Distinctive Asian shops and cuisine are surrounded by a traditional Chinese garden. Visit the upscale Asian supermarket for ... More
COFCO Chinese Cultural Center
Distinctive Asian shops and cuisine are surrounded by a traditional Chinese garden. Visit the upscale Asian supermarket for fresh fish daily. Gardens surrounding the area feature ponds and replicas of statuary and pagodas from cities in China. Restaurants like the Sampan Seafood Restaurant offer a variety of carefully prepared Asian cuisine. COFCO Chinese Cultural Center is located just south of Interstate-10 and 44th street, directly across from the Marriott Residence Inn downtown location. See website for complete visitation particulars.
My experience at the Chinese Cultural Center was one like I've never experienced before. However it was not exactly what I expected it to be. Unlike the vision I had for it, the content of the center was very small. There wasn't alot to it. The main attraction, the resturant, was closed due to not paying rent which was a big disappointment. The market place though was quite interesting. I saw many foods and ingredients that I had never seen before. Also the store held live fish in it. I thought it was very interesting that you could buy live fish, lobster, and crab to cook fresh for your own enjoyment.
Along with the marketplace were a few other gift shops open for browsing. They all had unique Chinese souvieniers and many traditional looking Chinese pieces. I enjoyed seeing all the paper lamps and dragons in the shops. If someone were looking for Chinese cultural pieces for their home I would highly recommend looking in the shops for decorating purposes.
Overall though, my personal favorite of the Chinese Cultural Center was the garden in the front of the building. I thought the design and the architecture of the whole thing was breathtaking. The giant koi pond was a great addition to the garden. The designers incorporated a lot of Chinese writting on the walls which really made it feel as if you were in China. So overall I would have to say that the center is deffinatly worth going to if you are looking for something new to try or to learn about a new culture.
*We ate lunch at Szechwan Palace and the meal was perfect: got a LOT of food for very cheap, quick service, food was nice a warm, the food was delicious, everything I could want out of an eating place.
*The garden is pretty (as it has a pond, water lilies, large fish, a bridge over the pond, etc.) and therefore has some sweet photo opportunities.
*The garden had no entrance fee.
*The security guard at the garden was very pleasant and offered to take a picture of us together.
*The garden wasn't nearly as large as I thought it was going to be. It is actually quite small.
*A lot of the food and shopping places were either closed or the suites were vacant. Therefore there were no shops to browse in.
I grew up in S.F., and so loved our Asian culture. This center is done so wonderfully, and so rich in flavor, you'd be giving your self a treat to the orient. I also home school my children and this was one of the riches sites for exploring, from the vegtables to the fishs. The cooking was so visual the smells were just exciting. The economics for teaching little ones was clear cut.We enjoyed seeing our products in other languages a great help to understand how the U.S. is so known abroad.We saw what was their versions of jams to sausage to crackers . We bought foods to cook and went back for more. We tried the cooked food and was so enjoyed the awesome flavors. We sampled the differences in the bakery. The children asked many questions with the employees they found many countries were represented and languages and beliefs.They saw Korean chess for the first time. We study before going to understand the histories,the chinese calender ,the asian contributions and many other aspects of asian cultures, especially music . Welllll !all that to say a gold mine under one space and please don't forget your camera for the picture photo opts are fantastic.
The Chinese Cultural Center is one of the best things to do in Phoenix, AZ because if nothing else most people do not know it is there. You get a feel of Arizona's Asian side, while still being in the big city. It is so much fun because it almost takes you out of were you are and drops you in an unexpected place.
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