Tale of Two Night Markets: Richmond Night Market vs. Summer Night Market 2012

Richmond Night Market. Photo: Target Event Production

Summer night markets—Asian-style night markets/bazaars with loads of food, discount retailers, and live entertainment—have become a must-visit tradition in the Lower Mainland. For many years, the biggest summer night market has been in Richmond, at 12631 Vulcan Way (near Ikea), but this year there’s a new twist: the “original” Richmond Night Market is back, which means there will be two (!) huge night markets in Richmond this summer, rather than one.

Confused? Then let me explain….

Back in 2000, Raymond Cheung and his Target Event Production company started the Richmond Night Market, an Asian-style night market/bazaar in Richmond.* As the Richmond Night Market grew in size and scope, it moved to larger and larger locations, eventually settling at 12631 Vulcan Way. But in 2008, due to a lease dispute, the Richmond Night Market went on “hiatus.” (It closed down, essentially.)

In it’s (exact) place, a new night market popped up: the Summer Night Market, operated by Lions Communications Inc. If you’ve been going to “Richmond’s Summer Night Market” since 2008 at 12631 Vulcan Way, you’ve been going to the Summer Night Market. (It opens for Summer 2012 on May 11 and will continue to feature 300+ food and retail vendors, just as it has over the past four years.)

But this year, Raymond Cheung and Target Events are bringing back the Richmond Night Market, to be held at a new location at 8351 River Rd. (near the  River Rock Casino). The re-opened Richmond Night Market will have 80+ food vendors, 250+ retailers, entertainment, carnival rides, and a pair of “Dragon zip lines” (to honour the Year of the Dragon). Bonus: The Richmond Night Market is just 200 metres from the Bridgeport Station of the Canada Line, so it’s easily accessible to people who don’t drive!

To recap:

  • Richmond Night Market = 8351 River Rd. location
  • Summer Night Market = 12631 Vulcan Way location

Of course, the big question is: Will both Richmond summer night markets survive the head-to-head competition or will one “win” the season?

What do you think? Will you visit the Richmond Night Market (the re-opened “original” at 8351 River Rd) or the Summer Night Market (the one at 12631 Vulcan Way), or both? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

*Correction: The original post claimed that the Richmond Night Market was the first night market in Richmond. This is incorrect; the first night market was held in 1998 by Lions Communications Inc (the same organization behind the Summer Night Market) and ran for six years. Apologies for the error.

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44 Responses to Tale of Two Night Markets: Richmond Night Market vs. Summer Night Market 2012

  1. Fred

    The location right next to the skytrain is definitely a big plus! It was a pain to get to the Vulcan way location on public transit.

    • aimeee

      The Vulcan Way location has a free shuttle from the Bridgeport skytrain station this year…

      • Richmonder

        The problem is that barely any one knows about the shuttle.

  2. Richmondite

    As long as both have teen girls in short shorts it doesn’t matter

    • Mikaela

      You. Are. Creepy.

  3. Jana

    Both!!! And I think both will be successful. Over-crowdedness has deterred a lot of people in the past, so I think more people will come out now =)

  4. Don

    I would rather go to the river rock one because of skytrain and casino for shelter. And of course the original night market in Chinatown is different. Each market has it style and feel to it….

  5. Funny

    The first night market is China Tiwn night market in Vancouver! The first night market in Richmond was operated by Paramount Communications at Continental Shopping center at 1998 in Ruchmond! Haha! So don’t tell me target event is the original night market in Richmond! LoL

    • Dana Lynch

      Funny, Thanks for the correction about the first night market in Richmond! You’re right, there was a previous night market that started in 1998, but according to Wikipedia, it was organized by Lions Communications. According to Lions Communications, “Alvin Au of Paramount Communications” is one of their shareholders. So: I made the correction but used the Wikipedia info. If you have a link that shows the market was organized by Paramount Communications rather than Lions, please include it so I can follow up.

      Thanks again for correcting me! It’s definitely important to get the facts straight!

  6. Jeannie

    How much are the parkings for both? I think this would be my deciding factor.

    • Jossie

      The one close to Casino is free parking, they charge entrance fee $1.50 which is fair, I think! The one on Vulcan way charge $5 parking last year (the increase almost every year!) but no entrance fee to the market.

