Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
Los Angeles, California
September 3, 2007
Just on the opposite side of Gas Town is China Town. It’s anything, but hard to miss. Think of any typical China Town that welcomes people with a giant red archway with dragons. My time here was all to short, not only was I short on time, but I choose not to stay there long because in just a few short weeks I was going to China and felt that there were other things that I wanted to see in Vancouver instead.
My one reason for going to China Town was to see Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Classical Chinese Garden…it didn’t disappoint. The garden was build solely from items sent from China with the intention of showing visitors the Taoist philosophy of harmony in nature. It is the first full-scale classical Chinese garden built outside of China and covers one hectare of land.
Built to the designs of the Ming- dynasty; the garden offers beautiful ponds and walkways that twist past waterfalls. I truly had the sense that I left Canada and was transported to China.
Free tour guides only enhance the experience. They turn a beautiful lake into a meaningful work of art and harmony and explain how the garden was built to flow from one sight to the other and the symbolism of it all.
Admission is $8 for adults for more information visit their site. The garden is one of the most popular sights in Chinatown and possibly in all of Vancouver. Early mornings and late night, just before closing, are the best time to stop by in order to miss the crowds.
From journal Oh, Canada!
Riverview, New Brunswick
May 31, 2007
Amid all this is a place of quiet serenity, the first classical Chinese garden constructed outside China and modeled on private gardens developed in the city of Suzhou during the Ming dynasty. The materials for the garden were imported from China and were assembled using traditional methods at a cost of $5.3 million (1986); the garden facilities were expanded in 2004 at a further cost of $1.9 million. The garden reflects the philosophy of yin and yang, life in balance; soft is juxtaposed with hard, darkness with light.
Your journey through this small, delightful space takes you past the China Maple Hall to the Hall of One Hundred Rivers. Always on your left are the elements of the garden itself, Tai Hu limestone rocks from China are next to flowering plum, stands of bamboo, and pine. The garden’s focal point is a ting, a graceful pavilion. It will strike you eventually that all this hardscape, as well as the soil and the plants around it, was brought here, that it is not natural to the site. A remarkable enterprise.
The visit is self-guiding with a brochure that explains the complexity of the garden’s symbolism as well as the nature and texture of the materials that were used in its construction. Next to the garden is a public park, accessible at no cost, which provides a continuation of the water features, flowers, and bamboo stands that make the garden so delightful. For information: Sun Yat Sen
From journal Adventures in Lotusland: Vancouver
February 2, 2006
From journal Wet and Wonderful in Vancouver
January 26, 2006
May 1-June 14, September, 10am-6pmJune 15-August 31, 9:30am-7pmOctober 1-April 30, 10am-4:30pm
Phone: (604) 662-3207Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From journal YVR
August 28, 2005
When you enter this garden, you forget all of this modern jazz and jumble. You enter spaces of calculated order and serenity. We were most fortunate to have as our docent a man who stood straight and tall. He wore a leather jacket sporting many patches, including one,I think (romantic wishful thinking),was that of the "Flying Tigers" of World War II fame. As he explained the philosophic principles embodied in this garden that was cooperatively planned and constructed by the governments of the People’s Republic of China and Canada and the communities of Vancouver, he noted he had followed these principles to enjoy a healthy 84 years of life. Spry and mentally sharp, he was IMPRESSIVE.
These gardens, opened in time for the ’86 Expo, are modeled after similar gardens constructed in the Garden City of Suzhou during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Symbolism prevails throughout along with practical considerations of how natural materials can be manipulated to enhance appreciation of nature. For example, cloudy jade water in special clay-lined pools enhances the quality of reflections cast by objects surrounding them. Willows symbolize graceful women; bamboo signifies the strength and endurance that bends but doesn’t break before adverse conditions. In each area, the courtyard pebbles change in type and structure to convey changing seasons.
