Monday, April 10, 2006

Singapore, Day 7 - II, Chinese Gardens

Once over the bridge, I proceeded directly to the enclosed Bonsai Garden. The entrance to that garden was marked by topiary in the shape of four Chinese characters that I wished I could read. The garden itself was chock-a-block with over 1,000 artful and well tended bonsai. I am always extremely impressed with the creativity used for these miniature environs as well as the different shapes and types of pots used. Most impressive was the large and ancient looking bonsai grown into a boulder. By the way, the man in saffron robes seen wandering around the garden is His Holiness Sri Swamsii who visited the garden in 2003 from India. There was even a small koi pond with clear water and well tended, but not too large, fish. A comely Asian woman in the garden agreed to take my picture in exchange for me taking her picture with her son in front of a fountain. All in all, the bonsai garden was unbelievably beautiful.

The remainder of the Chinese Garden was in the Imperial Sung Dynasty style. I visited the tea house with another koi pond with a ‘natural’ stone bridge out front, more moon doors, and the court yards with square pools and carp statues each spewing a water arch into each other’s mouths, a waterfall, and the stone boat. Most of the koi are kohaku (red and white) or black on red. I also saw a monitor lizard. There were so many, you had to be careful not to trip over them. I went to the concession stand and bought some water as it was very hot now. I climbed the seven story pagoda, though I thought the heat would kill me, and the view was worth it. I used my last two pictures on the bonsai garden. I drank almost all of my water and headed for the MRT to continue shopping!