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Walking in downtown.

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We have a cruise boarding late in the day on Sept 30th.  We are allowed to drop off luggage much earlier in the day so we won't be bothered with those.  We are thinking of going to the chinese gardens and grabbing some food in the area and just explore.  Can we reasonably walk to that area or am I better off planning on a cab ride.

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Is this Vancouver, or what city are you asking about?

 

Google Maps can help you find distances to places, especially when only you know exactly which city you're referencing.

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Sounds like this is most likely the Bliss out of Vancouver given the statements made; I agree with Hallux that Google Maps is superior to asking even very-well-informed people on here for simple distance/routing matters, but if you're asking more from the perspective of 'Do locals feel this is a safe place to walk?' then I can reassure you that while walking from the pier to Sun Yat-Sen certainly can expose you to the grittier side of urban life you are highly-unlikely to be harmed in any way...

 

Your least-pleasant interaction with any locals is almost certainly going to be getting hit up for money by beggars fairly politely (there are laws about 'aggressive panhandling' that cops do enforce, so you'll rarely hear anything except "Spare change?" followed by "Have a nice day" if you do not give anything or "Thanks very much" if you do - many beggars only hold signs up and never verbally ask for money at all) and that's more likely to happen outside SkyTrain stations, businesses, and tourist sites than the streets between them.

 

Unless you are SUPER into the architecture of Chinatown, you'll realistically only be able to kill about an hour wandering (the gardens themselves, assuming you take the ~45min tours, can easily fill 90mins) so you probably want to do some more research on other activities to keep you busy until ~7pm when I've heard you can actually check-in! Maybe you have another day or three pre-cruise so you'll already have done the big hits like Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, museums & galleries and what not - so if you're just looking for an urban wander this day you could do much worse than continuing through Chinatown down Main Street south into Mount Pleasant. We've just had yet another bunch of additions to the many local murals; there are dozens of interesting bits of street art both clearly visible from Main Street and tucked away all over the place, and while it's Vancouver's second-oldest neighbourhood and just outside the downtown core it's still very much off the beaten tourist track. Tons of indy restos, shops, cafes, and even many breweries now make for a good spot to while away a few hours...

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Yes sorry. Vancouver is the city I'm referring to.  I have looked at maps to look at the area and what is relatively close.  However I  have no on the ground experience to judge what is actually feasible or wise to attempt the walk

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Yes it is the Bliss.  Thank you for the detail, and the suggestion of mount pleasant. I'm not particularly concerned about safety just looking at maybe an opinion on if you recomend a taxi or if we can take a stroll for a half hour, maybe stopping along the way at anything that interests us and not have it be too taxing.  

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I'm assuming the OP is referring to Vancouver, walking from Canada Place to Sun Yat Sen Gardens?

 

Distance-wise, I think it's a reasonable walk.  I occasionally walk from the vicinity of Granville & Georgia to New Town Bakery (which is about a block east of the gardens) after work with my laptop bag, to pick up some pastries.  

The main issue is route selection as some streets can feel a bit sketchy (or outright unpleasant).  I'd probably walk along Cordova onto Water Street to explore Gastown, then south on Abbott, and then east along Pender.  


Personally, I don't find Chinatown as great of a tourist area to explore any more as there generally isn't much of a buzz.  However, there are a number of interesting eateries (Asian and other) in the area.  

 

Edit:  Oops, just saw the subsequent replies.

Edited by Milhouse

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I'd point you along the exact same route as Milhouse OP, but also add on Keefer (the other main east-west street through Chinatown, 1 block south of Pender) and even Georgia (next one down again) if you are grokking the vibe (which is definitely much less Chinese than it used to be). Just pootling back & forth on these three streets between Main and Gore (one east) as you head southward will let you see what remains of Chinatown and the potentially-interesting changes to a more mixed 'hood these days. Union between Main & Gore also has the tiny bit that's left of the old African-Canadian 'hood, now sadly almost entirely gone, but the building Jimi Hendrix's granny cooked in remains (Vi's Chicken & Ribs, now a student hostel, and the Jimi Hendrix Shrine that used to be here is now housed elsewhere as the building remains at risk of demolition).

 

Once you hit Union you're done with Chinatown - it's not huge! - and almost all of Mount Pleasant is uphill at this point, so taking a cab from Main & Union up the hill to say Main & 16th then walking back down, zig-zagging around to see the murals, popping in and out of stores and cafes and breweries, would save walking about a mile uphill and make for a more leisurely wander. The missus and I quite often wander about like this to hit up several restos, picking only the best appy or two here, a nice drink there, and effectively turn it into a personalized 'tapas tour' -  Gastown and Yaletown are also great neighbourhoods to graze your way around like this.

 

I'd definitely make use of Happy Hour to get some cheap & delicious nibbles in before you head to check-in; with the other vessels having left it should be effectively like a one-ship day, but Bliss is big and I wager NCL will spring for the absolute minimum amount of overtime for the Security minions etc. so you may still find that you can't actually go for dinner aboard until 8 or 9pm, especially if they force a muster drill soon after boarding!

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