The Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon is a beautiful place for a walk.
It is especially beautiful in the rain and that is important since chances are it will be raining when you visit.
You will not burn a lot of calories walking around the Chinese Garden because you will not be walking very far. But, you will burn more calories than you would sitting at a coffee shop watching the rain fall on all of the Oregonians who seem oblivious to weather.
The garden takes up one city block which is about 40,000 square feet.
You are free to walk around the Chinese garden as many times as you want so you can get some exercise in. But when you visit the garden make sure you take some time to sit and enjoy the peace and serenity that the garden offers in a big city. It is so quiet in the garden that you will forget where you are.
Pagodas, covered walkways, bridges and a teahouse are built around a small lake. You can sit in the teahouse and sip authentic Chinese tea and view the garden. Snacks are available in the teahouse.
Suzhou gardens, like the one in Portland, are enclosed within city walls and were built in areas with a limited amount of space.
Because of space limitations it was necessary to devise ways to make the garden appear larger than it really was. This was accomplished by including walkways and bridges which require guests to take more steps to go from one end to the other, dividing the overall area into smaller gardens within gardens.
Most of the materials used in the construction of the garden originated in China including the rocks and wood. The rocks are limestone mined from Lake Tai and are prized for their virtues including having holes that are believed to allow life force to flow freely The windows around the Garden and inside the walls, are called “leak” windows since they allow the visitor to see the view “leaking” through.
The majority of the plants in the Garden are indigenous to China;however, they were grown in the United States. Current import bans prevent plants from being brought directly from China.
Prior to these recent bans, plants were brought from China to the US and their offspring are what you will see in the garden. Some plants are more than 100 years old and were transplanted from gardens and nurseries in Oregon.
The Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon is easily accessible by public transportation and is an easy walk from most of the hotels in the downtown area. Appropriately the Chinese Garden is located in Chinatown.
Not convinced that this Chinese Garden is worth visiting?
Here is a YouTube slideshow tour of the gardens complete with tranquil music and interesting facts:
Recommended Portland Guide Book
If you want a guide to Portland city walks in Oregon, “Portland City Walks” by Laura Foster is a good choice. Click here or the book picture below to read the reviews on Amazon.
Here is a Google map to Lan Su Chinese Garden for directions.
Enjoy your visit to this garden paradise.