Day 1: Lou Lim Ieoc Park+ Back

After checking in and getting settled in our rooms, it was time to start our day’s activities.  Mu Yi's favourite picture of mine is the one that's on the front page of the website, this one:
 

 

 

It is, of course, of Lou Lim Ieoc Garden, Macau's prettiest park by a country mile.  My Yi had never been there before, so our morning began there.  Only a twenty minute stroll up Rua de Campo from the doors of the Lisboa, we arrived at the park gates at about 10 am.

 

 

The largest private garden ever constructed in the city, Lou Lim Ieoc Garden took 21 years to build and was completed in 1925.  In 1974, the Portuguese government purchased it and turned it into a public park, the one you see today.  Taking up only half the size of the original grounds, Lou Lim Ieoc Garden is still fairly big and full of plants, pavilions, rock formations, and bridges, all finely maintained and in excellent condition.  Very similar to the parks in Suzhou, the park is a must see for nature enthusiasts or anyone who enjoys peace, solitude and natural beauty. 

 

 

 

The building in the middle is always home to some sort of exhibition; in our case, it was a display of Chinese calligraphy, an art form I do not understand.  Mu Yi said it was because I was a Westerner, but I don't care what language you're writing in, good penmanship is not something I consider to be a creative endeavour.  I was happy enough to sign the guestbook though, giving everyone a chance to see how a Canadian butchers the relatively simple characters "马帅".  That's my Chinese name, "Ma Shuai", or handsome horse, although I don't know how many people would agree.    
 

 

After our time in the garden, Mu Yi wanted to see the adjoining Tea and Culture House next, accessible via an entrance in the park.  Composed of two stories in all, almost all of the displays are on the ground floor.  Most of the things shown are tea utensils; in particular, decoratively done up cups, plates, and kettles.  There's also a brief history lesson on Macau teahouses, most of which are no longer open for business. 

 

 

A little disappointingly, there's not much information about tea itself, the different kinds popular in Macau, nor is there anywhere to taste or buy it.  That notwithstanding, the Tea Culture House set us up perfectly for our next stop of the day, an early lunch at Long Wa, the only remaining traditional teahouse left in the city.

 

 

(The last pic is Long Wa’s launch advertisement from June 24, 1963.)

 

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