Photo by Ghie Ghie.

The Chinese Garden in Ilocos Norte welcomed locals and tourists alike for the first time early March. One month after it opened to the public, the area has become a favorite spot for individuals to spend a lazy morning or a relaxing afternoon.

The Chinese Garden, which took about four years to complete and with a P4 million budget, features pavilions, small bridges, and flowing waters. It’s also a very good place for locals and tourists to experience exquisite architecture, as well as discover some Chinese arts and culture.

Built right next to the “Malacañang of the North,” the garden overlooks the majestic Paoay Lake. The best thing about the garden is that entrance is free, which means the whole family can enjoy the facilities every day if they so wish.

Photo by Ghie Ghie.

The main idea then was to boost outdoor attractions as this could be considered as part of the travel itinerary of tourists visiting the province all year round. With the ongoing pandemic, the garden now also serves as a space where people can get some much needed sunlight in a safe environment.

The opening of the garden coincides with the celebration of the 46th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines. Officials said that the Chinese Garden is the “latest manifestation of the friendship between China and Ilocos Norte” and a sign of cooperation and mutual benefit of both countries.

Ilocos Norte is a province in the northern Philippines. Aside from this latest Instagram-ready attraction, other popular tourist draws in the region include the grand Paoay Church (with a fusion of local and baroque architecture), the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, and the dramatic Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, as well as the town of Pagudpud (known for its beaches such as the Blue Lagoon and the bell-shaped Timmangtang Rock and towering Kabigan Falls).