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Book Review: Vancouver Encounter by John Lee

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How to find the best of Vancouver, even when you’re short on time…

If you’re heading to the Winter Olympics in February 2010, Lonely Planet’s Vancouver Encounter will be your best friend. Your guide to the city includes narrative by author John Lee, a Vancouver resident, and snapshots of the city covering lodging, festivals, food, shops, and offbeat, unconventional city secrets.

One of the best sections, “Parks & Gardens,” will save you time if your trip is too brief to see it all. Vancouver knows how to use its waterfront area, and the pockets of opportunity to explore the shoreline and mix with local population are nicely detailed. Because Vancouver Encounter recommends you take in this remarkable scenery in bite-sized chunks, you won’t miss anything and you’ll make good use of your time.

Travel from Canada Place to Stanley Park, for example, and you’ll see diving floatplanes and intriguing public art, but if you spend a few hours cycling the route around the park, you’ll also be rewarded with mountain and ocean views. Lee includes insider tips such as the perfect spot to enjoy an inexpensive picnic in a park and use an Explorer Pass to then enjoy three nearby museums.

Special “Worth the Trip” sections pack in more fascinating and helpful details than a typical magazine article. Written in a friendly tone, and packed with details, you’ll think the author is riding along with you. With inside information, you’ll learn of a dense forest larger than Stanley Park, and find out how to take a seabus to North Vancouver

The back cover boasts that Vancouver Encounter will help you “Discover twice the city in half the time.” This road-worthy travel guidebook lives up to the promise, with maps, itineraries and opinions from locals.

The pull-out detailed map scores big points for readability and street-by-street details, and is color-coded to the book’s informative entries. Even the major points of interest are already highlighted in yellow for you on the map. Pack it and go to Vancouver.

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About Helen Gallagher

  • http://www.johnleewriter.com John Lee

    Hi Helen,

    Just discovered your review of my Vancouver Encounter book. Thank you so much for your very kind comments!

    Cheers, John.