You know it’s summer when you see the big piles of lychees sold around every other street corner. But did you ever wonder where these exotic looking fruit come from, what the lychee plant even looks like or whether you can pick them yourself in the Guangzhou area? If the answer is yes, then you’re in luck. This article highlights the best spots for picking your very own lychees around Guangzhou, one of the main areas in China where lychees are grown. While you’re at it, why not make a day trip out of it and enjoy the sunny outdoors!
Lychees are most plentiful in June but due to this year’s heavy rains, harvests have been poorer than in recent years, meaning a slight price increase of these wickedly sweet and juicy fruits. But don’t let a couple of extra kuai deter you from a great day out.
1) “Sanyuehong” lychees from ZhongshanView In Map
“Sanyuehong” lychees are one of the most famous local products hailing from Zhongshan City. This type of lychee is also the first to ripen so you’ve probably already eaten bucket loads of these by now. To enjoy them fresh from the twig however, head over to Shalang, Minzhong or Sanxiang Town outside the city where you’ll be greeted by an overwhelming number of lychee gardens. We recommend going to Zhongshan Fengben Jiari Mingguo Garden (中山丰本假日名果园) in Minzhong Town – one of the most popular spots for lychee picking.
Add: left side of “Jade corridor”, Mingzhong Town, Zhongshan City
Tel: 0760 8570 4819
Getting there: bullet trains from Guangzhou South Station regularly depart to Zhongshan North and take about half an hour. Once you’ve arrived in Zhongshan, get a cab or hire a driver to take you to the surrounding villages where lychees are grown.
2) Conghua – home to lychees and hot springsView In Map
Conghua is known as the “home of lychees” and attracts a large number of lychee-picking tourists every year. The best season for lychee picking is from the end of June to early July and the most popular towns around the area are Taiping and Shengang Towns. There are many farms scattered throughout this area who generally charge 30-35 RMB per person in addition to the fruit picked (see address and phone number of recommended farm below). Once there, why not dine at one at the farm and try the delicious local dishes that make use of the lychee such as lychee and mushrooms, lychee soup etc. After your long day of fruit picking and gorging on farmhouse food, why not take advantage of the fact that Conghua is also famous for its hotsprings by soaking in a spring for an hour or two before heading back to the concrete jungle.
Add: at the foot of the mountain by Zhonglou Ancient Town, Shengang Town, Conghua
Tel: 137 1139 8366
Getting there: buses head for Conghua from Guangzhou’s Bus Station (汽车客运站) on a regular basis; the 70km trip takes 1.5-2 hours. It’s possible to complete the round-trip in one day.
3) Check out the lychee festival in Zengcheng
Zengcheng is another town famous for its wide-ranging lychee varieties – 52 types in total. The best time to head here is from mid-June to mid-July when the annual lychee festival is held. During the festival, visitors can enjoy song and dance performances and of course gorge on plenty of lychees. The most famous lychee village in the area is Zhuyuancun in Xiancun Township, a little island with over 3000 mu of lychee orchards and over 300 years of lychee-growing history. The island itself offers beautiful scenery and is a great place for strolling around and escaping the city.
Those interested in enjoying ancient buildings as well as lychee picking, may want to head over to Dongjing Village in the Xiaolou Township of Zengcheng City (增城小楼镇东境村). There, you’ll find a lychee culture garden that’s open to tourists who wish to pick their own lychees (Tel: 020 8284 4088).
Getting there: buses leave to Zengcheng from all major bus stations in Guangzhou. The journey time only takes around an hour.
4) Maoming – home to some of the oldest lychee farms
Genzi Township by Gaozhou, which is under the administration of Maoming City, is one of the most historic lychee areas in Guangdong, with over 2000 years history and home to numerous ancient trees over 500 years old. Many different lychee varieties can be picked here and the main harvest season kicks off 30 days earlier than Zengcheng above.
Getting there: take a bus from the Guangdong Provincial Bus Station directly to Gaozhou – journey time takes 5-6 hours so it’s recommended to make a weekend trip out of it.
5) A thousand-year lychees in Dongguan
Not many would associate Dongguan with lychee production but it’s true: Dongguan is another lychee base with over 1000 years history. The main lychee hotspots are found along the mountains and hills in townships like Dalang, Daling, Changping, Liaobu, Hengli, Dongkang, Qiaotou, Qishi and Chashan. The best time to head over is in July when the lychees are at their ripest.
Getting there: trains for Dongguan depart from the Guangzhou East Railway Station on a regular basis and journey time takes approximately 40 minutes.
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Keywords: where to pick lychees around guangzhou lychee picking Guangzhou
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