Monday, August 24, 2015

8 Reasons to Visit The Iconic Chinese Garden

Tucked in the middle of the two Jurong estates (Jurong East and Jurong West) lies a big iconic garden together with a big iconic lake called the Chinese Garden. So big and iconic, that it even has a dedicated MRT station. If you think to yourself, why visit a garden and lake in the Western part of Singapore when you're not from Singapore's west, this article will highlight to you 8 great reasons to visit the Chinese Garden.

What is Chinese Garden?

Before I start, the Chinese Garden is basically a public park located in Jurong East that was built in 1975 by the Jurong Town Corporation. Back then, the government statutory board was in charge of the development of the Jurong estate before it was renamed to JTC with its current task of taking care of flatted factories and industrial estates in Singapore.

The Chinese Garden also included the Japanese Garden, both of which overlooks the beautiful Jurong Lake. It's a popular hangout for residents living around the area and for runners as well and unlike a regular public park where there's just grass, jogging paths and benches, the Chinese Garden is also known for its attractions within the park. It even has attracted tourists as well. Here are 8 reasons to visit the place.

1. The Pagoda

The Pagoda is a very tall 7-storey tower that gives you a nice panoramic overall view of the Jurong area with the inside having a really cool spiral staircase that brings you to the top. The Pagoda has the tradtional Chinese architecture which closely resembles the architecture found in most traditional Chinese temples.

When you're here, do make sure to climb up all 7 floors and bask in the beautiful panoramic sights and sounds of the surroundings and the architecture of the Pagoda as its really an unforgettable experience.

2. The Rainbow Bridge

The beautiful bridge linking the Chinese Garden to the neighbouring Japanese Garden may have the word 'Rainbow' but it's actually not painted in rainbow colours but white instead (though it would be cool if that happens).

According to the Wikipedia page of the Chinese Garden, the Rainbow Bridge resembles an iconic bridge in Beijing, China called the '17-Arch' bridge though this is slightly shorter. The design of the bridge itself is really beautiful and majestic indeed and it's definitely worth taking photos and walking on it as you can't really find another bridge in Singapore that's as great as this (except Henderson Waves though).

3. The Pine And Rock Garden (Japanese Garden)

The Pine And Rock Garden located in the Japanese Garden is considered a 'Zen' garden created by the garden's management some recent years back in 2007. According to a plaque found in the garden, the garden was created based on the philosophy of "Kare-sansui", a type of dry landscape style.

While you're at the attraction, you can see all kinds of nice little stones and pebbles all around and big rocks scattered around and small little trees which gives the garden a very 'Zen'-like environment. You may not think it's nothing much to see, but if you do visit this garden, you will feel more relaxed thanks to the 'philosophy' in which the garden was built upon.

4. The Red Bridge (Japanese Garden)

Other than the Rainbow Bridge, there's also the Red Bridge at the Japanese Garden's pond. This bridge is much narrower, steeper and shorter than the Rainbow Bridge and it may be quite scary to walk on it because it's not like any other bridge you have stepped foot on before.

If you're wearing heels or if you're a very big person (like me), do be careful though as its quite steep. The bridge doesn't really get you to anywhere although it will lead you to a small artificial island which overlooks the calm pond. The reason why this is worth checking out is not only because of its steepness, but also because of the unique design and bright red colour. It's certainly a great experience walking along this bridge (and the Rainbow Bridge).

5. The Pond (Japanese Garden)

Also located in Japanese Garden is the pond. The pond, just like other ponds has a variety of creatures living inside like fishes, terrapins and other cute creatures. Sometimes, you can see their heads pop out of the waters which is really cute.

I can't recall if there's a place to buy food for these creatures though I doubt there is. Ponds always make the environment more calm and relaxed than it already is. Couple that with the cute creatures and you got yourselves a great relaxing experience.

6. The Jurong Lake

Surrounding the Chinese Garden (and Japanese Garden) is the Jurong Lake, a freshwater lake and reservoir that provides water supply to Singapore and it's also a popular place for runners to go for their run. The view of the lake is definitely breathtaking with its sparse water area and trees surrounding it. At the other end of Jurong Lake is the Jurong Lake Park and Lakeside MRT Station which you can walk to if you want to though it can be quite a distance.

In the future, the Jurong Lake area will be redeveloped to become the Jurong Lake Gardens combining the current Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden and Jurong Lake Garden to become one park and will be part of a new residential and commercial hub called the Jurong Lake District.

The future terminus of the future Singapore to Kuala Lumpur high speed rail line would also be located nearby. Jurong residents should definitely be happy to hear about all these great new developments coming to their neighbourhood very soon.

7. The 'Warriors' At The Pagoda

While you're on your way up to the Pagoda, sculptures placed on both sides of the steps will greet you. I'm not too sure what sculptures are these though though they do remind me of the soldiers and warriors that fought way back then in ancient China. Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, these sculptures are very cool indeed and as it was the Chinese New Year season back when I last visited, the area was decorated with CNY decorations which was pretty cool.

8. It's Huge

What I've covered so far in this article about Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden is just a portion of what I've seen. There are still plenty more attractions to check out and you have to really experience them for yourself when you're in the area. There are so many great attractions that I personally have yet to visit that I may want to come back and visit the park again. I can guarantee you that these attractions will make your trip totally worth it.


Overall, these are are some of my reasons to check out the iconic Chinese Garden and the neighbouring Japanese Garden. Not enough for you? You can walk a distance further to check out the Jurong Lake Park as well. The Chinese Garden itself is definitely huge and there are still plenty more great attractions that I have yet to see and thanks to the nearby Chinese Garden MRT Station, getting here has never been easier. Been here before? Let us know what you think about it and why!

Getting Here

Bus services available: 180, 335 (Bus stop along Boon Lay Way at Chinese Garden Station)

Nearest MRT Station: Chinese Garden MRT Station (East West Line)

Website: Not available

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