  7. nightmarket frenzy

    I thought Raymond Cheung went bankrupt due to gambling, which was why he couldn’t hold onto the nightmarket on vulcan way? Anyone to clairfy?
    Also, what are the perks of each nightmarket?
    I like the vulcan way nightmarket better because it is at a familiar location and there’s good food and tons of activites, shows and merchandise!
    Heard theres a $1 fee at the casino one? Considering Vancouver raises their prices for everything, in the next 2 years I assume it’ll be $3-$5? That would not be good

    • maxhuey

      Free parking at the Richmond Night Market. Entrance is only $1 and free for senior 60 and over. Food stall is way better.
      After seeing how good the business is, Paul Cheung forced Raymond out by raising rent outside of their contract so they can use the built facilities to operate night market business on their own. Its a real shame we have such business people. No one in their right mind should patronize them.
      After seeing how good the Richmond night market is, I believe they will be way better than Summer night market.

      • J Yuen

        Max you’re spot on! I did not realize that bit of the politics and appreciate it. I adamantly dislike business people who do this!

  8. Willow

    I hope to visit both with my mom this summer, and then decided which one we like best.

  9. Andrew

    Summer Night Market is free admission but $6 parking

    Richmond Night Market is $1 admission, free parking

    Advice – take the Canada Line

    • john

      I always find free parking at summer night market?

  10. Panda

    So which one is better? Do they both sell relatively the same things?

    • maxhuey

      Definitely The one next to the casino bar none, and it is going to get even better as we go into the summer, you will probably see the Vulcan way night market die soon as people start learning about the Casino one. But each to his/her own, read through the entire post and decide for yourself, there are more than enough info in here for you to make an informed decision.

      • john

        people like free, human nature

  11. The winner will be the market that can better handle the crowds.

    I hate crowds, so I’ll be going to the one that is easier for me to park.

    Right now it’s not so bad at both, but I hate paying $5 for parking. I work rather pay $1 for myself, and have my friends pay their own way.

    • maxhuey

      as you can see from previous replies, there are people who likes crowd. To me that half the fun, and I certainly won’t go to a place where almost no one’s there – so lonely… I’ll bet by mid-summer that Vulcan market will be a ghost town!

      You are absolutely right on the parking/entrance fee. they are very reasonable.

  12. Funny

    No parking fee for the Richmond Night Market is only because Ratmond r not allowed to collect or he won’t be able to open! The casino will stop him from open if he charge parking fee! Man read the news! Hahaa! Don’t think that he is kind for not collecting $! Let’s do some math…. only 1500 parking space, his own vendors n staff took at least 400+, so only able to provid about 1100 parking spot! So $1 admission fee will make him richer n collect more $ then collecting parking fee! Smart ass! If he charge for parking fee, he need pay at least 35% of it to tax! By collecting admission fee, no one knows how much he collect each night and he don’t need to report every $ he collect n save for the tax he pay!! He is a smart ass that he know how to save $! Three of my friend told me that they still not get paid from his previous project that R ripped them off! If he tell u he will pay u for job, don’t trust until u get paid! LoL!

    • maxhuey

      Hummm…. sounds like you don’t like this Raymond person… but hey, what ever he does (smart ass or not) its working well for everyone. just not stealing other people’s business by TORT like Paul.
      As for non payment of work done, I highly doubt it. I also have business aquaintances that had done work for him for more than 10 years and never have problem getting paid. Most likely your three friends has not completed the job in the manner agreed upon or there are other problems in between. Like you said Raymond is a smart ass, he is not going to ruin his reputation of not paying for job “well” done knowing he will be in business for a while yet. The sad part is Richmond gave him a license till 2014 (?) so he only got a couple of years to go for now. Going there again tonight (for my eyes) rain or not. Cheers!

  13. funny

    Please read the correction from above, Raymond Cheung is not the first night in Richmond! He is just a copy cat! The first night market in Richmond was a Mid Autum night, not Raymond for sure! Please stop saying he is the first night market in Richmond, dude! But u can say he is the first one register the name, LOL! BTW, u r the lucky one who get paid, but not my friends! U must be his relatives!

    • maxhuey

      Looks like you are the one that is totally confused, I am not saying and never had said he’s the first or last, and it does not matter anyway. I am saying Paul stole the business from Raymond by TORT! do you understand what that is? (google is your friend)
      And just assuming I am his relatives is as ridiculous as can be. I guess you do not understand what Business aquaitances means, its People I have done business with, and they happened to do contract work for Raymond too. Assumption is not good. just show how shallow one can be… go ahead have your last say, not going to reply anymore… cheers!

