Katy, Texas: Forbidden Gardens (Gone)

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Closed in February 2011.

Forbidden Gardens.

Forbidden Gardens

The world's oldest civilization -- China -- does daily battle with the blistering sun and hothouse humidity of south Texas. In miniature.

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Visitor Tips and News About Forbidden Gardens

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Forbidden Gardens.

Forbidden Gardens

It appears Forbidden Gardens is closing down due to a road expansion. The planned expansion of segment "E" of the Grand Parkway north of I-10 to Highway 290 would run right through some of its property. Employees are taking inventory and preparing to box everything up and close in late February."

[Restless, 01/24/2011]

This is an impressive collection of miniatures, a relatively quiet tourist attraction. Forbidden Gardens is apparently not planning to reopen at another location. Everything in the gift shop is for sale at a discount.

Terra Cotta Army.

Forbidden Gardens

Just before moving to China in 2004, my wife and I visited Forbidden Gardens in Katy, TX. It gave us a good preview of what we might want to see while living in China. In fact, when I first suggested we visit Xi'An (the site of the Terra Cotta Army), my wife said, "We've seen it in Texas." I won, and we visited the original. Likewise, having been to Forbidden Gardens made our visit to Beijing more interesting. Mr. Poon has spent a lot of money on this fantastic replica; it is a shame that more people don't know about it. By the way, my office was near Suzhou; the model of the city at Forbidden Gardens is quite accurate.

When we returned from living in China in 2008, we went back to Katy. Some of the exhibits had been repaired from their earlier poor condition.

[Rick, 07/03/2009]

Forbidden city.

Forbidden Gardens

Forbidden Gardens is an ancient Chinese history museum. Representations of the terracotta soldiers and the Forbidden City are just two of many exhibits available for viewing. Tour guides are very knowledgeable and make the experience much more enjoyable.

I attended as a teacher with my fourth grade class in May for our educational field trip and my students loved it! I have recently taken my visiting family to go and see it as well.

If you love history you will love this place, but do not go there thinking it is an amusement-type park. It is not. The tour guides make it even more interesting with all the information they give on their tours. The tour guides told us that they are not given a set or memorized speech, just the knowledge of the landmarks and then they are allowed to adjust their tours according to the visitors ages, etc.

The grounds were kept up nicely, and they are in the process of rebuilding some of the buildings in the Forbidden City. Nothing is in such terrible shape, as has been led to believe, that should prevent anyone from enjoying the experience.

Dress comfortably, and wear a hat if going in the summer. It is hot! Some areas are air conditioned, but the larger outdoor exhibits are not. All-in-all I would say it is a great place to visit and see something you won't see anywhere else. Being located so close to Houston makes it a nice day trip as well.

[Alisa, 07/30/2008]
Forbidden Gardens

We visited on a Sunday, first tour of the day. I was very excited to see the terra cotta army. That is the first stop on the tour and you are not allowed to linger -- take pictures fast. The rest of the tour is of the miniature town and some Chinese artifacts.

I feel if you pay $10 to get in, why would you vandalize anything? I know I was just there to observe and take in, there was none of that. Overall, it was not worth the time and money (5 hrs and $10) to go see. The best part was the anticipation.

[Trish, 01/19/2008]

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