ZhiShan Garden (至善园) – The Study Backyard for Ancient Scholars
The Zhishan Garden 至善园, covering an area of 1.88 hectares, is based on traditional Chinese garden building techniques and is filled with a literary atmosphere. It reflects the garden styles of the Sung and Ming dynasties.
The gate is made of spruce trees from mountains over 1500 meters high, and the eaves are decorated with decorative hollowed out wooden hand-carvings of plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum blossoms and the image of Zhishan Garden.
Ever curious about how famous scholar study and live in the past ancient times? Without further ado let us proceed to the garden! 😉
Brush Washing Pond
Brush Washing Pond 洗笔池 It is said that Chang Chi of the Eastern Han Dynasty had written by a pond and then washed his brushes in the pond, turning the water black. This Pond is named for this story. The pond waters spread before one like a clear mirror and one suddenly feels completely refreshed.
The brush washing pond also the home for thousands of colourful Koi Fish, if you feel like spending them a treat, do prepare a few NT$10 beforehand! 😉
West Bridge Pavillion
West Bridge Pavillion 碧桥西水榭 Originated from the poetic line from Wu Chu of Southern Sung Dynasty: “The willows by the bridge drifts into the green stream”. The spacious Pavilion is built by the water, and a bridge with six bends connect the Pavilion with the opposite shore, creating a lovely hideaway.
The Winding Canal 流觴曲水 Sharing drinks by passing cups over winding waters is a very interesting activity frequently engaged in by the ancient literati.
The canal by the rocks flows at just the right speed for visitors to place tiny cups and enjoy the ancient’s pastime of drinking together.
Take a moment and listen to the soothing melody of the slow flowing river and you can definitely find a peace of mind (zen) at this place!
The Orchid Pavillion
The Orchid Pavillion 蘭亭 Resembles the 9th year of Yongho (AD353) during the East Chin Dynasty, famous literati including Masters Wang Hsi-Chih and Hsieh An had composed poetry while drinking wine, and had composed the “Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion”.
There are round tables and chairs in the Orchid Pavilion, and bronze sparrow lanterns in the Han style, where admiring visitors can take a rest.
The Cage Changing Goose
The cage-changing goose Portrayed by calligraphy Master Wang Hsi-Chih 羲之書換籠鵝造像 Theme taken from fascinating trivia about the life of the East Chin Dynasty calligraphy Master Wang Hsi-Chih.
Master Wang was a lover of geese and had exchanged his own calligraphy instruments for a goose in the cage from a Taoist priest, clearly demonstrating his carefree literati personality.
Pine Wind Pavillion
Pine Wind Pavillion 松風閣 This is a two-storied pavilion, whose wooden pillars are carved with dragons and phoenixes. When one climbs to the top of the stone steps, one would be able to overlook all of the lovely rock and water landscape of the Garden. The zither desk and long candleholders further recall scenes of old to one’s mind.
The best place to chill out (in our opinion) while playing some board game or even having a short nap (if you dare to)! 😉
Our Artifact Findings during the strolling around ZhiShan Garden, an ancient jar (replicate of course) with a narrow tip which appears to be the major dustbin around the park! 😉
The Dragon Pond
The Dragon Pond 龍池 The intertwining dragons in the pond symbolize the omnipotence and magical benevolence of the Dragon.
The mandarin ducks playing in the pond and the freely swimming fish bring a scene of great harmony.
*ZhiShan garden is a good place to have a leisure walk while enjoying heaps of scenic view on each step, if you love Ancient Chinese style architecture be sure not to miss it!
The admission fees for ZhiShan Garden:
Joint Ticket with The National Palace Museum
*Highly recommended taking a short stroll right after enjoying the treasures of the National Palace Museum (which is located nearby only).
From Taipei Metro System (MRT) to Bus :
- From MRT Red Line (RL) Shilin station (士林), walk outside the station and board Bus R30 (紅30), fare NT$15, payable by cash or Easycard.
- Bus BR20 (棕20) also travels from the museum to Brown Line 1 Dazhi station, however, Shilin is recommended for speed and convenience.
- Busses generally leave every 30 mins on weekdays until 7 PM and 15 MINS on weekends until 6:55 PM.
- Additional buses are available after hours on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Tips: To visit Shilin Night Market after the museum, take Bus R30 (紅30) back to the city, but stay on after MRT Shilin until the night market (MRT Jiantan)
Address: No. 282, Sec 2, Zhishan Road, Shilin Dist, Taipei City, Taiwan.
Open Hour: 09.00 am – 05.00 pm (Tues-Sun), closed on Monday and Chinese New Year.