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China Town
China Town

China Town

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Chinese Gardens

The Chinese Garden of Friendship was designed in China to celebrate the Australian Bicentenary in 1988. The garden was a gift to Sydney from its Chinese sister city of Guangdong. It is one of the largest of its type outside Asia, with pavilions, lakes, waterfalls and a Chinese teahouse. The gardens were designed by landscape architects and embody principles dating back to the 5th century.

The gardens present visitors with a green and peaceful sanctuary in the midst of a major bustling city and an ideal escape from the concrete surrounds of Darling Harbour. If you want an hour or two of solitude, this is the place to be. Running water, towering willow trees, cool lagoons with lotus plants and large colourful fish all make this an idyllic spot to read a book or recharge your batteries.

The Chinese garden also caters for functions of up to 300 people, utilising one or more of the pavilions and surrounding areas. They’re available for hire from 5:30pm, (closing time), until 12midnight.

Features include: The Dragon Wall – two coloured dragons representing Guangdong and NSW with a pearl between them representing their bond.

Water pavilion of Lotus Fragrance – Mountain, lake, craggy rocks and peaks, trees, flowers and distant pavilions offer a wealth of delights in this classical style of southern landscape design. Water is an important feature, and should be seen from almost every point. It can be in the form of still lakes, flowing streams, or gushing waterfalls. Water represents the vital spirit of the earth, its blood and breath.

The Gurr – Or Pavilion of Clearview, is the peak of the mountain. It provides a clear view from all of its hexagonal sides. It is a tall and distinctive feature of the garden, that’s visible from all parts of the garden and from the city outside.

The Rock Forest – Originating from an ancient Chinese poem, the story of the Rock Forest tells of the Dancing Maiden Ashima and the Landlord. Rocks traditionally represent the body of the earth, and the moving, creative forces of the universe. Interesting rocks are an important feature of Chinese Gardens, and their collection was considered an art in ancient China.

The Tea House – Magical setting with charming views from the verandah. Finish your journey here with Chinese tea, lunch, cakes and other refreshments. The menu includes everything from Dim Sims to Toasted Focaccia for the less adventurous.

Chinese Ginsengs & Herbs Co. P.L.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (often abbreviated to TCM) is one of the oldest continuous systems of medicine known to man, with recorded instances dating back to 2000 BC.

TCM is best known for the practices of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, but also includes techniques such as massage, moxibustion, dietary advice and breathing exercises.

The first recorded material on TCM is traced back to the third century BC. It is used extensively in public hospitals in China for both inpatients and outpatients, and in acute and chronic care.

Herbs - According to Chinese legend, Shen Nung, the father of agriculture and leader of an ancient clan, took it upon himself to test, one by one, hundreds of different plants to discover their nutritional and medicinal properties. Many of these turned out to be poisonous to humans. Over the millennia, Chinese have used themselves as guinea pigs in this same way to continue testing plants of inducing cold (han), heat (jeh), warmth (wen), and coolness (liang). They classified the medicinal effects of the plants on various parts of the body, then tested them to determine their toxicity, what dosages would be lethal, and so forth.

For example, Cassia bark is warming in nature, and is useful in treating colds. Mint is cooling in nature, and is used to relieve the symptoms of illness resulting from heat factors.

There are 6,000 herbs currently used in Chinese herbal medicine, and from these countless formulas are devised for use with patients.

Although the vast majority of 'herbs' used in Chinese herbal medicine are plants, some animal and insects materials - such as lizards, deer antlers, centipede and scorpion - and minerals are occasionally used.

Acupuncture- "Chinese medicine," often called "Oriental medicine" or "traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)," encompasses a vast array of folk medical practices based on mysticism. It holds that the body's vital energy (chi or qi) circulates through channels, called meridians, that have branches connected to bodily organs and functions. Illness is attributed to imbalance or interruption of chi.

Traditional acupuncture, as now practiced, involves the insertion of stainless steel needles into various body areas. A low-frequency current may be applied to the needles to produce greater stimulation.

Other procedures used separately or together with acupuncture include: moxibustion (burning of floss or herbs applied to the skin); injection of sterile water, procaine, morphine, vitamins, or homeopathic solutions through the inserted needles.

BBQ king

The buzz of Chinatown has enticed diners to its restaurant doors for many years. Chinatown keeps going and so too the diners who enjoy exotic choices of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean and Japanese food. Good value and fine Asian cuisine make this a favourite.

Going strong for fifteen years, BBQ King has built up a reputation for serving copious amounts of quality tender beef for prices that are as low as you can find in Sydney. Combine the meat with a place of greens and rice and you certainly won’t leave hungry. Open until 2.00 am if you are starving in the middle of the night.

China Embroidery & Gift Shop

They wholesale and retail many different kinds of embroided tablecloths, traditional Chinese dresses, Kimonos and Ladies Slippers.

