AAA/Diana Beyer
AAA Editor Notes
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is at 578 Carrall St. What this walled garden lacks in size it more than makes up for in serene beauty. Located in the heart of Chinatown, it's a delightful respite from the surrounding hustle and bustle. Modeled after private gardens in the city of Suzhou, the garden embodies the Taoist philosophy of yin and yang, where every element—light, texture, vegetation—is balanced.

The architecture of the pavilions, covered walkways, terraces and viewing platforms evokes Ming Dynasty classical design. Rocks and water are integral elements, while trees and plants—from pine trees and bamboo to graceful weeping willows and winter-flowering plum trees—all have symbolic connotations. The Jade Water Pavilion is graced with beautiful woodwork. Two of the garden's most intriguing elements are the 43 leak windows (each one has a different lattice pattern) and the groupings of Tai Hu rocks, interestingly shaped stones from China's Lake Tai that lend themselves to all sorts of artistic interpretations.

Visitors can walk through the garden on their own, but the guided tour offers historical perspective and encourages you to reflect on the design elements in different ways. Afterward, take a stroll through the adjacent public park, where pathways wind through clumps of bamboo and other plantings.

Art and horticultural exhibits and demonstrations also are offered. Festivals and concerts are featured throughout the year.

Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.

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