      • nightmarket frenzy

        I am with you on this one Funny.
        Raymond Cheung had to sell the nightmarket contract and it so happens to be Paul Cheung that purchased it. He is a huge gambler…need i say more? Throughout the years, have you guys read the news? Raymond kept trying to win back the nightmarket back by going to court and suing Paul. Word of mouth is that the new nightmarket sucks because the line up for the admission is long and earning $1 per person is probably jipping people because he can’t make money on parking due to Riverrock casino. Riverrock doesn’t even charge, what makes you think he can? On top of that the parking is far. It’s true that is the only way Raymond would make money because his food section and merchandise section suck. Vulcan way has made a reputation for themselves. A lot of people are unhappy and think the idea of the 1$ admission is stupid because theres also free street parking for the Vulcan nightmarket. All the parking surrounding the original nightmarket at Vulcan (such as Home Depot, etc) aren’t part of the Vulcan nightmarket staff. Only the big parking lot located next to it belongs to Paul. Raymond used to charge just as much for parking when he owned the Vulcan Way. So please let’s not argue who is better. But as you can see, who is the real snake in this business. Someone who is a sore loser when he lost the original nightmarket. Sneaking around the Vulcan nightmarket when it’s late at night, doing gods know what. Also, have you heard on the radio about how the Vulcan nightmarket is in the TOP 4 best nightmarkets in the WORLD. Self explanatory maxhuey ;)……cheers!

        • john

          correction, dollar fifty admission !!!!

  14. lala

    hello
    i just wanna put my 2 cents
    if raymond wasnt the sore loser then why did he go to court suing paul

    am i right or am i right.
    just wanted to point something obvious out

    • maxhuey

      Lots of he said she said above lala…

      Raymond had lease contract for 7 or 8 years on the vulcan property, but landlord saw how much money he is making and decided to go back on the contract by raising rent high so they can kick tenant out and start business themselves, using all the facilities that was already there (built by Raymond).

      This is why those BS above your post sound so ridiculous… and yet they are calling him (Ray) snake??

      Not to worry much lala, take the high road and enjoy life in the Richmond Night Market. I am sure they will swamp this forum with more lies… Cheers!

  15. funny

    Hi Max! Oh really! U know more then I do! I was actually working for one of the shop at Continetal Shopping center! During 1998, a girl from Paramount Comminications came to us and said they were going to promote our mall by holding the Mid Autum Festival night market… At first, most of us didn’t trust it will work and gave her a hard time! But then it was a GREAT success and they did it again for us at 2000 CNY! It was another great success! And they did it 6 years in a row and I remember they moved to Landsdowne! However, that COPYCAT,Raymond, step in a did another night market! I remember the one he ran opposite to Superstore was suxK! Then all of a sudden… He named himself the original Richmond Night Market, how dare he can do it by just register the name then name himself the original???? Please get the info from wiki, it’s on wiki as well! He is a big liar! 3 of my friend worked for him, he laid off them without reason and refused to pay them! Then they all called him for the pay cheque, guess what? He ‘F’ them each non stop for at least 5 mins then hang up! Folks, if u working for him and dealing with him again this year, be prepare to get no pay n F by him, what a good blessing from that ass H!!

  16. funny

    As I notice maxhuey, Paul is not the landlord of that property! Read the news! And Raymond is so good at ripping people off , he is famous for that! Me myself visiting one of the night market he opened, saw him kicking vendor table and F them! I don’t know what was happening, but no matter what was happening, I don’t think it was nice to treat people unless they r a Jexx!

  17. Ron

    There is nothing at these markets, cell phone cases for $20, which are made in china knock offs, vendors state goods are made in Canada, as if…

    Everyone who leaves, walks out empty handed, who is buying anything here, you can buy the stuff on ebay for 1/10th of the cost… wake up people, who needs the headache…

  18. As I went to this little office off McKim Way today to get vendor info, I realized it was a different Night Market I was talking about. As the staff at target event was showing me the floor plan. I tried to hide my disbelief and coy naivette about the whole situation. As soon as I stepped out of the office I looked at my daughter and said I know what happened, amazing she said yes mom, its another one of those partnerships gone bad. They must have been the original partners and for some reason jealousy , greed or somethingelse must have taken place. Anyhow, I will head out and see the “ORIGINAL” night market. And I CANT WAIT!! FOOOOODDDDDDDD!!!!!

