Travel Report: Bailuzhou Park – Xiamen, China.
August 2017. It was an overcast afternoon as I slowly made my way through Bailuzhou Park in Xiamen, not a care in the world. A nomadic friend of mine once described China as a place with “lots of beautiful things to see, but nothing to do”. On more than one level, I know exactly what he means. When it comes to Chinese cities I certainly know what I’m gonna get. There’ll be another stunning temple and delicious, cheap street food. Furthermore, I’ll see at least a handful of meticulously sculpted parks and gardens.
I like to think of myself as something of connoisseur when it comes to Chinese parks. Lord only knows I’ve seen enough of them over the years. In Xiamen alone there are ten in and around the city centre, so I had to do my research and handpick just a couple for special attention.
Bailuzhou Park is an island within an island, situated in the north of Xiamen in the middle of Yundang Inner Lake. It really was a wonderful break from the buzz of the city streets as I sauntered along the central stone path. The sky was still moody from Typhoon Nesat’s recent passing. As a result, barely a handful of locals had made it out to the main lawn. They’d come to feed the pigeons with bags of seed purchased from this old dude in the hat.
There were even less folk beyond Bailuzhou’s pigeon district. Along the way I came across an old man staring at a section of flooded square and passed a serious-looking couple whispering secretively, hand in hand.
Bailuzhou Park, Xiamen.
This lone wolf sat performing Tai Chi in a secluded corner. I stood watching him for a while and at some point he caught sight of me as his body drifted to the left. It was just half a second however and he didn’t let it break his stride.
In the west side of Bailuzhou Park I chanced upon four middle-aged ladies cleaning up the mess left by the typhoon. They were raking leaves, clearing fallen branches and planting fresh flowers.
The Egret Goddess Statue holds court in the pond at Bailuzhou Park’s main square. You’ll find it just across from the south yacht dock. “Would you like me make photo?” asked the Chinese photographer who’d silently arrived. His own camera, with its unfeasibly huge lens, hung around his neck like a trophy. Nevertheless I politely accepted his kind offer, gave him my own humble Sony and showed him where to click.
For more snapshots of this amazing city, check out my other travel reports from around Xiamen.
Or maybe search further afield with my zillion articles from across China.
I’ve also written a short story series called Challenged in China.
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