Lan Su Chinese Garden is one of Portland's greatest attractions and a must-see site while visiting the city. It's the lovely result of a collaboration between Portland and Suzhou, its sister city in China.
Lan Su is much more than just a botanical garden, it's also a creative inspiration taken from a 2,000-year-old Chinese tradition beringing together art, architecture, design and nature in perfect harmony.
Once inside the garden, you'll have the impression you've traveled through time to another era. Lan Su is a look into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. Ever changing and evolving, Lan Su always has something new to offer—every minute, hour, and season.
The Chinese garden has one of a kind landscape character. It aims to represent the harmony that should exist between man and nature. The rocks are carved in the most natural of ways, the trees are shrunken in order to fit into required spacess—it artificially recreates the visual balance that one can see in nature.
Surrounded by walls, it's divided into sections, including docks, rocks, trees and flowers as well as a variation of rooms and hallways, connected by twisting paths, bridges and tunnels. While going from one structure to the next, you can see many thoughtfully composed scenes, as if everything has been methodically painted.
The garden was built fro enjoyment and with the intention to impress, which can be seen in the lavish imperial gardens; to relax and get away from the real world, similar to many private gardens created by poets, scholars, former government officials, soldiers and merchants; for reflection as well as prayer.