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Chinese Gardens

On a lazy afternoon, I decided to visit Chinese Gardens park in Jurong, Singapore.  The garden was designed by Prof. Yuen-Chen Yu, an architect from Taiwan. It is located next to Chinese Gardens MRT and is connected to Japanese Gardens by a bridge. One could literally walk into the Chinese gardens when you exit the MRT station. As you walk into the gardens, you notice a lovely tree standing tall spreading out its branches like a peacock’s feathers.

I proceeded towards the Chinese gardens by crossing a red bridge guarded by two stone lions. A 7 storied pagoda stood at the center of the garden. With great difficulty, I climbed the 7 story to view the 360-degree view of the entire place. On reaching the top most floor, I gasped but not because of the wonderful view but lack of breath. I stood there as dark clouds loomed over the pagoda. Close to the pagoda is a grand statue of Confucius, Chinese philosopher, and educator. The statue was erected in 1985.

The best part of the Chinese gardens is the live Turtle Museum where they displayed different species of turtle and tortoise of all shapes and sizes. The entry to the museum costs S$5. I was amazed by few of the species especially tortoises with 2 heads and 6 legs. Some of them had pig noses and snake necks. The turtles are kept in tanks and the museum has about 180 turtles. One of the most dangerous turtles was the alligator snapping turtle. There were hoardings and signs to stay away from the tank and not to touch them as they could bite.  The outer area of the museum had these freshwater turtles which had a sign “Fortune Turtle”. The turtle was 220 years old. As I threw the coin into the pond and made a wish, the old guy turned his neck in the slowest movement and looked at me with his saddened eyes which almost said ..Really!??

Besides them, there were few laughing monks nestled in the corner. The museum also had turtle feeding token where one could feed the turtles outside the arena.

A visit to the Chinese Gardens is enjoyable but in my opinion, it does not merit a second outing.

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