The Chinese and Japanese Gardens
1 Chinese Garden Road (subway station Chinese Garden)
Amazed and enchanted, tourists call the Chinese and Japanese Gardens - that stretch across two islands in the middle of the artificial lake Jurong - one of the most beautiful corners in Singapore, while locals consider them to be an ideal place for their more leisurely strolls.
The Chinese Garden occupies an area of 13 hectares and is the largest object of this kind outside of China. In 1975, a famous Taiwanese architect designed the gardens using a concept known commonly as Northern style, which is traditional for most of the imperial Gardens in China. In particular, the architectural shapes of the Singapore Chinese Garden’s elegant buildings and some elements of its landscape design are reminiscent of the famous Summer Imperial Palace’s majestic gardens in Beijing. Special attention is paid to the harmonic combination of the architectural works and their surrounding nature. The project’s designer intended to make the Chinese Garden not only a recreation place for Singapore’s locals and guests, but also a symbol for the rapidly developing state.
The most notable building in Chinese Garden is the magnificent seven-tier pagoda, which stands on a small hill at the park’s entrance. It is styled according to the famous Buddhist temple Lingu in Chinese Nanking. Meanwhile, another local attraction is the Bonsai Garden, which features more than two thousand incredibly beautiful dwarf trees, brought in from China and other countries. Several picturesque artificial ponds, with delicate bridges thrown across them, creating a maze of elegant alleys framed in thick verdure. Miniature pagoda-shaped pergolas stand out, while thematic sculptures are installed in the Chinese Garden’s grounds. There is also a small teahouse and a stone boat, an accurate copy of the vessel that stands next to the Summer Palace in Beijing.
The Chinese Garden’s ponds are full of fish and turtles. There is even a separate Turtle Museum, where live turtles of various species, as well as artificial figurines of these reptiles, made in different styles, are exhibited. A statue of Confucius stands not far from it, while somewhat further on there is a small glade with a sundial and figures of all the zodiac's characters.
The 65-meter, open-worked bridge leads to the neighboring island, where the Japanese Garden is laid out. Created in minimalist style, it strikes the eye with its elegant simplicity and an atmosphere of absolute harmony typical of Japanese landscape design. Its main adornments are the miniature stone lanterns and a garden of stones, brought in from Japan. Similar to the Chinese Garden it has its own teahouse, with little red bridges linking the small ponds and providing a view over the amazing flowers and plants.