The Portland Chinese Garden is a lovely oasis nestled in downtown Portland, Oregon.
I visited the Garden (now renamed the Lan Su Chinese Garden) this last January. I was invited by the curator to take a tour, capture some video, and enjoy a cup or two of tea in their authentic tea house. I gladly accepted her offer.
One of the things that stand out about the Chinese Garden in Portland is the fact that it's located smack dab in the middle of the bustling downtown area on the edge of Portland's China Town.
It's a serene and peaceful single city block that can easily be reconciled to the eye of a hurricane. While the people of Portland drive, walk, and bike to work and life moves quickly outside the stone walls, within you find something romantic and reminiscent of a time long ago.
Indigenous Chinese plants, winding stone walkways, and majestic buildings make up this Suzhou-style garden. Opening in September of 2000, the materials put together for the Lan Su Chinese Garden actually originated in China and was all placed by those same workers. Even though I visited in the winter month of January, it was very pretty, nonetheless. I'm anxious to head back in the spring as all the flowers begin to bloom andthe birds fill the trees.
The Tower of Cosmic Reflections teahouse is a quiet place to come with friends. It has a fair-sized menu of edibles including Chinese Steamed Dumplings, Taoist Delight Noodles, Pickled Bamboo Shoots. Very interesting selections.
The Portland-based company, The Tao of Tea, treats visitors with (it seems like) a million and one various types of tea to choose from, all piping hot and soothing. You can read all about the history and such of the teas within the pages of their menu.
When I toured the tea house, I was given the opportunity to venture up to the second story balcony and shoot the Garden from above, as you can see in my video. The air was crisp and the view was wonderful.
Events at the Portland Chinese Garden are held throughout the year and offer visitors a look inside the arts and culture of China. From Children's hands-on activities, to ongoing events such as Mahjong, Calligraphy, and Tai Chi, to cultural celebrations such as the Chinese New Year. Not only a place to take a quiet afternoon away, but also to participate and learn. Pretty cool, huh? ;)
Open 7 days a week, year-round and only closing on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day, the Portland Chinese Garden is a real treat to anyone visiting Portland, Oregon.
So, bring a book and relax in the tea house, sit and watch the waterfall and gaze into the water pools (my favorite things to do) or stroll lazily along the paths. Whatever you choose, you're really going to enjoy your time here. Get more information at the Lan Su Chinese Garden web site.
Have you visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland? When did you go? What did you think? Share your thoughts and experiences.