  19. Pingback: food punk » Richmond Night Market: Bigger and Better

  20. Deej

    I wasn’t that impressed with the Richmond Night Market. too many of the same types of Vendors. None of the vendors I like are there

    I’m going back to the one on Vulcan way tonight for comparison, but I’m quite confident that this will be the one I return to.

    • Deej

      Been to both now, it’s the Vulcan way market that is the winner for me.

  21. GL

    Going tomorrow night to Richmond. Haven’t decided which night market to go to. Thanks to all who posted above.

    Will report back regarding which one I went to.

    • GL

      Ok, went to the Richmond Night Market. It was good. 2 adults, 2 seniors, one 5 yo kid. Paid $3 for the two adults, seniors and kids are free.

      Had doubts about paying $1.50 for the entrance fee, but that $1.50 seems to go a long way: free parking (there is a lot of parking!), traffic control people, parking control people, security, and cleaners cleaning tables and the washrooms! The fee also seems to keep the rift-raft out (like those wannabe Asian gangster teens).

      Lots of food choices (garlic squid nomnom). $8 burgers, yeah right… Don’t get that half motoyaki lobster/crayfish for $6.50, definitely not worth it even with the $1 off coupon at the door. Stinky tofu was also fail but I’m spoiled by having eaten the real thing a lot overseas. Lamb skewers were super tasty.

  22. Elephant Ears

    I went to the Richmond Night Market 3 weeks ago, so surprised to see BBQ lobster and had 1, quit tasty~ But too bad, I vomited badly after that! Then i found our from the website that there are 2 food booth got unsanitary condition and pending close down, wonder if it was them

    http://www.vch.ca/media/FoodEstablishmentClosureListAug9_2012(1).pdf?xprOpenPopup=1

  23. This whole conflict of the 2 night markets is really no different than why we have three anime conventions in Vancouver this year. This messy administrative in-fighting has caused nothing but inconvenience at the expense of the customers.

    I have been to both, and I would have to say that the Casino market has more food vendors. There are more variety of food, more space to eat, more room to stand and more places to hang out/meet.

    The Casino one also has more non-food vendors total but the variety of vendors is not as diverse as the old Vulcan way one. There was way too many cellphone/tablet case vendors at both markets but the number vs. proportion was way higher at the casino market. Now saying as much, there are certain vendors at Vulcan Way like the puzzles guy, the RC guy, balloon tying guy, and the little mini kid’s zone which are not at the other one. But in reverse, the Casino one had the vendors selling wall decals.

    Now, I went to the night market with a purpose to buy a hard Itouch 2 case and a hard wrap case for an Ipad 2. At the Casino one I came across 2 booths which had staff that didn’t even know if a certain case could be used for Itouch 2. But in reverse, Vulcan way really lacked stock and choices for a hard Ipad 2 case (ie. not leather, not neoprene plastic, and not just a back cover protector), as I only found one vendor with such a case in white, and one other who had a demo aluminium clamshell case.

    End result, I founding best selection, colours, designs and material at the Casino one for both Itouch 2 and Ipad 2.

    My other concern is that I have a kid in a stroller. Casino one is way easier to get to with the Skytrain so close to it. Riding transit to the Vulcan Way one is pain in the but especially during the busy time with a stroller. The other major concern I had was that some of the vendors at Vulcan Way were squished up together. Some of the walkways were so narrow it would make them impossible to traverse if I stopped in the middle of it with a stroller.

    I will also comment that the shuttle bus to Vulcan Way from Bridgeport is not stroller friendly.

    End assessment, as customers you need to go to both to get the full experience right now. But I can see the Casino market with room to grow and expand and get more vendors than ever, while the old Vulcan Way one could still exist but it isn’t going to get bigger, and it won’t be able to address the people transportation logistics like the new location has. So I can foresee that Casino will become the newer and only Richmond Night Market. IMHO.

  24. winterbelle

    I didn’t like the River Road one. You had to pay for admission, the vendors weren’t as good, the food wasn’t as good, and the atmosphere wasn’t as cool as at the Vulcan way one. I won’t go there again. The only thing I liked was the free parking….

    • Jeff

      I second this.

  25. Lauren

    I was curious if any one could clarify something for me. I heard that one of the night markets banned the sale of weapons and I was looking to purchase samurai swords. Can anyone confirm or deny this and if so which one is the one I should go to?

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