I first heard of Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens when I played Vancouveropoly with my brother and sister when I was little and sadly it took me about 25 years to finally make my first trip to urban oasis.
Growing up in Surrey we didn’t make it into the city for many of our adventures. Instead, we headed East, went for drives through the valley, went camping, etc. This is the reason I haven’t done many typical “touristy” Vancouver things until recent years (such as my first trip up Grouse Mountain in 2009). It also wasn’t until 2009 that I took my first stroll through the garden in Chinatown and discovered its serenity.
I visited again a few months ago however I had never been in the “paid” part of the gardens until yesterday. Whichever way you chose to explore, this is certainly a special place in our city.
The white noise of the city fades away as giant koi swim by, passing turtles who slowly make their way from one lilly pad bed to another. Stone paths meander through groves of black bamboo and under the canopy of cascading willows.
I wandered in and out of the separate gardens and rooms with Bob from Vancouver is Awesome. It was a fantastic place to meet up and really chat for the first time about our various projects and the spotlight we each shine on our city.
The gardens are open daily from 10:00am until 6:00pm and while you can explore quite a bit for free however admission to the other half, which is much bigger than I imagined, is $14 for adults. They also host special events throughout the year and you can follow them on Twitter @VanGarden for updates.