Spring blossoms arrived in southern China at the start of March. Jun and I started seeing posts of all the flowering trees and thought it would be nice to see them. One of the best places to view them is in Guangzhou. Jun and I decided to go to the city and spend a weekend there to enjoy the spring blossoms. Jun also invited his cousin to join us.
We caught an early morning train from Futian to Guangzhou South; Jun’s cousin alighted at Shenzhen North. When we got to the hotel, we dropped off our bags before venturing out to explore.
From the hotel, we took the metro to Haizhu Lake Park. The northern and eastern parts of the lake had quite a few blossoming white and pink bauhinia variegata. All three of us enjoyed leisurely walking through the blossoming trees. As we circled the park we also got to see some of the migrating birds.
From Haizhu Lake we next went to the Guangzhou Haizhu National Wetland Park. Along the main river in the park, we discovered blossoming white and pink bauhinia variegata along a 3-4 km corridor on both sides of the river. We felt as if we had walked into a magical wonderland. For most of the afternoon, we enjoyed walking through the blossoms.
Near the end of our visit, we also discovered there were some cherry blossoms at the southern end of the park. This corridor was smaller, but it seemed to have more people there as well.
After we left the park, we went to dinner at a nearby restaurant—Taoge Shenghao—that had a nice variety of Cantonese food. From the restaurant, we went to the hotel. After putting out things in our rooms, we headed out to roam around the neighborhood. The last thing we did before heading back to the hotel was to have some Cantonese desserts at a small restaurant.
Finally, we went back to the hotel and rested.
Early the next morning we checked out of the hotel and took a car to the White Swan Hotel on Shamian Island. When we arrived we waited a bit before we were seated for dim sum at Hongtu Hall. This restaurant is well-known for its dim sum. The food was amazing and the view of the river was quite nice.
After brunch, we took a walk around Shamian Island. This small island was an enclave for the French and British concessions the Qing government gave in the nineteenth century. The island is now a heritage site to preserve the many European-style buildings and landscapes.
We next went to Baomo Garden in Panyu District. This garden was built during the Qing Dynasty in the Lingnan style to commemorate the Northern Song Dynasty official Bao Zheng. The garden unfortunately was destroyed in 1957, but then was rebuilt. When we visited the garden numerous cherry blossoms and roses were flowering around the garden. The sight and smell were quite lovely.
From Baomo we walked a little bit to visit Nanyue Garden. This garden was opened in 2009 and is an example of a modern Lingnan garden. In the middle of the garden is a large artificial hill with a variety of plants and waterfalls. While smaller than Baomo Garden, all three of us thought it was aesthetically amazing. One of the special features of this garden is the ceramic decorations on the walls and roofs of the various structures inside the garden. They’re exquisite and intricate.
The last thing we did before heading to the train station was to visit Shawan Ancient Town. This town is roughly 800 years old in Panyu District. We enjoyed walking around the narrow alleyway and lanes to see the different buildings and to stop and have some snacks as well.
From the town, we traveled north to Guangzhou South station. Everything went smoothly and soon we found ourselves back in Shenzhen.
Visiting Guangzhou was a nice way to spend the weekend. The sheer number of blossoming flowers was a spectacular experience!