Lost Sambista

A Brazil never seen.

Vista Chinesa


The picture above looks unreal, almost like a Chinese painting with Rio de Janeiro in the background.

It is the Vista Chinesa one of the most surreal and beautiful places in Rio. The view from there is fantastic, one sees the entire coast of the South Zone, where Ipanema. Copacana, Botafogo etc… stay, the Guanabara Bay and after that Niteroi and all the beaches and mountains that follow it:


One would imagine that a pagoda in the Tijuca Forest is a random construction but it isn’t. The story is quite interesting: when the Portuguese Royal family took refuge from Napoleon in Brazil, they came up with the idea of producing tea in the new colony. It made sense, the climate was similar, tea had been successfully exported and grown in India, there was a lot of money to be made so why not plant it a half an hour from Brazil’s main port?

Together with the seeding they brought Chinese workers from the Portuguese colony Macau who else could do it better? Although they resided and worked in the Tijuca Forest, little is known of what became of them as they left no, or very few descendants.

The pagoda above is an homage to them built in 1903 by Rio’s city council.


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