fan tan alley.

by two after twenty


Fan Tan Alley is a famous alleyway in Victoria’s Chinatown, which is actually the oldest Chinatown in North America. Who knew? I thought San Francisco would’ve taken that title. It’s also the narrowest street in Canada, at 0.9 metres (~3 feet) wide. Fan Tan Alley is eerily dark and really, really beautiful. It was apparently a huge gambling district back in the day, complete with restaurants, shops and opium dens. Now it’s a little less exciting (and no opium dens to be found!).


I loved the “half” signs everywhere (every number was always followed by 1/2 – adorable) and the strange Chinese take-out boxes hanging on one of the brick walls.