4 June 2014

A Visit to Chinese Garden

When we heard that Chinese Garden will be undergoing a major uplifting makeover, we decided to plan for a trip there. During our 7 years stay here in Singapore, we have not been to the Chinese Garden. We heard about this place and have seen beautiful pictures about it, but yet it remains as one of the attractions in our to-go list. 

During the weekends before Mummy Mae left for business trip, Daddy Pok suggested that we have got to go the Chinese Garden! If not, we would have to wait till the makeover completes. At least, a visit for now would benefit us in appreciating the before and after the makeover process.

The iconic Twin Pagodas of Chinese Garden.
The Chinese Garden is located at Jurong, west of Singapore. It was built in 1975 and designed by a well-known Taiwanese architect, Prof Yuen-Chen Yu. The architectural and landscaping styles reminiscent of the Sung Dynasty period. This park is now managed by JTC Corporation and it serves as a peaceful refuge for the nearby residents.
The boys looking at the map of Chinese Garden.

It was exceptional quiet on a weekend morning. There were just a handful of visitors, and a group of teenagers who were there for a photography session. The garden was well kept and clean. Unfortunately, we find that there were not enough trees and shades. We did thought that this maybe a factor which may warded off potential visitors. 

We started our journey from the West Main Entrance. Peeping through the entrance hole was a magnificent bridge connecting to the Garden Courtyard.

Main Entrance of Chinese Garden.
This wide spatious bridge is named as the White Rainbow Bridge. When we walked past the bridge, I had to reassure Little Kye that there was no grumpy old troll hiding under the bridge. Oops.. a sign of overdose watching Dora The Explorer! 

The White Rainbow Bridge.
Across the bridge is the Garden Courtyard building. It has two flights of majestic stairs enclosing a marble plague of commemoration. This is a very typical design in a Chinese Architecture. It reminds us of the great stairs in the Forbidden City in China.

Garden Courtyard.
At this point of junction, we took a left turn and headed towards the Twin Pagodas. We felt somewhat adventurous and challenged the boys to climb one of the pagodas. We only made it to the second level. Feeling wobbly we headed back down to the ground! Parents with young children would want to pay extra attention when going up the pagodas as the stairs were steep and the barriers at the balcony were shorter than usual. 

The Twin Pagodas.

Getting ready to conquer the pagoda.

The spiral stairs leading up the pagoda.
After that, we walked along the outer path all the way towards the east entrance where the Eight Heroes and the Seven Storey Pagoda were located. 

The Seven Storey Pagoda.

The Eight Heroes. Are you able to recognize them?
We then continued our journey towards the Garden of Abundance. This garden featured many stone carvings depicting the twelve zodiac animal signs represented in the chinese culture. The Bonsai Garden was partially closed as we saw signs of makeover starting to take place.

Left to Garden of Abundance; Right to Bonsai Garden.

The 12 animal zodiac statues. Which is yours?

We also discovered some special monuments, like the Sundial and The Bridge of Romance.

The Sundial.
The Bridge Of Romance.
From an honest point of view, the boys were starting to feel bored. We were so far away from the entrance. What's more...... we took the wrong turn and headed for another bridge. It brought us even further towards the Japanese Garden! Fortunately, a group of local community was having a dance gathering and the blasting music kept the boys entertained for quite awhile. 

Some picturesque sights at the Japanese Garden.
The big wide bridge connecting in between the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden.

The name of bridge - Shuang Xiu Qiao.
Rocky passage across a tiny stream.

The iconic view of the Japanese Garden.
A lake with full of water lilies.

A trip to Chinese Garden would not be completed without having a visit to the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum. It was the only reason which kept the boys going. 

The Tortoise Museum is located near the Garden Courtyard. It comprises a small garden with a great collection of turtle and tortoises. Please refer to their website for the list of exotic exhibits which they have in house. Some species were left roaming free around the area and visitors are allowed to feed the tortoises. Vann had a great time in feeding the tortoises while Kye preferred to keep a distance from the fierce munching mouths.

The entrance to the Tortoise Museum from the Garden Courtyard.
The Fishes Paradise.
Another entrance of the Tortoise Museum from the back of Garden Courtyard.
This is the small garden which houses free roaming tortoises.
Note that there were several tortoises roaming in the waters.
The aquariums which exhibits different species of turtles.
Yum Yum! Crunch Crunch!
Here comes the lot, fighting for the last snack!

Tortoise feeding time!

Overall, Chinese Garden serves as a good hideout for families who are looking for a quiet place to spend time together. The architectural buildings provide visitors a good source of Chinese Cultural appreciation and beautiful scenery to look at. We do hope that the upcoming makeover would give a whole new fresh look to the Chinese Garden. Last but not least, here are two photos showcasing the Stone Boat and Tea House Pavillion. We did not cover these attractions during our journey but Daddy Pok had beautifully taken these photos when he wandered off alone.

Tea House Pavillion.
The Stone Boat on the left.

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