At the entrance to this temple, towards the right hand side, there is a beautiful oriental garden. This garden was awarded "The Best Landscaped Garden in Malaysia" in 1993. It was a big tourist attraction with its picture perfect views, variety of well-kept plants and fish pond. This man-made masterpiece is a photograher's paradise.
This feng shui garden has a spectacular view against the backdrop of a tropical rainforest. The chinese word for landscaped garden is "shan shui", meaning mountain and water. Like any typical chinese rock garden, there is the rock-shaped mounds, bridges, pavillions and a pond with gold fish and carps. Amidst cool and quiet surroundings, plants and rock formations provide the scenic beauty while fishes and tortoises add life to the garden. Click on the picture and you can find 2 stone fishes beside the stone lamp in the pond. There is a triangular shaped rock in the centre of the pond. Can you see some tortoises here? They are real. Sam Poh Tong is also famous for the 'live-in' tortoises. Tortoises symbolise longevity.
A beautiful pavilion leads to the garden. There is a meandering path along the way lined by stone chairs and benches where one can sit down and take a rest while enjoying the spectacular view. This is a beautifully carved stone lamp on an ancient mythical creature. Is that a pine tree above ? An oriental garden is never complete without the pines, bamboo and bonsai. Pines symbolise longevity, persistence and wisdom.
This stone toad is basking under the yang energy of the sun during the day and yin energy of the moon at night. I hope that it will come alive after dark to catch or frighten away all the blood-sucking and disease carrying mosquitoes. Can you see a large chinese pavillion in the background? That's the place visitors love to sit, relax and enjoy the scenic views.
Here's a bonsai on a giant ceramic pot with auspicious pictures and writings. Bonsai is a symbol of peace and harmony. It was originally planted in monasteries. Look at the beautiful rock formations. Can you see a tall pink bougainvillea shrub in the background?
The rock towers from another angle. Now, more tortoises have joint their friends. They seem to be sunbathing here. There are also carps and other fishes in this pond. Ancient rock gardens were mostly designed for scholars. It was a place for the learned to connect with nature, providing a calm and tranquil setting for quiet contemplation, medidation and spiritual stimulation. It is where they find inspiration for expression in poetry, art painting and calligraphy.