Chinese Garden of Serenity is another one of those lovely finds that we have come to expect on this little gem Malta. Chinese garden of serenity is located in the little town of Santa Lucija, which is in the south of the island and l think it is a must see of things to do in Malta, especially if you like culture, along with the trappings of a sunny, beach holiday. It is well worth spending an afternoon there because of the surrounding beauty, which differs from the city. There are some lovely Maltese garden statues scattered around, and the combination with the Chinese statue elements, it makes for an interesting visit.
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Once at the Chinese garden vicinity, there is little in the way of restaurants there, so it’s best to arm yourself with food purchased from Valletta, such as delicious lamb kebab wraps, Maltese pastries and soda. If you’re so inclined, you could also pack a picnic basket to enjoy the ambience while you eat. What a pleasant surprise the Chinese garden of serenity turned out to be. You’re hard pressed to find any information about it in any of the tourist recommended things to do in Malta. It’s a shame, because even though it is kind of out-of-the-way, it should be on any list of what to see in Malta, right alongside the walled city of Mdina for instance. A lot of people that visit Malta want sun and fun mostly, and l think the majority of the tour companies cater to them in the form of party boats and pub crawling. There is a whole neglected section of people who would like to visit more cultural heritage sites of Malta. It might take a little bit more digging, but you can come up with some gems such as the Chinese garden of serenity. Santa Lucija is a sleepy little town that looks like time completely forgot it. This is an authentic glimpse into the past and shows you how the everyday life in Malta really is for the locals.
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Chinese Garden of Serenity entrance Fee:
Chinese Garden of Serenity is free to the public, and was officially opened in 1997. The Chinese garden has a lot of rocks and water which is supposed to symbolize nature, the yin and yang, life from birth to death and the Chinese Garden is laid out to represent this.
The serenity garden is laid out in a way to take you from childhood to maturity, to death. The cycle of life. The childhood is the space between the fountain and the door to the garden, a waiting room to maturity of sorts. Once pas the doors, there are two paths, just like in life. The straight and narrow (good life, no problems, easy) while the other path is crooked, with curves full of adventure, away from the protective parents (in the form of lions).
Other stages of life are represented in the Chinese garden of serenity. These include:
This road is full of winding paths and difficulties. The bridge is in a zig-zag shape to signify choices we make to overcome life challenges. There is also a spiritual retreat path here, away from the maddening crowd. This is where your mind clears and you derive pleasure from nature and your spirit soars. Everything is linked, and you can wander from one to the other, just like in life with its ups and downs.
This begins at the bamboo gardens and reeds. There are plenty of shadows to boot signifying never ending thoughts in life. Continuous streams of water hitting the rocks as it recycles into the pond. The noise is interspersed with complete silence in some areas allowing you to just take in the sight and savor the smells of the flowers.
From the active life, one comes into the community. There is a row of stones in the pond to represent the various trials and tribulations one goes through in life in order to find their tribe. At the end of the road is the waterfall, the water cascading into the pool to signify unity in the community. A coin at the end of the hall stands for wealth and the other side has a pear which represents a happy and long life.
We loved walking through the zig-zag pathway leading us to the back. Along the way, there are pavilions and several bodies of water. One of the pillars at the Chinese garden has a poem which reads “Around the outside door the plane is full of flowers which spreads sweet smells” . The flowers were in full bloom and we had the whole garden to ourselves, save for one or 2 people and a guard that was sunning himself on one of the benches.
The whole space in the Chinese serenity water gardens really makes you connect with nature. Living on the island of Malta, there is hardly any green or quiet space. There is so much construction and grime and noise, it’s nice to be able to take a breather from that and connect with nature in the Chinese garden of serenity.
The Chinese Garden is meant as a place to reflect. It is such a serene, peaceful and picturesque place. We sat for a while quietly on a bench, watching the fish in the pond. I think it would be difficult to go here and not feel relaxed and stress free, at least for a bit. It is such an unexpected thing to find in this concrete jungle that is Malta, an oasis from the outside world. I really liked it.
There are Chinese sculptures depicting everyday life, like a man sipping tea, women weaving silk, a man playing chinese checkers. The other side of the garden has some picnic tables and some park benches. It’s the idyllic setting to seat and just enjoy the peace and quiet.
I highly recommend a visit there. It is a nice way to pass a couple of hours. Pack a picnic, and enjoy the peace and quiet. I, however could not resist saying “Serenity now!” – a reference to Seinfeld. We’ll be back for sure to the Chinese Garden of Serenity. You can never have too much peace :o) !!! We had the place practically to ourselves. It was so nice and quiet. Malta is a very noisy place, with so much constant construction. This place being outside the center and definitely only locals residing there, was oh so quiet :-).
Related Reading: San Anton Gardens
Chinese garden of serenity Santa Lucja address:
Triq Il Pepprin, Santa Lucija, Malta
How to get to the Chinese Garden of Serenity:
To get to the Chinese garden of serenity, you need to take the Number 83 bus from Valletta, the capital. It is just past Marsa, in Santa Lucja, south of the island. If you choose to drive, get a great car rental deal with Auto Europe.
Chinese garden St. Lucia opening hours:
Open daily from 8AM – 6PM
If you visit Malta, or if you reside in Malta, l think it is a place worth checking out. I’m sure you would enjoy it. It is a child friendly activity in Malta and should definitely be on any Malta itinerary.
What say ye about the Chinese Garden of Serenity? Is it your kind of place, or do you prefer the hustle and bustle?