Neighbour to Vancouver and Whistler, richmond is a must-see addition to any BC trip Whether you’re visiting friends and family or planning to hit the slopes, no West Coast visit is complete without a two-day stopover in Richmond, British Columbia. Home to the Vancouver International Airport and a former Olympic Venue City, this increasingly popular tourist destination boasts two distinct villages – the historic fishing community of Steveston and the bustling Asian-influenced Golden Village – each offering their own diverse shopping, dining and activity options.

authentically asian Having a population that is 65 per cent Asian (44 per cent of which are of Chinese descent), means Richmond’s City Centre, dubbed the Golden Village, offers an authentic taste of Asia without having to leave North America. Boasting some of the best Asian shopping around, there are hundreds of shops including Asian malls featuring the latest in designer fashions, specialty Pan-Asian grocery stores, jewelry stores, art galleries and food courts full of delicious Asian cuisine.

Interestingly, Richmond is becoming particularly well known for its highly acclaimed Chinese food and for a famed three-block stretch of road known as Alexandra Road or “Food Street”. With over 200 Asian restaurants to choose from, traditionally trained chefs from Asia create authentic regional cuisine – ranging from dim sum to Korean BBQ – with a West Coast twist using fresh, local ingredients.

Another must-do is a visit to one of the city’s stunning temples – the International Buddhist Temple, modeled after Beijing’s Forbidden City, and the new Tibetan Thrangu Monastery, each unique to Canada.

seaside in steveston Cradled in a picturesque corner of Richmond you’ll find a big tourist draw – the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston – a lively destination for West Coast shopping, dining and exploring. Established in the early 1800s during the salmon fishing cannery boom, it’s ripe with history and is still home to the largest commercial fishing harbour in Canada and two National Historic Sites, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery and Britannia Shipyards.

Stroll Fisherman’s Wharf and the busy seaside boardwalks and watch as locals pick up the catch of the day including fresh salmon, crab and halibut. To savour these fresh seafood temptations for yourself, drop in to one of the village’s award-winning dock side restaurants.

A visit to Steveston is always a treat during the holiday season, when the village is set aglow with twinkling lights. Here you’ll find quaint gift shops and boutiques dotted throughout offering unique jewelry, home décor, fashions and accessories. In this town, jolly old Santa arrives not by sled, but in true nautical style via a whale-watching vessel!

Tourism Richmond is currently offering one lucky winner a grand prize getaway valued at $4,000. For the chance to win your own Richmond shop and stay experience, visit: www.tourismrichmond.com/shop-stay or www.facebook.com/RichmondBC.