It has been awhile since I last step foot into Chinese Garden but what fascinated me about the place before still fascinates many today. Regardless of whether you are a tourist or a local, this place will never fail to surprise you every single time you go there. Here are some facts about our Chinese Garden that you may not even know about and just might peak your interest enough to head back there soon to check it out.
Majestic stone lions at the entrance
If you have visited China, Taiwan and/or Hong Kong, or you’ve watched enough dramas, you will know that these two lions represent loyalty and protection in many a Chinese household in the past. Such statues were only prevalent at the entrance of home compounds of the rich and influential back in the old days and was also a symbol of affluence back then.
The “Bai Hong Qiao” bridge
This 13-arch bridge follows the style of the 17-arch bridge at the Summer Palace in Peking, China. Often considered an architectural structure of beauty, our slightly shorter version is no different. Take a leisurely stroll across this bridge and admire the picturesque overview of the garden from there while imagining yourselves as lovers back in ancient China.
Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
If you haven’t heard, there is a live turtle and tortoise museum located within the compounds of the Chinese Garden where you can get to see different species of turtles and tortoises and learn more about them. The exciting thing about this place is that there are also exhibits of exotic turtles and tortoises, like those with bodily abnormalities, that will probably leave you in awe.
The Chinese Pavilion Plateau and Tower
You may or may not know this but besides being in the style of the Northern Pavilions, it is essential that the structural arrangement of the pavilions and towers are balanced in terms of their height and size. In the tradition of ensuring that everything blends harmoniously with each other, even the surrounding rocks, rivers and floral and fauna have to come together and merge into a beautiful and serene combination.
This is possibly the most interesting part of the garden. Costing over S$4 million to build and exhibiting about 2,000 species of bonsai from China and other parts of the world, the bonsai garden is also an important location of leisure for people in ancient China. You can even learn more about creating your own bonsai at the Bonsai Training Centre where you will be trained by resident experts from Shanghai and Suzhou.
Garden of Abundance
Originally known as the Zodiac and Pomegranate Garden, this area consists of pomegranate trees, the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals sculpture, a sundial, stone bridges and planting of materials, which have meanings of longevity, abundance and fulfilment, thus the name Garden of Abundance. In fact, this garden design is done in such a way that it bestows blessings to all who visit.
The Pagoda, in Chinese belief, is known to be a place of peace, usually for those who have passed on from our world. The tall pointed tip at the top symbolises a closer path to Heaven and Nirvana. This structure is also known to beautify the surroundings it is in and this is beautifully illustrated in our Chinese Garden.
A place of relaxation where people chit chat and talk about their lives over, well, tea. Try having a seat with your friends in one of them and have a heart to heart chat while admiring the scenery of the Chinese Garden. You may come out feeling more tranquil and at peace. Of course, don’t be surprised if you have to share the space with others out there on a picnic. Sit at the ledge and look at the koi swimming in the waters below.
Top Image: Noppasin / Shutterstock.com