Monday November 5, 2018 | 1 comment
Harding Intsik, an obscure attraction inside Manila’s vast Rizal Park, is a Chinese garden designed and gifted decades ago by the Taiwanese government. A set of postage stamps featuring two of the most notorious dictators in Asia–namely Philippines’s Ferdinand Marcos and Taiwan’s Chiang Kai-shek–commemorates the garden’s completion in 1967.
Though not as splendid as Chinese gardens elsewhere, Harding Intsik incorporates the essential elements – zigzag bridge over pond, pavilions and corridors, statues of literati, lush vegetation, etc. It could be the only oriental garden, on Planet Earth, adorned with giant palm trees! No tea house or tea service onsite though.
Before arriving in Manila during an eight-hour layover, I was warned numerous times about the city’s traffic congestion, which restricted my adventure to only the must-visit Intramuros – Spanish Colonial Period’s Walled City. Manila is endowed with a sizable Chinatown and the peculiar Chinese Cemetery, neither of which piqued my interest. It was during the drive to Intramuros that I stumbled upon Harding Intsik.