 (fax: +1 604-270-1140), . M-T 10AM-6PM, W-F 10AM-9PM, S 9:30AM-6PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Shops include a Best Buy, Futureshop, Zellers, and other stores, along with a decent food-court. edit
Asian shopping malls
There is a large number of Asian shopping malls in Richmond. These usually have many small shops with a huge variety of things for sale.
- Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, . Su-W 11AM-7PM, Th-Sa 11AM-9PM. edit
- Parker Place Shopping Centre, 4380 No.3 Rd, ☎ +1 604-273-0276, . Su-Th 11AM-7PM, F-Sa 11AM-9PM. edit
- Union Square, 8328 Capstan Way, ☎ +1 604-304-2759. edit
- Yaohan Centre, 3700 No. 3 Road, ☎ +1 604-231-0601, . edit
There are a number of fine dining places and a variety of Asian cuisines in Richmond. A Seattle newspaper columnist credited Richmond with having the best reasonably-priced Chinese food in the Northwest, and several famous Chinese food writers agree that Richmond has the best Chinese food available outside of China -- the equal of New York or London. In general, Richmond offers a microcosm of the Asian cuisine available elsewhere in metro Vancouver. Visitors can find in Richmond: Cantonese, Sechuan, Chiuchow, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Fujianese and Hunanese cuisine (the major cuisines of China) as well as Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. (For Laotian, Nepalese, Himalayan, Malaysian/Singaporean and Indonesian, and Cambodian, head to South Vancouver.) In general the food is cheap but intended to be taken family style; the Chinese rule of thumb is traditionally one more dish than the number of diners if everyone's hungry, less otherwise (a family of four for example might be content with 3 dishes).
Dining in Richmond is famously cutthroat and very prone to trends and fads, the end result being that -- generally speaking -- bad restaurants won't stay in business for long unless there's a lot of money being pumped through them. If in doubt, pull into a strip-mall and take a look around for a restaurant with a decent number of people in it; it is not unusual for a strip-mall of 10 stores to have 2, 3 or even 5 restaurants.
Visitors should be aware that many, many restaurants in Richmond only take cash, or take VISA/Mastercard OR Debit but not both. Some restaurants also offer a discount to those who pay in cash. The restaurant's policy may be stated only near the register on a small sign, so when in doubt - ask.
It's also important to note that Richmond's parking is famously bad -- exercise caution in parking lots as poor etiquette is extremely common.
- Fukuroku, 4260 No. 3 Road, (604) 273-0622 . Japanese cuisine serving fresh and tasty sushi and udon. Main restaurant is in downtown Richmond as well as an Express Bar nearby. Enjoy authentic meals at a reasonable price.
- #9 Restaurant, 5300 No 3 Road - Unit 816, (604)278-7700 . Casual Hong Kong style Chinese food (noodles, congee, rice, bbq, etc.). Located in Lansdowne Mall next to Kinko's. 24 hour restaurant 7 days a week, all year round (including holidays).
- Pajos, Bayview and Third Av., 604-272-1588, . Famous for fish & chips, having won several awards. Sit on the wharf and enjoy some take away while seagull fly overhead.
- Parker Place, 4380 No.3 Road . The food-court’s 19 stores offer tasty, convenient authentic cooking from a range of Asian cuisines.
- Richmond Public Market 8260 Westminster Hwy, near Buswell. Asian food court, located on the upper level, where people will find some of the cheapest and most delicious fast food in Richmond.
- Harvey's, 2700 Sweden Way, ☎ +1 604 244-0119. edit
- The major malls in Richmond all have cheap food-courts with a large number of restaurants. These tend to serve mostly Chinese food with a smattering of Western and other Asian cuisines represented. Unlike in most other malls, the food in these malls is not fast food; you will pay and then be given an object with a number on it, frequently a poker-chip or a slip of paper. Almost all restaurants feature bilingual menus with lots of pictures, and you can easily try multiple dishes -- do as the locals do and get one thing from two or three restaurants. Most of these malls also have several higher-end casual "sit-down" restaurants as well. For a relatively clean and spacious example, check out Aberdeen Mall at Cambie just off of No 3 Rd; they also have Japanese pizza (all sorts of interesting toppings!)
- Kam Do Restaurant Bakery, 8391 Alexandra Rd or 6211 No 3 Rd. 604-231-9216. Hong Kong Comfort Food from the British colonial era, this restaurant features a mixture of British food reimagined by the Chinese as well as Cantonese dishes. Meals come as combos, which, for $7-20, includes soup, a drink -- try the milk tea hot or cold, or, if you lack a sweet tooth, ask for hot or cold lemon tea -- the main course, rice and a simple dessert generally of fruit, a sweet soup, or jello/pudding. If you order two or more combos, you will be given plates as the assumption is that you will be sharing. The scrambled eggs with shrimp is a delicious meal and uniquely creamy thanks to being steamed. Cash only. Service is brisk so don't be afraid to wave. If they are not being forthcoming with the bill, standing up to leave will tend to get you immediate help.
