To visitors not familiar with the Chinese culture, one of the mysteries of Chinatown is surely all the dried goods and herbs on display at many stores – what benefits do they have? How does one put them to use? Actually, what ARE most of them anyway?
One place where you may find the answers to these questions is Beijing Trading, located at the northwest corner of Pender and Columbia. Think of it as a drugstore…only it’s stocked with traditional Chinese medicinal ingredients. In fact, Beijing Trading is so well stocked, they even have a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner on site!
Here’s a quick Q&A with the owner of Beijing Trading, Mr. Albert Tsang:
Mr. Albert Tsang
(Psssst…Mr. Tsang was the torch bearer for the Chinatown stretch at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics)
How long has Beijing Trading been around?
It has been at this location since 1986.
What can visitors find at your store?
Traditional Chinese medicinal ingredients, herbs and tea; those are good for fortifying your constitution and improving your health.
What’s the best thing about Vancouver’s Chinatown?
Our Chinatown attracts not only the Chinese community, but visitors and residents of many different cultural backgrounds. Seeing them here to shop and learn about Chinese culture is very satisfying.
How do you feel about being the Olympic torch bearer?
The proud torch bearer*
I felt and still feel very happy to have the opportunity to represent Chinatown. It’s also a good topic of conversation for people that know me, but otherwise I don’t make too big a deal out of it.
What are your hopes for Chinatown?
I would like to see more people and tourists come down here and enjoy what we have to offer. Also, one day, I’d also like to see a covered venue where events and markets can be held because Vancouver rains all the time!
Here are some goodies that may be found at Beijing Trading:
Beijing Trading Co. Ltd. 89 E. Pender Street. (604) 684-3563
Registered TCM practitioner is Mr. Jia-xian Lu, B.M.
Check out below for some more pictures of Mr. Tsang carrying the torch!
*Photo courtesy of @YVRChinatown – please follow on twitter!