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March 25, 2016

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Blooming wonders of nature

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AS the mercury rises and spring fills the air, the scenery in suburban Jinshan District comes alive with blooming flowers. March and April are said to be among the most colorful months in the countryside, so it’s time to take off that heavy winter jacket and get out and about to enjoy the wonders of nature.

The district is celebrating a flower festival until May 8, which is already attracting urban day-trippers who seek a getaway.

“The whole Jinshan District is covered in a sea of blooming flowers these days,” said Zhang Yajun, director of the Jinshan Agricultural Committee. “So just throw yourself into this big sea and enjoy spring.”

Visitors can expect spring blossoms, trees, plants and local fruits such as fresh strawberries ripe for picking.

Flowers include sakura, rapes, peach blossoms, magnolia, jasmine, orchids, tulips, pears and begonias. The scent in the air leaves no doubt that spring has finally arrived.

The almost 12-kilometer-long Jinshi Road is the core area to view this feast of flowers as it is flanked by dozens of gardens, orchards and farmer bistros.

This year, east of Jinshi Road, a pear flower garden is open to the public. Until early April, the snow white flowers are expected to be in bloom. During summer, the garden will be filled with big, juicy Jinshan pears, waiting to be picked.

Peach flowers are expected to blossom around Tomb Sweeping Day (April 5) through mid-April.

The pink sakura blossom is short-lived, and is expected to wither around April 8, according to the local agricultural committee. The committee predicts that begonia flowers will bloom until May 10, rapes until late April, and tulips until the end of May, while orchids will last until April 25.

As it is also the season for strawberries, visitors can roll up their sleeves and go pick the juicy fruits in one of Jinshan’s 18 strawberry farms. “Because the temperature is climbing and the production is increasing, the price will fall,” Zhang said.

Luxiang Town is another good choice to appreciate the spring flowers. Often described as the area’s “green lung,” the town boasts more than 667 hectares of green land, including 20 hectares of ecological forests and 20 hectares of trees.

The town this year introduced six new breeds of peach flowers from Zhengzhou, Henan Province, which are expected to bloom until the end of April.

Homespun cloth is classified as cultural heritage in Luxiang’s. Visitors can watch how elderly women work on the old-fashioned weaving machines and also take a look at a homespun cloth painting called “Four Seasons,” which, at a length of more than 107 meters, made it into the book of Guinness World Records last year.

In the idyllic, traditional Fengjing water town, you can take a boat and watch the local scenery pass by. One of its biggest highlights is the town’s farmers’ painting, which depicts local farmers in bold, bright colors.

In nearby Langxia Town, tourists can dine at the farmers’ bistros and try some of Jinshan’s authentic delicacies, such as fried rice with diced pork, steamed tofu with eggs and red-braised fish as well as various dumplings and rice cakes.

How to get there:


• Luxiang Town Flower Belt

By public transport: take the Jinshan Railway at the Shanghai South Railway Station. Get off at Jinshanwei Station. Shift to Zhuqianwei Bus Line and get off at the main scenic area at the Jinshi Road N. and Zhulu Road.

You can also take the Lianlang Bus Line at Lianhua Road Station of the Metro Line 1. Get off at the gas station at the Jinshi Road N. and the Zhulu Road.

By car: take S19 Highway at Luxiang Exit. Drive on Rongchang Road and turn right on Zhulu Road.


• Langxia Town Flower Belt

By public transport: take Lianlang Bus Line at Lianhua Road Station of Metro Line 1 straight to the terminal station.

By car: take S19 Highway and get off at Zhangyan Exit. Drive along Jinzhangzhi Road to the east and turn right at Qinwan Road. Go along Qinwan Road to the south and turn right at Caolang Road. Drive west on Caolang Road and you will reach the core flower belt.

You can also take G15 Highway and get off at Jinshan New City Exit. Drive along Songwei Road S. to Caolang Road. Turn left and go west.


• Fengjing Town Flower Belt

By public transport: take Fengmei Bus Line at Jinjiang Park Station of Metro Line 1 to the old town.

By car: take G60 Highway and get off at the Fengjing Exit. Turn right on Tingfeng Road and drive to the west.


Some recommended flower sites:

Langxia Ecological Park (9133 Caolang Road in Langxia Town), Jingguan Peach Garden (3088 Wanfeng Road in Fengjing Town), Home of Peach Flowers (818 Jinshi Road N. in Luxiang Town), Agricultural Tool Museum (3003 Jinshi Road N. in Luxiang Town), Ma’s Peach Base (at the junction of Jinshi Road N. and Yangping Road).


For more information of the flower festival, you can dial the hotline 5795-1234.


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