At the edge of Vancouver’s Chinatown, barely a block from the night market and Foo’s Ho Ho Chinese restaurant lies the most ultimate, complete, beautiful and authentic Chinese garden I’ve ever seen… well at least on this continent.
No discredit meant, of course. This garden really is as fantastic as it is peaceful. The only thing that was disturbing or chaotic in the whole place was us and we didn’t much succeed at upsetting the placid balance of this place. I think we were distracted by the sum of its coolness.
Half the park is free as the air we share with the trees adorned by it. The ponds and gazebos are sculpted with a shape and craft true to the Imperial Chinese theme, and I should know, I’ve seen it all myself. The free part is only half the park, half the story and half the cool.
Of all the attractions we hit in Vancouver, the garden was the least expensive and most peaceful, both by a mile. Once you’ve seen the free part you may wonder, “why see the other half?” and there is indeed a reason. Nay, not a reason but a full pack of them.
- Guided tours tell you the origin and meanings of all the stuff you see.
- The garden’s sophistication steps up to a level of sophistication absolutely true to the traditional Chinese theme.
- It’s got way more history, fact and museum-quality exhibit.
- There’s turtles in the pond.
Mind you, I don’t recall seeing turtles when we toured the orient; the rest of the stuff is all you could hope to find. Following our series about Shanghai and surrounding areas we heard complaints that our reviews were too distant to connect with you readers, but this place is practically in your backyard and as accurate to the real thing you’d ever want, only without the 16-hour flight.
I really don’t think I can express the value offered by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Garden. And, as much as the Chinatown night market in Vancouver is a representative taste of modern China, the garden is an appetizer of it’s rich heritage.
If I could muster a complaint, it would be that it doesn’t span half the city like the Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou, but then, it’s not supposed to. Besides, this garden was built on a principal of the new world. It’s a place to reflect and rest, not for laborers to endlessly toil for the eventuall partial appreciation of a single and singly ungrateful bureaucrat.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Garden is open year round and has seasonal hours. For information, hours and directions go to Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Classical Chinese Garden.
ABOVE -This is me and the the brother (of Patrickesque disposition) each pointing at the triple-toad, lilly-pad out-hangery… aint’ that cool, it’s three turtles basking in the sun.
ABOVE -I told you this was a garden unlike any other, didn’t I? This is a shot of me and Patrick taking in a moment of serenity whilst pointing up at a gazebo of reflection. If that don’t spell out a Chinese garden of reflection I can’t much speak as to what actually does.