Keyuan Garden

Keyuan Garden is one of the four famous gardens of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Guangdong Province. Lying in the west of Dongguan, it occupies an area of 2,200 square meters (0.54 acres) in a triangular-shape. It was built with blue bricks in 1850 by Zhang Jingxiu, a deposed military officer. Since 2001, the garden is under state protection as a national cultural treasure.

The name of the garden means 'a garden not too bad for visiting' in Chinese. Its creator was somewhat on the modest side. In fact, being a splendid architectural work, the garden is multifuctional which which joins the living room, villa, yard, garden and study together skillfully in a limited area. Built in the classical  style, it has dozens of traditional buildings, including pavilions, pools and bridges and most of the buildings are named with the word Ke (means 'not too bad' in Chinese), such as Kezhou Pool and Ketang Hall.

The garden can be generally divided into four parts: three building groups and a yard. The southeast building group is the place for welcoming the guests; the west building group with many pavilions is the place for feasting and viewing; and the north building group is the place prepared for the owner to reside, paint, parade and recite poetry. While in the middle, there is a big courtyard circled by these three groups. The yard consists of southwest and northeast areas. The visitors can see some scenic spots there, such as the Orchid Platform, the Bend Pool. Around the yard, there is a long corridor named Huanbi Corridor which connects the three building groups together closely. Walking along the corridor, the visitors will encounter all the beautiful scenes of the garden.

Like other gardens in southern China, the buildings, the flowers, the hills and the lakes in Keyuan blend with the surroundings harmoniously. Visitors will be satisfied with the perfect scenery wherever they stand. When walking into this garden, they will find that the inside arrangements is complex. The paths extend in all directions. There are 130 doorways and 108 gateposts opening onto pavilions and kiosks. It is like a big maze. If the visitors are not careful enough, they will lose themselves in the picturesque place.

Except for its exquisite architectural style and enjoyable scenery, Keyuan is known for its important role in the modern history of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Although Zhang Jingxuan was a military officer, he mastered painting, calligraphy, chess as well as poetry. As he quit working, he invited two famous painters, Juchao and Julian, to paint in Keyuan all year round. Their painting laid a foundation for Lingnan School (an important painting school in China's painting history which claims that the traditional painting should absorb the soul of western culture to improve its connotation to a modern and popular aspect.).

Admission Fee: CNY8 (for adult)
CNY4 (for child between 110cm-140cm)
Free (for child below 110cm)
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:30 (closed on Monday except public holidays)
Bus Route:

3, 4, 7, 15, 16, 20, 28, 30, 31, 45, 46, 2A, C2, C4, L1(58), L2 (59), L3 (60), L5  

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