Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sites : Malaysia-China Friendship Park Kuching (马中友谊公园)

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Malaysia-China Friendship Park Kuching (马中友谊公园)
Jalan Song, Kuching, Sarawak, Putrajaya, Malaysia - June 2015
I had previously visited the Malaysia-China Friendship Garden in Putrajaya and had thought that to be impressive. During a cycling trip in Kuching we dropped by to visit the China-Malaysian Friendship Park there, and was I even more awed by this! It was much bigger and had more to be seen.

The park built in 2005 to commemorate thirty years of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China covers an impressive 2.8ha. The governments of Malaysia and China provided the funding for construction of the park, while the Sarawak state government allocated the land for it.
From the above layout plan it can be seen that the park has several distinct sections, this blog will show the different sections as well as possible.

We entered through the side entrance gateway, the one that leads to the tea pavilion. We had thought that this was the main entrance, but actually the main entrance is from Jalan Song, where there is a modern looking metallic arch and an adjoining car-park. Our Sarawakian friends took us in through as there were shady areas for us to park our bicycles.
Anyway I like this entrance better, the gateway standing on four columns is impressive and atop is a two tiered roof. It's just like a gateway into a town in China.

Whether viewed from the front, back or sides, this gateway is impressive with its smooth curves of the roof against a blue sky background.

A closer look at the roof of this side entrance gateway show that it is actually three roofs. The bottom of the roof has an impressive Chinese architecture.

The roof eaves, showing the detailed carvings in beautiful colours.

White stone lions guard this entrance.

View of the Tea Pavilion; towards it's right is the Side Gateway and on the far right is the Beijing Pavilion.

The pavilion sits on a lake, to the left is the reddish Zig-Zag Bridge.

(Photo by SC Chin)
From the pavilion, there is a good view of the lake, on the opposite side of which is a large statue of Zheng He. Yes this is a nice place to have some tea amidst the greenery and water.

The entrance to the Tea Pavilion with stall selling cakes, etc. There is an indoor section overlooking the lake. Opening times are 3pm to 11pm, it is closed on Wednesdays.

(Photo by SC Chin)
A zig-zag bridge leads from the Tea Pavilion over the lake to the Kunming Pavilion (seen on the right above). At the centre of this bridge is a Wishing Well, throw in some coins and wish for good health, wealth, marriage, children, etc.

Small and large gardens dot this park. Near the Beijing Pavilion is a garden with a reflexology path called the Path of Good Health.

A nearby signboard gives guidelines on how to use the path and the effects of reflexology on parts of the body.

Along the pathways near the gardens are these interesting benches with animals holding them up. The above has a cat (representing Kuching) and a panda (representing China).

This one has an orangutan (representing Malaysia) and a panda (representing China).

There is even a stylized statue of an combo elephant-hornbill; with the elephant's trunk raised high and the hornbill's bill sticking out below.
Because of its nice and extensive grounds, many come here to exercise, walk, jog, do Tai-chi, etc.

At the other end of the lake, facing away from the Tea Pavilion is a stone platform shaped like a Chinese junk. At the front of this junk is a tall statue of Admiral Zheng He.

The admiral's statue is on the other end of this stone junk, with his right hand stretched out in greeting. On the other hand he holds royal diplomatic scrolls.
Other than this statue, there are many monuments and relics of this famous Chinese sea-explorer in Malaysia. In Malacca, there is the Cheng Ho Museum (he is called that locally). In Penang Island, up in Batu Maung there is a 33 inches footprint purportedly belonging to Sam Poh Kong (that's what the Penangites call him). There's even a temple in Kuala Terengganu  dedicated to him.

The admiral's statue stand about 30-40 feet tall including the pedestal. This must be on of the largest statue of Zheng He in the world.

A close up look of the statue, show a dragon emblazoned onto his robe. The Chinese characters on the scroll can be seen clearly.

A stone memorial tablet at the bottom indicates his year of birth and death.

At the far end of the park is the Sarawak Fountain, it is a monument With seven arms overhanging a fountain. These arms symbolises the seven major native tribes of Sarawak. Within the arms are the respective art work of each tribe.

Next to the fountain is the Malaysia Murals, a series of fourteen walls, seven on each side, facing each other. Each wall represents the thirteen states of Malaysia and a final one the Federal Territories. It starts with the northernmost state of Perlis, loops down and then up Peninsular Malaysia, then crosses the sea over to the East Malaysian states of Sabah & Sarawak.

Each wall has a mural indicating an icon for which the state is renown. At the top is the state's crest and at the bottom is a plaque that gives a brief statement of the state - what it is renown for, etc.
This one is of Perlis the Enchanting Northern Jewel, showing it.s dark limestones hills.

Kedah - The Rice Bowl of Malaysia.

Penang - The Pearl of The Orient, with it's bridges, towers, temples and of course the Pinang Palm.

Perak, the Land of Grace, showing the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan and the renown Labu Sayong black pottery.

Selangor with the blue domed mosque of Shah Alam.

Negeri Sembilan with its Mingangkabau palaces.

Malacca - The Historical State, showing the ruins of A'Famosa, the Portuguese fort.

Johore, the Southern Gem, with the old palace and Kuda Kepang traditional dance.

Pahang, the Land of Prosperity; showing it's hills and tea plantations.

Terengganu with it's beautiful beaches and turtles.

Kelantan, the Land of Lightning showing their fabulous wau bulan kites, and traditional tops.

Sabah, the Land Below the Wind; with it native tribes in front of Mount Kinabalu.

Sarawak - the Land of Hornbills, showing the hornbill, natives and Mulu Caves.

The Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, best signified by the Petronas Twin Towers.

Malaysia, multi-racial and colourfully multi-cultural; Truly Asia!

Malaysia-China Friendship Park
Jalan Song (at Lorong Song 3C), Tabuan Heights, 93350 KuchingSarawak, Malaysia

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