Portland Must-See Attraction: Lan Su Chinese Garden
Looking for things to do in Portland? If you never miss the chance to visit a botanical garden and find the ancient Chinese culture fascinating, Portland's Lan Su Chinese Garden is a must-see attraction.
Portland's Chinese Garden
In collaboration with its sister city Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai known for its classic gardens and canals, Oregon's largest city brings an authentic far eastern cultural experience to the west.
Lan Su is open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Wednesdays. Tickets are available in advance and on-site. The docent-led tours require masks for visitors aged five and older regardless of vaccination status in accordance with state law. The fabulous Tao of Tea teahouse has limited indoor and outdoor seating as well as to go-service, and you can browse for unique gifts at The Garden Shop at the Hall of Brocade Clouds.
Built under the supervision of Suzhou artisans, the Ming Dynasty-style garden is a year-round attraction that brings architecture, art, and nature together so that visitors can experience Chinese tradition thousands of years old. Open since the turn of the 21st century, its covered walkways, ponds, pavilions, and tranquil landscape are an urban oasis that stretches for a city block in Portland's historic Chinatown district.
In addition to public tours and a peaceful place for meditation, the Lan Su Chinese Garden features themed events throughout the year such as the celebration of the chrysanthemum during the month of November. But the grandest event of all is Lan Su's Chinese New Year celebration. The event calendar becomes packed with festivities revolving around the history and culture of this special holiday. Look for the events beginning on the last day of the final month of the Chinese calendar which typically falls in January or February. Events to participate in include calligraphy demonstrations, paper lantern viewing, and dance performances. Events will extend into the first week of March.
The Tao of Tea
Almost as inspiring as the gardens, the Teahouse in the Tour of Cosmic Reflections adds a special touch to a tour of Lan Su. Operated by The Tao of Tea, the Teahouse offers an excellent selection of teas, light meals, and snacks. Tea selections change with the seasons and include green, white, oolong, black, pu-er, and herbal teas.
The Tao of Tea features teas made in the old traditional method that preserves the pure leaf art form. Along with tea, guests can enjoy light meals of dumplings, buns, and noodles or snacks such as mooncakes and dried fruit.
Lan Su Chinese Garden is an easily visited attraction. The current admission is only $12.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors (62 and older), $9.95 for students with an ID, and free for children under age five. On-street metered parking is available for up to 90 minutes.