It’s that time of year again! Although there is officially no Richmond Night Market for 2008, a different promotional group has taken over the same plot of land for Summer Night Market. By and large, the two concepts are pretty much the same. If it wasn’t for the minor name change and a few rumblings on the Internet, most people wouldn’t even know that there is a difference at all between the Summer Night Market in Richmond and the Richmond Night Market that takes place during the summer.
Seeing how I provided guides for Richmond Night Market for both 2007 and 2006, I figured it would only be apt that I provide another guide for Summer Night Market 2008. Whether you are visiting from out of town or you’re doing the local tourist thing, Summer Night Market could be worth an evening or two to you.
1. What is Summer Night Market?
With the growing population of Chinese people in the Metro Vancouver area, the city and surrounding area is really starting to see a lot of Chinese cultural events. Summer Night Market, like Richmond Night Market before it, is designed to mimic the night markets that populate cities like Hong Kong and Taipei.
Street vendors set up a series of stalls where they sell a wide range of products. There is also a section for some terrific “street food” at a very affordable price. The best part is that Summer Night Market takes place in the evenings, so you don’t have to bake in the sun to go bargain-hunting and enjoy some ethnic cuisine.
2. Where is Summer Night Market?
Summer Night Market 2008 occupies the same plot of land that Richmond Night Market has occupied for the last couple of years. The exact address is 12631 Vulcan Way in Richmond, BC. If you know where the IKEA, Future Shop, and Home Depot are near Bridgeport Road and the Knight Street Bridge, then you’re in the right neighbourhood. Just follow the crowd.
In terms of Summer Night Market directions, you will want to take the Knight Street Bridge in from Vancouver. Take the Bridgeport Road West exit toward IKEA. The first traffic light is Sweden Way. You can turn right here and see the crowd. Alternatively, you can continue on Bridgeport Road until you reach No. 5 Road and turn right. Then, turn right on River Road and continue for about a minute until you get to the parking lot entrance.
3. What are the Hours of Operation?
Summer Night Market is open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. On Fridays and Saturdays, the hours of operation are from 7:00pm until midnight. On Sundays and holiday Mondays, the hours are from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. Summer Night Market will run until October 5, 2008. These hours are very similar to the ones that the Richmond Night Market had last year.
4. What About the Parking Arrangement?
When I went last weekend, parking was surprisingly plentiful. Do not park in the Home Depot, Future Shop, or IKEA lots, because your car will be towed. There are pay parking lots in and around on Sweden Way and Vulcan Way near the Summer Night Market. These lots typically charge between $4 and $5 for the length of your stay that evening. You may also find some free street parking, but be sure to observe the signs.
The official Summer Night Market parking lot is accessed from River Road. Check the directions that I provide above for how to access this lot. As of last weekend, the parking fee was set at $4. This may or may not change as the summer goes on.
5. What Should I Expect for Food?
A big reason why people go to the night market is for the street food. There are two rows of stalls where vendors sell a wide variety of ethnic food. There appears to be more diversity than in the early years of the Richmond Night Market. There are stands that sell Chinese dim sum items, hot and sour soup, Japanese takoyaki balls, Korean rice rolls, mini donuts, Taiwanese stinky tofu, barbecue skewers, and bubble tea. Most items are available for under five dollars.
6. What Can I Buy at Summer Night Market?
The vendors who rent the stalls at Summer Night Market change over the course of summer. Among the items that you can expect to find available are Vietnamese karaoke DVDs, inexpensive clothing, no name MP3 players, toys and puzzles, trinkets and curios, video games, cell phone accessories, and more. There was also a stand that was selling novelty street signs, as well as one that was selling strapless sandals.
7. Any Tips or Info for Shopping?
Bring cash. None of the vendors take any form of plastic payment, so make sure that you have cash in hand. Also bear in mind that most vendors will not provide you with any proof of purchase, so be sure that you actually want what you are buying. More likely than not, you will be able to get any sort of refund or exchange. Also, the quoted price may not necessarily be the best price you can get. Buy multiple items at a time and you may be able to negotiate for a better bargain.
8. What Else Can You Tell Me?
Is there anything missing from this guide that you would like me to cover? Use the comment form below to ask any questions you may have about Summer Night Market and I will do answer them to the best of my ability. You can also check the official website for information as well.