Saturday, April 28, 2018

{Museum a Month} Lan Su Chinese Garden

The month was coming to an end and we still hadn't made time for a museum visit. This month's participating attraction for the Portland Attractions Marketing Alliance is the Lan Su Chinese Garden. So we went.

The garden takes up an entire city block and was designed to replicate the garden of a sixteenth century bureaucrat scholar. (It's also considered to be the most authentic Suzhou-style Chinese garden outside of China, built in 2000 as part of a partnership between Portland and its sister city.)

I knew the garden was in the middle of town, but I still expected it to feel more separate. Tall buildings are visible above the garden's architecture and the sound of traffic was always there in the background. At one point the bass from someone's car stereo was almost as loud as the tour guide's voice. 

Definitely take the guided tour if you happen to visit. There's symbolism in everything, and so much history about the garden and why it's the way it is. You could thoroughly enjoy the beauty of the place without knowing the details, but the tour adds a lot. 

The garden would have been the daytime dwelling of a scholar and his wives.

Another tip -- the brochure is worth reading. I'm always so busy keeping track of kids that I just put the brochure or map or whatever into my purse, but this one is really interesting. Even if it did take me a bit too long to figure out the interactive window feature.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

I live in Vancouver WA and have wanted to go to the Chinese gardens since moving here 17 years ago....some day


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