The cheongsam (long dress in Chinese), the most well known Chinese Clothing, Chinese Dress, Cheongsam, Chinese Jewellery, Tibet Jewellery, Tibet Collections. Oriental Dress, is a female dress with distinctive Chinese features and enjoys a growing popularity in the international world of high fashion.

When the early Manchu rulers came to China proper, they organized certain people, mainly Manchus, into "banners" (qi) and called them "banner people" (qiren), which then became loosely the name of all Manchus. The Manchu women wore normally a one-piece dress which, likewise, came to be called "qipao" or "banner dress." Although the 1911 Revolution toppled the rule of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty, the female dress survived the political change and, with later improvements, has become the traditional Chinese dress. Known now as the Suzy Wong, named after a famous Chinese prostitute, it is favoured by prostitutes for the long slit up the side, to show the shape of a ladies leg. The shorter, knee-length version is used as a uniform, usually by people like school teachers ! Wouldn’t want to get confused.

They also have a wide range of small Jade Buddha’s, Fans, and traditional Chinese wooded trinket boxes.

Buddha Shop

If you need a lift in life, there’s all sorts of good karma promised just through these doors. Specialising in Buddhist Crafts, Joss Stick Products, Fung Shui Accessories, Rosewood Buddhist Cabinets, Chinese Handicraft Souvenirs, Buddhist Books and music tapes, this place is like a K-mart for all things enlightening. Lanterns cover the roof, merchandise is stocked from floor to ceiling and whatever your woe, you’re sure to find an answer here.

The shop is owned by the Leung family from Hong Kong. They have been in business for 50 yrs over there and opened this place in 1995. It is named after Ben & Johnny’s grandfather Wai Leung. The last part of the shop name Kee translates roughly to friend.

The store is three split levels and is perfect for a long wander. It’s the sort of place where you can get consumed in one little corner for hours on end, or just meander through the jumbled & overflowing shelves searching for some trinket or another. Statues of Buddha and other figures make up a significant proportion of the store, Joss sticks (incense) & candles are also prominent.

Popular Products include:
  • Happiness Buddha – brings happiness & prosperity. Prices range from $4 - $200.
  • Fung Shui Hanging Charm – good for relationships & to stop trouble. Prices range from $2 - $20.
  • Lucky Plant – Brings luck & good fortune, good Fung Shui. Prices range from $6 - $30.
  • Mist Sprite Fountain – New model! primarily an aesthetically pleasing item but also good Fung Shui. Prices range from $168 - $298. Fountains without mist are cheaper.
  • Incense paper for honouring ancestors - in the form of a business shirt & tie, cigarette packets and other unusual creations to remember different relations.

    Ornate Rosewood Buddhist Cabinets – These have three different levels, the top one a shrine for The Buddha, the middle one for remembering grandparents & ancestors, and the bottom one a shrine to the Money Buddha.

    China Books

    China Books is an independently owned and operated Australian importer, retailer and specialist wholesaler of books and other material (videos, cassettes, CDs, computer programs, etc) from and about China - in English and Chinese.

    They obtain stock from a variety of sources - the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, the United States, the United Kingdom, etc.

    In fact, if there is a book about China anywhere, China Books has it or can get it. And we can also get specific books about other parts of Asia too.

    As China is their focus, they cover the entire spectrum of all things Chinese - History, Language (Mandarin & Cantonese), Culture, Politics, Business & Trade, Philosophy (I Ching, Taoist, Confucianism, etc), Literature (classical and contemporary, prose and poetry), Biography & Autobiography, Women’s Studies, Art, Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage/tuina, diet therapy, etc), Martial Arts (Tai Chi Chuan/Taijiquan, Qigong/Chi Kung, Kung Fu/Gong Fu, Wushu).

  • Location

    China Town, Haymarket Sydney


    Tea House
    Prices start at $4.90 for Dim Sims, and $8.50 for a Focaccia, Chinese Tea $2.80

    Chinese Herbs: Remedies from $4

    BBQ King: Entrees from$4.80. Mains from $13.50, Desserts $6.00

    Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

    More information

    Tea House: Cnr Pier & Harbour Sts, Darling Harbour. All year Round, 9:30am to 5:30pm

    Chinese herbs: 75-77 Ultimo Road Haymarket. 9am - 6:30pm, 7 days.

    BBQ King: 18-20 Goulburn St, Haymarket. Open 7 days, 11:30 am until 2am

    China gift shop:31 - 37 Dixon St, Haymarket. 10:15am 5:45pm, 7 days

    Buddha shop: 425 – 427 Pitt St, Sydney. Open 7 days 10.30am – 6.30pm

    China books: 683-689 George St, Sydney. Monday-Friday: 9.30am - 6.00pm Weekends: 10.30am - 5.00pm

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