Zen in the City: Lan Su Chinese Garden (Portland, OR)
A few days after I went to the International Rose Test Garden, my cousin and I went to explore the Lan Su Chinese Garden in the Chinatown area of Portland. It’s four thousand feet – or one full city block – of walled-in Chinese garden. In other words: an oasis in a city when you need to get away from the traffic (and bikes) of Portland.
Efforts to build a Chinese garden began in the 80’s when Portland and the Chinese city of Suzhou became sister cities and finally construction began in 1999. The entire project cost $12.8 million dollars and took 14 months to complete. On September 14th, 2000, the doors to the Lan Su Chinese Garden opened.
The name comes from the names of the two sister cities: Su – from Suzhou – and Lan – from Portland. Ninety percent of the plants in the garden are native to China and were brought in from surrounding nurseries in Washington State.
These stones were arranged in such a way that it was supposed to be a therapeutic massage to walk over it with bare feet.
Ticket prices for admission range from $7 to $10. There are many walkways and nooks to explore around the manmade lake at the center of the garden. I think the Lan Su Chinese Garden would be an epic place to sit and meditate and I highly recommend taking a chilled out walk through this little oasis in Portland.
See? Don’t I look chilled out?