About Mel C
Lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Since Jun 2013
25-34 year old female
I was born in Mauritius, Africa and grew up in Vancouver, Canada since I was two years old. After 25 years of my life growing up in Canada, I had an irresistible urge to live somewhere else for an experience and because I knew there was so much more of the world to see. In 2013 I quit my full-time jobs to work for an NGO in Cambodia for 7 months. I then went to 5 other countries in Southeast Asia, met hundreds of people and it was the best year of my life. I can't seem to stay away from Cambodia for very long now I'm working for a travel company during my time here and loving it. I've met some of the most generous people I've met in my life in Cambodia. In my spare time I love riding my motorcycle, cycling, hosting dinners and enjoying the company of funny people.
Flea & Street Markets
If you want to get away from the mainstream stops, then head down to Commercial Drive — or 'The Drive' as locals call it — where you can find a variety of organic products, ethnic restaurants, fair trade products, quality local cafes, and an extremely diverse community (it being the place where people can express themselves however they wish). This Drive is also the Little Italy of Vancouver, so you can find quality Italian food among the authentic Belgium fries and local coffee shops.
Get away from the over-crowded English Bay and cycle around the seawall until you hit Third Beach. Here, it's less crowded, the water is cleaner, and during the summer you can catch a beautiful late sunset. In the summer months, every sunny Tuesday there is an open drum circle, and it's one of my favorite places to hang out in Vancouver. People come and bring their own instruments and dance until sundown as a way of creating community and inclusiveness. (I personally think some of the best things to do in Vancouver are free like the seawall and drum circles!)
As an experienced food connoisseur, Naam satisfies my cravings for delicious and fresh food at fair prices. While Naam, a 100% vegetarian restaurant, is situated a little outside of downtown, it's well worth the trip for the generous portions of food and great flavors. Naam's food awards are well-deserved: it has been serving amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes for over 40 years, and uses only the freshest of ingredients, which makes all the difference.
If you're looking for unique collectibles, vintage items, or random items that you didn't even know you wanted, then the Vancouver Flea Market is worth a trip. They have everything from jewelry to instruments to electronic, so if you have the patience to dig through a lot of unwanted things, you could find exactly the treasures you are looking for. Plus, it's never too early to start your Halloween shopping!
Vancouver is famous for its infinite number of trails, so if the weather is decent, why not head to Lighthouse Park to enjoy a picnic and a scenic walk. The 75-hectare (185 acre) park is covered with virgin rainforest set right on the water, and has easy to moderate trails that are good for all ages and abilities. Even many local 'Vancourites' have never made the trip to see Lighthouse Park, so take advantage to get truly off the beaten path while you can.
Most tourists don't know about this free version of the overpriced Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is, funnily enough, less than a 15-minute drive away. While it is a shorter bridge and only 50 meters (164 feet) high, the views are no less stunning, and though it may shake and swing a little from side to side, it is just as safe as the other tourist bridge too. Plus, once you finish your courageous walk across to the other side, you can enjoy the beautiful hiking trails that lead to a popular natural pool and waterfalls.
If you're into arts, music, or just simply like some quirky fun, then you'll definitely find your kind of crowd at Cafe Deux Soleils on Commercial Drive. This is one of the few places in Vancouver that has regular arts events at affordable prices, like the weekly Vancouver Poetry Slam, fictional comedy shows, and open mic nights. The restaurant provides a great space for experienced and new artists alike to share their talent and express themselves freely.
I'm always trying out new restaurants around Vancouver, but East is East remains consistently in my top three favorite places to dine. My top food picks are always based on flavor, but this restaurant also scores highly for its quality service and price point. The founders escaped from Afghanistan during the soviet war and first relocated to India - immersing themselves in the country’s language, art and cuisine - which serves as the inspiration here. Their passion is to create something unique that stands out from other ethnic restaurants, and their commitment to a sustainable lifestyle is reflected in the restaurant’s design, traditional music, and vibrant flavors. The owners integrate local organic ingredients and use sustainable materials to decorate the restaurant. Come and soak in the vibrant atmosphere and flavors while listening to one of the many world-class musicians play for your pleasure.
Vancouver is heaven for foodies as we are spoiled with food from around the world, including Ethiopia, Japan, Greece and Afghanistan. Why not learn to make some of these fine cuisines yourself so you can leave the city with some quality culinary skills of your own? The Dirty Apron Cooking School offers classes with high-quality chefs and trainers, so whether you're a beginner or a seasoned cook, you'll learn how to make a meal that's sure to satisfy you foodie side. You can choose from a range of classes that focus on food from a variety of countries too, from French to contemporary Persian cuisine.
While Vanier Park is close to the heart of downtown near English Bay, many visitors don't make time to stop here. Yet this small park is well worth a look, with three museums to explore in addition to a spectacular view by the water. If you have kids, the HR MacMillion Space Center would be a great place to bring them, where they can enjoy live science demonstrations, games in the Cosmic Courtyard, and shows about astronomy in the Planetarium Star Theater. For history buffs, the Vancouver Museum, Vancouver Maritime Museum, and the City of Vancouver Archives are all good choices.