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“very authentic, gorgeous!”

Lan Su Chinese Garden
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Best of Portland City Afternoon Tour
Ranked #4 of 445 things to do in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Opened in fall of 2000, this is the largest Suzhou style garden outside of China.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“very authentic, gorgeous!”
Reviewed August 27, 2013

A few months ago, we visited China, including the beautiful city of Suzhou and the YuYuan Gardens in Shanghai. We loved the gardens, and when we noticed that Portland had a Chinese garden, we visited on our next time through the city. We felt as if we were back in China! The garden is small, but every detail is perfectly executed. This is not an attraction to hurry through. Take your time and notice how the views change as you move through the garden. Admire the design -- each rock is purposely placed and plants are chosen and positioned to give a variety of textures and colors. We were there in mid afternoon on a Friday, so there were other people there, but the experience would be even better if you went at a quiet time. We did not eat at the teahouse, but they invited us to walk through and upstairs, which had great views back into the garden. We will try the teahouse on a later visit, because the menu had reasonable prices and the food we saw on people's plates smelled and looked good.

Visited August 2013
Thank independent_ones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Potomac, Maryland
Level Contributor
278 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“I would come here every day if I lived in Portland”
Reviewed August 26, 2013

We have been to Suzhou in China, and when I remarked how similar the feel was, the attendant told me this garden had been designed by the same landscapers. It is such a beautiful, peaceful place. We went in the morning, when there were very few people, so it was lovely, quiet and serene. It is much smaller than the Japanese garden. Don't miss it. Definitely worth the visit.

Visited July 2013
Thank nreyesok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
98 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Kid friendly?? Yes...who knew!”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Wife and I took daughter and her 3 girls (7, 5 & 4) recenly and thought this would be a "ho, hum" for the kids. As we entered and showed our receipt, the docent asked them if they wanted to do a scavenger hunt. They jumped up and down with joy. He gave each child a 4-page laminated scavenger hunt project for them to do with photos of objects in the walkways, in the walls, on the rooftops and in the pools. Wow, did that hit the spot! The older kids were as excited as can be and couldn't wait to get to the next room/area/pool to check them out. The littlest one was most happy watching the big koi and the maintenance man skimming the water for leaves. We got most of the objects then had a "tea" upstairs in the Tower of Cosmic Reflections...a tea party for big kids. They tried and liked most of the unique foods we ordered and the oldest girl loved sampling several flavors of tea. Watch your kids as they leave the teahouse with the rock walkway across the water nearby. Also, on that day, there was not as much quiet and meditation from our crew as the one would hope...sorry, but the kids just had too much fun. They also loved the gift shop's unique stuff (pandas & turtles a hit). And we are buying lottery tickets after checking our fortunes in the Boat Pavilion. We have been here many times with out of town friends (adults) when the only sounds to be heard are from outside the walls. This day the spirits had to forgive some childrens' excitement and laughter. They even got their hands stamped for finding all the objects...bonus fun on the way out.

Visited August 2013
Thank LarryR86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Peace and Quiet”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

If possible, do get a tour of the gardens as you will learn much more. If that's not possible, be sure to get the pamphlet which explains it all as you tour. We were not aware of either option when we visited, however we very much enjoyed the serenity and beauty of the gardens. An oasis amid the bustling city. So take advantage!

Visited August 2013
Thank 12wandering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
111 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Beautiful but expensive”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

This place was gorgeous. We spent about 2 hours here on a very warm summer day. It was a Thursday I think and it wasn't too crowded. The details are what make this place special. I just thought it was kind of expensive for what it is.

Visited July 2013
Thank Tulsadivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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