This photo is one of me taken at the Chinese Garden of Friendship which happens to be in the Darling Harbour near Chinatown in Sydney, Australia. The gardens themselves compliments the areas already rich Chinese heritage and culture. It is just a short walk from Sydney's Chinatown, (which just also happens to be a great place to have lunch).
As a little history, the garden itself was designed by Sydney's Chinese sister city, Guangzhou in China. The gardens were developed on a site which is right in the corner of the Darling Harbour. (A place that many associate with the 2000 Olympic Games.) The gardens were officially opened in 1988 as part of Sydney's bicentennial celebrations and they were named the "Garden of Friendship" symbolising the bond being established between China and Australia.
Being one of the few public traditional Chinese gardens outside China they offer a rare insight into Chinese heritage and culture. One of the interesting features of the gardens is that you can not see the whole garden from any point within them. Like most places, there's an entry fee to the garden with its paths, pools and weeping trees.
The garden has a number of other noteworthy features including the Dragon Wall sybolising the bond between New South Wales and Guangzhou, the Water Pavillion of Lotus Fragrance, the Twin Pavillion and The Tea House that offers traditional Chinese tea and other refreshments. Just in case you want a short hot one (instead of a tall cool one).
The detail in the three tiered pagoda is very intricate with designs of plums, pine, and bamboo. These were chosen for good luck as well as balance of nature. Every door opening frames a beautiful picture of plant arrangements while the interior of the pagoda encircles you in it's intricately carved warmth.
We found the gardens to be a nice respite from the somewhat hectic Sydney business area. It had an almost surreal tranquility about it in not only areas like the one I am sitting in here, but all over the gardens. I took way too many photos of these gardens, but this is one was taken by my wife. But I loved the surroundings and just wanted to be part of it... (so please forgive my self-indulgence!)"What am I doing here?"
-Rimbaud writing home from Ethiopia