Travel Report: Camellia Culture Park, Jinhua.
August 2018. I was walking to the city centre on my way back from Jinhua Ham Museum when I happened upon the beautifully landscaped Camellia Culture Park. I was about to hail a taxi to my hotel, but figured what the heck and decided to go in. The first thing I learned is that the park was named after its huge collection of Camellia flowering plants. That’s over 204 species apparently!
The park is beautifully kept, with meticulously labeled plants, bushes and flowerbeds. Moreover, a number of stone paths wind around a giant lake. As is often the case with Chinese city parks, the pagoda is purely decorative and can’t be climbed. Which is a pity, because the resulting views would have been lovely.
Camellia Culture Park, Jinhua.
I also came across a number of waterside pavilions, where locals sit and drink tea, listen to music or simply take a nap. It was clear to me that very few westerners pass through here. Especially when this group of gossiping women spotted me and began excitedly chattering amongst themselves.
One of them actually called me over to find out who I was and where I’m from. We didn’t get very far, what with my limited Chinese. But we did manage to bumble through some standard introductions and they were happy, albeit a little shy, to pose for this photograph.
“Foreigner!!!!” squealed the little boy.
He called out as I made my way over the stepping stones towards this pretty gazebo. The boy was picnicking inside with his family. It was such a lovely spot and I would have happily lingered a little longer had all four of them not spent the entire time staring and pointing at me from close range.
Camellia Culture Park is not a large complex. In fact, you can do a full, leisurely loop in about twenty five minutes. It’s free to enter and open daily from 06:30-18:00. The park is an ideal accompaniment to nearby Jinhua Ham Museum. For more info, have a read of this info page from The International Camellia Society.
For more on my adventures in this largely unknown city, check out my other reports on Jinhua.
To explore the region, head for my detailed guide to Zhejiang Province.
Interested in reading more about China? Why not click through my stacks of articles from all around the country.
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