Lets face it… Old Town and China Town in downtown Portland… have some issues. Homelessness and violent crimes are a major problem. Plus most of the bars in that part of town are real meat markets, so I’m not too inclined to visit. But during the day, there is one oasis worth a visit. Nestled inside a tall stone wall just one block away from some of the most raucous nightclubs in Portland, sits the tranquil Lan Su Chinese Garden.
Only one square city block or 40,000 square feet (8,000 of which is a lake), there is a lot packed into a small space. The garden opened in 2000 after 5 years of work and planning here and in China. Most of the buildings were actually constructed IN in China, then disassembled and shipped to Portland along with 500 tons of rock!
Inside you’ll follow a meandering path that takes you through pavillions, around the lake, past waterfalls and to a teahouse at the back. They serve tea, wine, sake, and s small selection of food. The garden is small, but you are meant to take your time and enjoy. I’ve visited in both the summer and the winter, both are beautiful. The photos in this post were taken in January 2010.
The garden hosts a number of events through the year that I try to go to. The first, their Spring Plant Sale is this weekend. They sell really cool, but unusual plants for your home and yard. Then at the end of the summer is the “Mooncakes and Pomegranates” event for the gardens birthday. I have never gone because tickets are very limited and sell out fast, but maybe this year.
NE 3rd & EVERETT
APRIL1- OCTOBER 31: 10AM-6PM, NOVEMBER 1ST-MARCH 31 10AM-5PM