Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden & Park

Top choice in Gastown & Chinatown

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Raed AlBanna / 500px

A tranquil break from bustling Chinatown, this intimate 'garden of ease' reflects Taoist principles of balance and harmony. Entry includes an optional 45-minute guided tour, in which you'll learn about the symbolism behind the placement of the gnarled pine trees, winding covered pathways and ancient limestone formations. Look out for the colorful carp and lazy turtles in the jade-colored water.

The adjacent Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park isn't quite as elaborate as its sister, but this free-entry spot is also a pleasant oasis with whispering grasses, a large fishpond and a small pagoda. Check the website for events including special exhibitions and summertime evening concerts.