Saturday, October 2, 2010

Visiting China... In Sydney

During my latest Sydney layover, the weather was so nice I didn't want to waste the day lounging in my room, or in the shops spending money I didn't really have. While there were a few things I wanted to buy, I didn't want to go to Pitt St, so I decided to head to Darling Harbour instead. Just for fun, I took the Monorail- something I haven't done in nearly ten years!

After my shopping, I was wandering around, enjoying the day and people watching when I passed the entrance to the Chinese Garden. I'd always meant to visit but somehow never actually made it. The entry fee was a reasonable $6, and as I was curious to see what it was like, I paid my money and went in.

At the moment, they are doing construction work around Darling Harbour Park, so there was lots of cladding up. Luckily, they've made it nice and interesting with murals, photos and historical information. I liked this toucan; he reminded me of the old Peter's icy-pole ad.

Stone lions outside of the main entrance to the Chinese Garden of Friendship.

Once inside, the first thing you are greeted with is a really neat display of tiny Bonsai trees. I snapped some pictures, but didn't notice until now they tiny bridge on one. How cute!

The garden is really beautiful, and peaceful, despite its city location. I could hardly believe I was i Sydney. It's also much larger than it looks from the outside, and has many different areas including pagodas, a "mountain", bamboo forest, and of course lots of water ponds with koi (carp?) fish.

The greenness was so nice after being in the desert for nearly 5 months! It's the type of vivid green you might see on a tree frog, not the cikly artificial green of trees kept alive with desalinated sea water.

A group of school kids were dressing up in traditional costumes, they looked so cute I had no choice but to sneak a picture! Adorable!

There were LOTS of these guys around, one scared the life out of me but once I knew they were there, I saw lots of them.

I loved these secret-looking stairs!! This would be a great place for prom or wedding pictures. In fact, they were setting up for three weddings at various locations around the garden.

Lizard vs Rock. Lizard wins!

Proof we're actually really in the middle of Sydney!

I found the gardens well worth a visit, even if gardens aren't really your "thing", the peaceful environment is just the thing to take a break from the hustle-bustle of the city or spend some time with your special someone or friends. A tea-house is on site for casual meals and the venue can be booked for functions. It's an easy walk from the Sydney CBD, or indulge your inner child and take the Monorail!

You can check out the CGF website here.

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