Step into the Chinese Garden which is a 5-minute walk from the Chinese Garden MRT Station (EW25), and you might just imagine you’re in ancient China! Built in 1975 and designed by Prof Yuen-chen Yu, a well-known architect from Taiwan, the Chinese Garden is modeled along the northern Chinese imperial style of architecture and landscaping.
Upon entering the garden, visitors are greeted by two marble stone lions at the main entrance. It is a Chinese belief that lions represent authority and felicity. Sculptured stone lions are often placed at entrance of buildings and temples as guardians of these places. The pair of stone lions at the Chinese Garden were sculptured from Taiwan-imported marble stone.
The main entrance leads to the 13-Arch Rainbow Bridge. Bridges are one of the characteristic features of Chinese gardens. The white 13-Arch Rainbow Bridge was built following the style of the 17-Arch Bridge of Beijing’s Summer Palace.
Crossing the bridge, visitors will then enter the Main Arch Building of the garden. The Main Arch Building is a favourite spot for photograph-taking amongst visitors.
Within the building lies two courtyards, the “Early Spring Courtyard” with jasmine and pomegranate trees and the “Garden Courtyard” with its miniature lakes and bridges, and a fish pond: the “Fishes Paradise”.
Following this, comes the vast park area itself. Clusters of bamboo and willow, ficus trees and lotus ponds adorn the garden. We stopped here for a picnic lunch of Focaccia, smoked salmon, feta cheese, olives, and strawberries for desert.
We saw lots of birds and monitor lizards while picnicking…
The Stone Boat and Tea House is representative of a famous traditional feature of Chinese architecture. The style of the Stone Boat is based on the Beijing style, with some adaptations to its design and materials used. The Tea House is a miniature structure following the style of the more elaborate, winding gallery of the Beijing Summer Palace.
Interspersed within the garden are the pavilions and the pagoda. The pavilion is an important component of Chinese gardens. The arrangement of the pavilion, with its plateau and tower is based on the principle of balance between height and size. There are altogether four pavilions found within the garden. A seven-storey pagoda reminiscent of the Ling Ku Temple Pagoda in Nanking is situated on a small hill in the garden.
The Bonsai Garden (Penjing Garden), a relatively new feature of the garden, was opened in 1992. Covering an area of 5,800 sq m, it houses over 2,000 bonsais imported from China and other parts of Asia. The two outside the Garden’s entrance are said to come from Sichuan and to be over 280 years old.
On the way out, we crossed the connecting bridge and stopped by the japanese garden to see some zen gardens before heading home. 2 very different gardens sided by side.
Main Garden: 6.00 am – 11.00 pm (daily)
Bonsai Garden & Garden of Abundance: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm (daily)
Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum: 10.00 am – 7.00 pm (daily)