- Hou Lok, 8231 Cambie St. 604-279-8896. Open until 2 or 4AM most days. Skip the usual Chinese fare and ask for the "da lang" or late night menu (if you are not Chinese, you will probably not be offered this menu unless you explicitly request it!) The menu is in English, but there is a combo only mentioned in Chinese where you choose 5 dishes and also get a free serving of pork congee (Chinese rice soup) for around $30; simply ask for the five dish combo and the staff will understand. The dishes are on the small side, but the portions are ample and the food is strongly flavoured. The combo will serve 2-4 people depending on their appetites. Try the silver fish (tiny iridescent fish that are deep-fried and served with a chili-lime vinaigrette!) and any of the chicken dishes. The small restaurant means service is unusually dedicated, but don't be surprised if the staff looks a bit surprised to see you there; they're just happy to share their food.
- Neptune Seafood Restaurant, 龍皇鮑翅海鮮酒家, 8171 Ackroyd Rd, facing No. 3 Road, (604) 207-9888. Interior renovated in 2011. Usually packed with locals, dining on the very popular dim sum and/or great seafood.
- Papi's Ristorante Italiano, 12251 No. 1 Rd, 604-275-8355. As the name suggests, this is an Italian restaurant that serves traditional food at a reasonable price. Its located a block away from the water in Steveston. The owners also run Mercato Nel Vicolo, the deli next door that stocks Italian groceries (hams, pasta, etc.) and pre-made dishes.
- Steveston Pizza Co., 100-3400 Moncton St, 604-204-0777 . Award-winning pizza joint in Steveston that serves some of the most tastiest thin crust pizza in Vancouver.
- Tapenade Bistro , 3711 Bayview, 604-275-5188 . Only a stone's throw from the wharf, the Tapenade offers quality food served in generous portions amongst warm surroundings.
- Thai House Richmond, 129-4940 No.3 Rd., 604-278-7373 . Open 7 days a week from 11AM to 10:30PM nightly. Established since 1986, enjoy authentic Thai cuisine with a wide array of mild to spicy dishes. Other locations include: Downtown Robson, Kitsilano, Yaletown and English Bay.
- Sun Sui Wah, 102-4940 No. 3 Road, Richmond tel (604) 273-8208. Chinese seafood restaurant that offers an amazing dim sum on the weekends. Roast squab is also one of their specialties.
- Pioneer's Pub, 200-10111 No. 3 Rd, Richmond, tel (604) 271-6611. Quality beer sold at hard to match prices in Vancouver. Great pub atmosphere and standard meal fare.
- Flying Beaver, 4760 Inglis Drive, Richmond, tel (604) 273-0278. Watch the seaplanes take off and land on the Fraser River while enjoying a cold beverage and tasty snacks on the patio. You can't get a better place to enjoy a beer and watch the floatplanes.
There are a number of hotels and motels that serve Richmond and the airport, including the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, which is actually at the airport. Generally speaking, the Richmond hotels in the vicinity of Westminster Highway are a better choice due to their proximity to the core of Richmond with many nearby shops/services. Those near to Bridgeport Rd are more isolated, plus experience more aircraft noise due to their location under the normal flight path for the airport.
- Best Western Richmond Inn and Conference Centre, 7551 Westminster Highwa, ☎ 1-604-273-7878, Toll-free: 1-800-663-0299, . Located in the heart of Richmond, about ten minutes from the airport via a complimentary 24-hour shuttle. Rates from $143/night. edit
- Hampton Inn by Vancouver Airport, 8811 Bridgeport Road, ☎ (604) 232-5505, . checkin: 12PST; checkout: 3PM. Located near the Skytrain Bridgeport Station and minutes away from Vancouver airport, its an option for the business traveler or for a stop over. While the rooms are simple and bland, the friendly service staff go out of their way to help you with your trip. $100-$300. edit
- Sandman Hotel by Vancouver Airport, 3233 St. Edwards Drive, ☎ (604) 303 8888. Contemporary architectural hotel that is clean, comfortable and near the airport. Rooms include kitchenettes and air conditioning. edit
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport, 3111 Grant McConachie Way, ☎ 604-207-5200. Located inside the International Terminal, this luxury hotel provides guests with views of runways & mountains. Canapes and complimentary breakfast are served in lounge and rooms are well appointed. edit
- Hilton Vancouver Airport, 5911 Minoru Boulevard, ☎ 1-604-273-6336, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. Hotel located 5km from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and about 20 minutes by Skytrain (get off at the Lansdowne Station of the Canada Line) or car from Downtown Vancouver. For a nice view, ask for a room facing the northwest. Complimentary shuttle service to and from Airport. edit
- Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel, 7571 Westminster Highway, ☎ 1-604-276-2112, Toll-free: 1-877-323-8888, . Located in the heart of Richmond, B.C. and a couple of minutes from the Vancouver International Airport. It is close to the Richmond Centre Mall, Steveston Village and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. Rates from $152/night. edit
- White Rock and its beach are 20-30 minutes south-east on Highway 99 or take bus #351 from Bridgeport SkyTrain station.
- The Tsawassen ferry terminal is 20-30 minutes south-west on Highways 99 and 17 (or take bus #620 from Bridgeport station). It has connections to Victoria, the provincial capital, and several of the Southern Gulf Islands.
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