Just about 5 minutes drive from our house is Parque de la Amistad, a Chinese Garden on the outskirts of Panama City, created in 1997 to promote friendship between the substantial Chinese population and the Panamanians.
A couple of weeks ago we read about a fair taking place so popped along to explore. We climbed up a small hill to this pretty pagoda. Originally planned to have nine stories as is usual in China, the budget did not stretch. Still, it does look lovely just as it is I think!
Here is the ornate dragon from the centre of the pagoda’s ceiling.
There was a beautiful lake – El Lago de la Felicidad, or Lake of Happiness – very atmospheric looking with dappled light filtering through the surrounding trees. Three bridges link this pond to the rest of the park. The Bridge of Long Life is zig-zagged, to ward off bad luck, the Bridge of Fate is arched, and the Bridge of Happiness is straight across.
A statue of Kwan Ying, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, worshipped by women, fishermen and victims of natural disasters, surveys the park from her plinth in the centre of the lake.
Although compact, we had great fun exploring this little park with our three children. There was great, cheap Chinese food on offer as well, thanks to the fair. Normally this would be a great place to take a picnic – we’ll definitely be back!