Travel Report: Shenzhen International Garden and Flower Expo Park.
February 2018. Parks and temples… temples and parks… China! I try to limit myself to just one or two parks per trip these days, knowing that in most cases the green spaces on offer feel like much of a muchness for a grisly old China veteran like myself. For our explorations in the city of Shenzhen, Wonderboy and I hadn’t even planned on hitting Shenzhen International Garden and Flower Expo Park. But then we ended up stumbling upon it, which is easier than you’d think considering the park covers a whopping 660.000 square meters. Seduced by the call of live operatic singing, we found the place positively crammed with excited locals out for an afternoon stroll for Chinese New Year bank holiday.
Having opened its doors in 2004, Shenzhen International Garden and Flower Expo Park holds National Key Park status from the Chinese government. First timers in China will find themselves utterly enchanted, stuffed as it is with a million and one things to see and do. This giant peacock hedge sculpture serves as a good meeting point near the park entrance.
The park features a number of massive open squares, where all kinds of activities take place. On the day of our visit, we saw impromptu badminton matches, rollerskating and plenty of live music. Much of this revolved around large groups of women dancing to traditional ballads. And they definitely weren’t shy in front of my camera!
Shenzhen International Garden and Flower Expo Park, China.
The park certainly delivers on its long-winded name. There are several themed gardens and special flower collections scattered around. I took the above shot in the hugely popular Rose Garden. The Chinese love photographing flowers and just about every other social media profile photo is of someone sweeping their hair back melodramatically alongside a sunflower or orchid.
It’s quite a climb to get up to the park’s hilly forest trails. Hence we had to roll up our sleeves and haul ourselves up the seemingly never-ending staircases.
There are over three kilometres of trails to follow. Some can be negotiated via a boardwalk, while elsewhere the going can get a bit scrambly. In any case it’s all worth it, with gorgeous trees and plants to enjoy every step of the way.
Moreover, I even got to grab some more sittin’ doin’ nothin’ shots for my beloved collection.
At some point Wonderboy and I came out at Mingcui Lake, where kids go paddling in the murky green water. Elsewhere, others tried their hands at catching fish with nets. It’s a beautiful scene, especially with Blessing Pagoda soaring out of the treetops in the background.
Entry to Shenzhen International Garden and Flower Expo Park is free, while opening hours are daily between 06:00-22:00. To get there, jump on the subway at either the Luobao Line (get off at Zhuzilin) or alternatively go with Line 7 where there are entrance points at both Antuo Hill and Nonglin station.
For an alternative view of the park, take a look at this article from shenzhenshopper.com.
For more on my adventures in the city, check out my other reports on Shenzhen.
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