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The Botanical Gardens in Shenzhen, China

Written by Daniel Otero

Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens needs more than just trees

By: Daniel Otero



After travelling across the globe and experimenting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in New York to the Kew Gardens in London.

I decided for the recent-modern metropolis of Shenzhen.  Hoping to find some peace and tranquility in this small city, but one with international flavour.

Doing a trip from Hong Kong (experimenting also with the gorgeous likes of Diamond Hill), I decided to experiment and try my luck in Luohu.

There was the metro service ride on Line 1 into the next stop of Guomao. There was exit E and with this, to find the bus number 220 in front of Luoshan Primary School.

For just two yuan, I received a taste of the Luohu District and from this point rode the bus.  Noticed a sprawling city which easily imitated Hong Kong.  It was a nice ride till the end of the line and terminus into the Park.

For 15 RMB got into the Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens (仙湖植物公园) and walked.

To be honest, well decorated, with pathways and trees.  However, some parts and for the first 500 meters, I was disappointed at the Park’s over construction and noisiness.

The walk was a nice exercise that snaked up a hill into the Gardens. However, when I looked left and right, beyond the construction.  It was just too much noise and not the peace I was hoping for.

There was more over construction of tunnels at a distance, in China’s desperation to be number one.  But at what cost?  When you’re all sacrificing beauty and lack of quality.  There was also plenty of people spiting on the path and places where heaps of rubbish concentrated. There wasn’t any Park personnel there to monitor and I found a lack of consciousness.

Because after all, people came here to be in contact with nature and get away from the stress of city life.

Finally, after a little while and passing the first 500 meters, it was when the Gardens simply got better!  With a Lake to admire its flowers, Bonsai elements and the next 500 meters would be the treasure to enjoy relaxation.

The Hongfa Temple (弘法寺) was my direct destination and here, although recent [since 1992], is an attractive Temple for the senses.  For me, to enjoy the spirituality and be in contact with the Buddha.

When I came down from the path about two hours later, I felt better about the place. I’m not trying to downgrade the place or knock it, but there’s a certain lack of quality for such an area that’s supposed to put you in contact with nature.

The Garden experience left me 50-50.  I didn’t particularly liked nor disliked it.

I thought what the Park needed for such an important area is more people guiding/monitoring the premises; therefore, people taking much more care of the grounds.

For a mountainous forest called ‘Botanical Gardens’, the noise levels needed to be controlled.  It was all, a bit too much!

To be sincere, if these two problems aren’t corrected, I won’t be returning or recommending the Fairy Lake to anybody anytime soon!

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.