As China’s 3rd largest city, Shenzhen is full of congestion, pollution, and… greenery? Perhaps a bit surprising, but city planners have made a serious effort to cultivate gardens and other green spaces amid the skyscrapers that Shenzhen is better known for. The result is a city with plenty of shady spaces and parks to relax in, while taking a break from chasing that first million RMB.
Fairy Lake Botanical Garden 仙湖植物园 View In Map
Since opening its gates on May 1, 1988, Fairy Lake Botanical Garden has received over 500 million foreign and domestic visitors curious to glimpse the flora native to southern China. Fairy Lake’s 590 hectares contain more than 3,000 different species of plants and are organized into nine different themed sections, with six more to follow in coming years. A nice place to spend time is the “shade section”, which has more than 1,000 species of shade plant and is a great place to get away from the constant activity of Luohu. The Petrified Forest is also a nice place to relax.
Fairy Lake is about more than just chilling out, though, and is also an important centre of research in China. This makes sense, as there are not many places in the world where you can observe over 60 species of ornamental bamboo or nearly 200 rare or endangered plants. A highlight, at least for Chinese visitors, is the tree planted by Deng Xiaoping during a visit to Shenzhen; Deng is celebrated in Shenzhen because he initiated the reform and opening up in China, which has made Shenzhen such an economic success. The city’s largest Buddhist temple, Hong Fa Temple, can be found here - not that there is a lot of competition in Shenzhen for that title.
Add: 160 Xianhu Lu, Luohu District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 2573 8430
Opening Hrs: 6:00 – 23:00 daily
Admission: RMB 20 for adults; RMB 10 for children
Getting There: Bus No. 57, 65, 218, 220, and 382
Shenzhen People’s Park 深圳人民公园 View In Map
Founded in 1983, Shenzhen People’s Park is also located in Luohu. This park is one of five rose planting bases for the Chinese Rose Association, an apparently very busy group that has planted over 300 varieties of roses on the premises, meaning that some species of rose will be in bloom no matter the time of year. This park is home to 50,000 roses overall. Much smaller than Fairy Lake, Shenzhen People’s Park covers an area of 12.95 hectares and is divided into 5 different zones: Garden Zone, Sports Zone, Recreation Zone, Nursery Zone, and Park Management Zone.
Add: Renmin Beilu, Luohu District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 8222 3386
Opening Hrs: All day
Getting There: Bus No. 61
Lixiang Park荔香公园 View In Map
A few blocks from Shenzhen University in Nanshan is Lixiang Park, which is recognizable by its curious globe sculpture. Admission is free and kites are available for purchase near the west entrance. Lixiang Park has plenty of tennis courts for those hoping to channel their inner Zheng Jie, as well as a large, open field.
Add: Nanguang Lu, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 2648 6432?
Opening Hrs: 08:00 - 22:00
Getting There: Bus No. N1, N11, 21, 42, 78, 81, 93, 234, 327, 368, 373, 390
Phoenix Mountain Forest Park 凤凰山森林公园 View In Map
Those willing to venture out to Bao’an district’s Fuyong neighbourhood will be rewarded with a nice hike, a wonderful view (if the surrounding factories are on a lunch break) and the opportunity to make an offering to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin. Originally a Taoist deity, Guanyin was adopted by Chinese Buddhists during the 4th and 5th centuries; the temple devoted to her on Phoenix Mountain dates back to the 1200s. Phoenix Mountain is said to resemble a phoenix spreading its wings, hence its name. Following the stone path from the base to the middle of the mountain leads to Phoenix Mountain Temple, which sits overlooking a turtle pond. Here, you can make offerings of incense to your ancestors and grab a snack from one of the vendors nearby. A second temple, the Dragon King Temple, is located further up the mountain.
Add: Phoenix Village, Fuyong Jie, Bao’an District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 2739 1563
Opening Hrs: 6：00-22：30
Bus: 301, 310-315, 362, 337 and 331.
Lychee Park 荔枝公园 View In Map
Known as the Times Square of Shenzhen, Lychee Park has sat smack dab in the city centre (Futian) since 1989. Lychee Park spans 28,820,000 square meters of well-preserved real estate, which contains 30 species of plants in addition to its - you guessed it - abundant lychee trees. Also in Lychee Park are numerous pavilions, a merry-go-round, and even a small bee farm that sells honey. Like most public spaces in China, elderly groups of Tai Qi practitioners and group dancing sessions are never far away. Lychee Park also contains the China and Japan Friendship Garden.
Add: 1009 HongLing Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 8209 5655
Opening Hrs: 06:00-23:00
Bus: 10, 13, 24, 30, 105, 202, and 228
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