The Malaysia-China Friendship Garden, known as Taman Sahabat in Malay was built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.
Located on Jalan Song in Kuching South, it is inarguably one of the nicest parks in Malaysia. I was fortunate enough to visit the beautiful and memorable park with the help of a buddy of mine, Allen who took us on his car. For your information, entrance is free.
This big arch is actually another entrance to the park via the back. A signboard hanging on the arch has the Chinese words 马中友谊公园, which translates to the park’s name – Malaysia China Friendship Garden. It is designed using China’s ancient buildings style.
The front entrance also has an arch, but it is simpler and more futuristic designed based on Malaysia/Sarawak style. It looks quite small in photo but in reality it is almost 25 feet tall!
Behind it is a pair of statues modeled after Hornbills, the state symbol of Sarawak. Because of this, Sarawak is also named Land of Hornbill.
A short walk from the main entrance will bring you to the Friendship Globe, sponsored by Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism.
As shown on the stone where the Friendship Globe sits, 2004 was the year the 30th anniversary was celebrated. Imprinted on the globe are the two nations’ leaders throughout the 30 years shaking hands as a sign of friendship.
Some of the leaders shown on the globe are Tun Abdul Razak shaking hands with Mao Zedong and Abdullah Badawi shaking hands with Hu JinTao.
A rather funny looking statue of two cats cuddling can be seen at the side of the park. I did a group hug with them too, lol. I think it brings luck. Anyway, they look like they are doing more than just hugging, what do you think?
There is also a fountain but it was not functioning when I was there. Bad timing perhaps? The futuristic looking fountain has seven pillars arranged in circle, representing the seven major ethnic groups in Sarawak.
In the Malaysian part of the park, a Malaysian murals consisting of 14 stone panels depict landmarks and images associated with each state it represents.
And this has got to be the biggest attraction of the park – a giant stature of Admiral Zheng Ho. He is a familiar figure for all of us who have studied history before in high school.
If you have forgotten about him, let me help refresh your memory – he is believed to be the person who sent Hang Li Po to marry Malacca Sultan back in 1459. Posed like giving a high five, Zheng Ho’s stature can be seen miles away even before reaching the park. Cool huh.
The stature stands on a ship-like platform over the pond. I am impressed.
At the Chinese part of the park, a zigzag bridge is used to connect the land and a building over the man made pond. It is the perfect spot for visitors to admire the many colorful koi swimming around freely.
Although there are no feeding signs put up around the pond, Malaysians would still be Malaysians. Some can be seen throwing bread and biscuits into the pond to attract the fishes. And those black spots you see in the photos are actually the fishes with their mouths open.
However, shortly after I came back from the trip, a sad and shocking news broke out that most of the fishes died due to pollution. Since then, the fishes have been replaced by a new batch.
Crossing the zigzag bridge will bring you to this building. It has a huge hall at the ground floor, and a tea house at the first floor. This could be the perfect place to enjoy the park’s view.
If you ever travel to Kuching, this is one of the must visits. I highly recommend you to visit the park to witness the beauty yourself. Lets hope the park is still being well maintained and the fishes are still alive. Some other photos of the park: