Based on the concept of Chinese gardening art, the Chinese Garden in Singapore a 13.5 hectare landscaped garden. It houses a seven-storey pagoda, Chinese-style pavilions and stone bridges, a stunning Bonsai garden and a lantern-studded Japanese Garden.
The major highlights of Singapore's Chinese Garden are the Bonsai Garden (housing a collection of over a hundred stunning bonsais from China), and the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum (home to around 200 turtles and 60 tortoise species). Epitozming the imperial palaces of China, two stone lions stand at the entrance of the garden, believed to have a magical ability to protect. These statues lead to a 13-arch white bridge that resembles and replicates the 17-arch bridge in Beijing.
The white bridge leads to the main arch building of the garden that contains a pond filled with Koi fish, another homage to China, and two splendid courtyards ahead of which lies all that the garden has to offer from museums and statues to unique natural displays. The Chinese Garden is especially visited during the Mid Autumn Festival as well as the Chinese New Year (January/February).
Read More on Chinese Garden
Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
The live turtle and tortoise museum in the central arch building of the Chinese Garden has been home to several live turtles and tortoise enclosed, as well as roaming free in the garden. The best way to interact with these friendly creatures is by feeding them the food available for purchase. Aside from this, the museum also contains around 3000 different kinds of tortoise related items that are sure to fascinate visitors.
Operating Hours- 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Daily) Entry Fee- SGD 5
To acquire absolute serenity in the midst of nature, the Bonsai Garden inside the Chinese Garden is the place to be. Made in the Suzhou- style, the entrance of this garden is guarded by the famous terracotta warriors. Upon entering the gardens give you a homely feel that- mixed with the serenity, creates the perfect atmosphere for a casual stroll through the area. The garden also leads to a pavilion that seems to be the main attraction of this area, as well as a small hidden cave right below the pavilion. Further down stepping stones are also visible to skip your way through the pond.
Operating Hours- 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Daily)
Architectural Features of Chinese Garden
Stone Lions: A remnant of the Sung Dynasty of imperial China, two magnificent stone lion statues stand guard at the entrance of the Chinese Garden. They are believed to have a protective eye over the area and are made of grained marble.
Bridge: Bridges are an integral part of an imperial building – they are seen as a link between this world and the next. Also known as Bai Hong Qiao or ‘White Rainbow Bridge’ this stunning structure is modelled after the Seventeen-Arch style of the Summer Palace bridge in Beijing. Comprising of thirteen arches, a walk across this bridge gives a great view of the rest of the Garden.
Pagodas: The garden houses three pagodas that are open for visitation for those who wish to climb to the top and enjoy the scenic view. Two of these Pagodas are three storeys high whereas the third pagoda is named Cloud- piercing pagoda is as tall as 7- storeys high. Inspired by the Linggu Temple in Nanjing China, this pagoda is a true masterpiece.
Main Arch Building: Built in typical imperial style, this arched building is home to two vast courtyards – Early Spring Courtyard and Garden Courtyard. Home to traditional Chinese herbs and flowering plants, the main building is a gorgeous photo-op on the outside and a tranquil oasis on the inside. The Fishes Paradise pond in the middle adds charm to the scene.
Stone Boat and Tea House: The Stone Boat is a floating paradise in the middle of the central lake, atop which rests the Tea House. Shrouded in tapestries and ceramic pottery, the winding two-storey design is modelled after Peking’s Summer Palace. This is a great rest stop to sip a calming brew after a refreshing walk in the Garden.
Pavilion, Plateau, and Tower: A breathtaking display of the Chinese love for harmonious symmetry, the Pavilion, Plateau, and Tower are part of an intricate arrangement at the Garden. Plants, rocks, fountains, streams, and winding pathways twist their way around these structures, bringing together a blissful union of nature and traditional architecture. This area is great for meditation and contemplation.
East Entrance: Built as an alternative entrance to facilitate travel from the Chinese Garden MRT Station, the East Entrance opens to a gorgeous red bridge that takes visitors to the main building. Miniature versions of the stone lions are also found here.
Garden of Abundance: This garden houses several 100-year-old Pomegranate trees that cover the entire garden. However, hidden between these trees is the main attraction of this garden- the zodiac statues. The twelve zodiac sign statues pull the curious-minded to this garden and are the perfect place for pictures and lounging on the stone benches around them.
This park is wheelchair accessible.
Chinese Garden is a smoke-free zone.
Cycling is permitted inside the garden.
There are no food outlets in this garden except the kiosk at the entrance that sells drinks and ice cream.
How To Reach Chinese Garden
The Chinese Garden is located on the eastern side of Jurong Lake Gardens at Yuan Ching Road, Singapore.
Car: Drive to the eastern entrance of Jurong Lake Gardens. Parking is available at Tah Ching Road, for a price of SGD 0.60 per 30 minutes. Free parking is available between 6:30 AM and 8:30 AM every day and between noon and 2:00 PM on weekdays.
MRT: Take the East-West Line or the Boon Lay Way to Chinese Garden MRT. Follow the signs to Chinese Garden, 5 minutes away from the station.
Bus: Bus 49, 98, 98B, 98M, 187, 335 plies to Lakeside Station. Follow the signs to Chinese Garden from the entrance.