You don’t need to understand all of the complex calculation underlying these gardens, although it helps to learn their overall aim is to emphasize man’s place within nature. Throughout the garden, opposites deliberately play off each other: light, dark; soft, hard; small, large. Our docent explained how the garden embodies feng-shui principles and how some constructions were designed to avert evil spirits or slow walkers down so they would notice details. The message to two tired travelers was to harmonize with these tranquil surroundings. And we did.
From journal VIBRANT VANCOUVER - 2004 IGOUGO MEETING
October 6, 2004
Vancouver’s Chinatown is the largest one in Canada and perhaps that is why it is fortunate enough to have the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Completed in 1986, it is regarded as the first authentic classical Chinese garden created outside of China. The design of this wonderful slice of controlled nature is derivative of the world-famous gardens in Suzhou, China. Many of the elements, along with over 50 artisans, were imported from Suzhou. The artisans respected old traditions so much that no nails or power tools were used to create the garden.
The garden is named after Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, revered as the "Father of Modern China." He spearheaded the 1911 revolution that toppled the Qing Dynasty (he even visited Vancouver three times to rally for support and contributions) and became the first president of the Republic of China in 1912.
The garden is insulated from the outside world by high, whitewashed walls. The design of the garden involves a symbolic yin and yang, "harmony of contrasts," amongst the structures, impossibly organic-looking limestone rocks, plants, and water. Walk inside and experience the scenic and serene settings created by the rich textures of the tiled roofs and the tactile streams of stone paving. The climates of Vancouver and Suzhou are similar, so the same types of plants in the Suzhou gardens were used here. One can see how Chinese scholars in the good ol’ days of the Ming Dynasty may have desired to cocoon within the full embrace of an enriching oasis such as this. One notable concession to modern times may be noticed if you look westward, as the tops of today’s skyscrapers encroach over the peaceful realm of the garden.
If you are pressed for time or are on a budget, you can enjoy the adjacent Sun Yat-Sen Park for free. Although this space actually preceded the garden, its natural, public-park style appears as an extension of the more formal and classical garden. Designed by architects Joe Wai and Donald Vaughan, the park offers its fair share of lovely vistas and charming elements. The gift shop offers a range of tasteful gifts with a Chinese bent. Just east of the park complex is the Chinese Cultural Centre, which includes a museum, archives, and library. This is the starting point for many walking tours of Chinatown.
The garden is open daily from May to October, and it is closed Mondays the rest of the year. There are guided tours along with occasional art and music programs.
From journal Bill in Canada - VANCOUVER
May 30, 2003
From journal Vancouver Summer Folk Festival
by Harry Potter
New York, New York
November 11, 2002
A lovely surprise was discovering several turtles sunbathing on rocks in the ponds just beyond arms reach. At first they did not appear to be real, but patient watching paid off as a few slowly poked their heads in and out of their shells. A visit in the fall was great to also have the chance to see the leaves starting to change to a vibrant orange on some of the trees. There are several pavilions to explore and one of my favorite rooms contained an absolutely gorgeous set of Rosewood table and chairs engraved with bats for good luck and shown in a photo below.
I rejoined the tour at one point to listen to the explanation of the symmetrical patterns on the windows and door screens. Four different plant carvings represent the four seasons and visitors are asked to guess at matching each of them; orchid, plum, bamboo and chrysanthemum with their representations of the respective seasons. Also explained in this room is the construction of it without nails. The secret to its fastening are hidden wooden pegs that allow the joints to fit and be held together.
Varied, magnificent views are offered from different points while walking around the corridor of the pond; from the scene through the Moon Gate (photo below) to the Pagoda in the background (photo below). The terrace is covered in different types and colors of interesting stone. Artwork is displayed for sale and a wonderful, reasonably priced gift shop offers items such as Chinese print purses and blank journals of which I had to buy 2 of the same of each - one to keep and one to give. We exited this animated oasis with a feeling of quiet contentment at having experienced a grand display of natural elements.
From journal Visiting Vancouver, eh