Malte Blas - Gardens in Asia - Saihoji

Saihoji Garden, Japan

This peaceful Zen Buddhist temple is home to one of the most unique gardens in the world. Said to hold more than a 120 different varieties of moss, the incredible Saihoji moss garden is the result of a lucky accident. At the center of the garden is a lake, containing three islands, surrounded by a promenade that is completely covered in soft green moss. The moss is actually the result of neglect during the Meiji period, but is now carefully protected by the Zen monks. Visitors who wish to see the gardens will need to make arrangements far in advance as the monks are very protective of this fragile and elegant garden.

Malte Blas - Gardens in Asia - Jichang
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Jichang Garden, China

Known as the “Garden of Ecstasy”, this famous classical garden in Southern China is emblematic of the influence Chinese gardening and landscaping has had across the world. Dating as far back as the 1500’s, Jichang has been visited by a succession of emperors who proclaimed its beauty and added to its fame. It is a prime example of the “borrowed scenery” principal, which incorporates the surrounding landscape into the layout of the garden. The concept of borrowed scenery has had a strong impact on Japanese gardening and is very influential in modern architecture.

Malte Blas - Gardens in Asia - Orchid Garden
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National Orchid Garden, Singapore

Located within the Botanical Gardens of Singapore, the National Orchid Garden houses over 1000 species of orchid. This incredible display of colour was inaugurated in 1995 and has since attracted visitors from all over the world. The orchids are divided into different sections according to colour and represent the different seasons. Spring is comprised of golden and yellow flowers, summer is bright red and pink, while autumn contains deeper shades and winter is mainly made up of white and blue orchids.

Malte Blas - Gardens in Asia - Buddha Park
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Buddha Park, Laos

This quirky sculpture park just outside of Vientiane is an amazing place to explore. Filled to the brim with figures from Buddhist and Hindu religion, it can also be an educational experience for those wishing to learn more about the cultural and spiritual influences in Laotian culture. Built by a shaman-mystic in the 1950’s, these concrete statues are sometimes described as “strange”, “bizarre” or even “grotesque”. The figures are laid out in a meadow adjacent to the Mekong River, surrounded by dense forest and dotted with flowering shrubs and bushes.

Gardens in Asia - Nong Nooch
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Nong Nooch Garden, Thailand

A popular tourist attraction in Pattaya, this spectacular tropical garden was originally destined to be a fruit plantation until the wealthy owners decided to turn it into a tropical botanical garden. Nong Nooch is a beautifully landscaped park, with a variety of influences from European and Asian gardening. Some might consider it to be slightly over the top, however, with its miniature Stonehenge and multitude of concrete elephants. The garden was opened to the public in 1980 and visitors can enjoy cultural shows, traditional dancing and displays of martial arts, as well as a variety of restaurants.

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Malte Blas has a background in history and journalism. He has lived in over seven different countries, spanning three continents, and loves to travel all over the world. He especially enjoys researching and writing about art, culture and history.

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