January 25, 2010 | Tips from Us >
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I’d been to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Vancouver's Chinatown before, but this time was different. By chance, I entered the garden just as a guided tour was starting. Since I love factoids – especially factoids that are free with admission – I joined the group.
The tour guide was a pleasant volunteer that knew his stuff. He pointed out some neat aspects of the garden, most of which I’d never noticed on my previous visits:
- The hallways and walkways were put together without using any nails, screws or glue – just preciseness.
- Some of the pebble mosaics on the ground have pieces of the craftsmen’s rice bowls embedded in the pattern.
- The oddly-shaped rocks come from a special lake in China called Lake Tai. One of the rocks looks like a dragon, and another looks like the profile of George Washington!
- Traditional beliefs say that evil spirits can only travel in straight lines, so the large double corridor is zigzagged to prevent any nasty spirits from travelling along it.
- One part of the garden acts as a natural air conditioner.
If you’ve never taken a tour of the garden, I strongly encourage it. While the garden is pretty when you wander around on your own, it’s a whole different experience having an expert point out interesting features.
(Tourism BC/JF Bergeron photo)