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.

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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.

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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.

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See? Don’t I look chilled out?

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