Classical Chinese Garden 127 NW Third Ave./Everett St., 503-228-8131. $8.50, 62+ $7.50, 6-18 $6.50, under 6 free. Apr-Oct 9-6, Nov-Mar 10-5. Free tours daily at 12 & 1.
This tranquil garden takes up one city block. It was built by trades people brought over from Suzhou—known as the Venice of China and Portland’s sister city in China. (In return, Portland gave Suzhou a rose garden and some fire engines.) Workers used the same hand tools that were used in the 1300s Ming Dynasty. Known also as the Garden of Awakening Orchids, it has no straight pathways, forcing visitors to slow down. All plants are indigenous to China, but sourced locally.
The Teahouse in the Tower of Cosmic Reflections is an airy, two-story wooden pavilion with keyhole windows and latticed shutters. The menu offers a large selection of Chinese teas, including silver needle tea that must be picked within 48 hours of sprouting, and jade flower tea made from leaves roasted in a wok and then laboriously sewn into a flower shape. Snacks include cookies and moon cakes as well as black-tea-steeped boiled eggs and turnip cakes.
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