March 9 Lianhuashan Park, Shenzhen

On Saturday afternoon, Jeff and I went to Lianhuashan (Lotus Hill) Park in Shenzhen. I have been to this park more than any other park in the Shenzhen area. This is because it is easily accessible by subway from Longhua, and it is in the center of the city. Lianhuashan Park is one of the most popular parks in Shenzhen. There are several reasons; the most popular being the stunning city view from  the top of Lianhuashan. It is also well known for Kite Square, a big grassy area where many local people go to fly kites on nice days.

The last four times when we visited this park, we entered it by the main south gate. This time, we decided to enter it from the north. We should have looked at a map first. It turns out that there is no park entrance on the northern side of the park. We had to walk one quarter of the distance around the edge of Lianhuashan Park to get to a small entrance on the west side of the park. The view from the western entrance was not spectacular or impressive in any way, but I took some photos because it does show that this is a “city-center” park. In the photo below, you can see apartment buildings under construction in the background. There is a blue fence around temporary portable housing units on the left side of the photo. This is where migrant construction workers live while they are working on a project. You see these temporary housing units everywhere in China!

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View near the western entrance of Lianhuashan Park

There are always lots of families and children in this park. In the photo above you can see a couple pushing a child in a stroller, and a man and his son looking at newly planted trees on the right.

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Newly planted tree near the west entrance of Lianhuashan Park

There are usually street performers (mostly musicians) here, too. This woman is playing a         erhu on the side of the main road that winds gently up to the viewpoint at the top of Lianhuashan. This is a nice, fairly easy climb up along the road. Or you can take several nice paved trails with steps up to the viewpoint. Even taking the road up will not take you more than about one and a half hours. You can get to the top using the paths in less than one hour. This is the other reason why Jeff and I have come to this park so many times. On Saturdays when he can leave work a bit earlier, we have enough time to get into Shenzhen and climb up Lianhuashan before having a nice dinner in the city.

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Woman playing an erhu alongside the road up to the viewpoint at the top of Lianhuashan Park

The erhu is a two-stringed, bowed musical instrument. It is sometimes called the “Chinese violin” or a “Chinese two-stringed fiddle”. It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles and large orchestras. It is the most popular of the huqin family of traditional bowed string instruments used by various ethnic groups of China. It is a very versatile instrument, and is used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements. It is also often played by musicians in parks in China.

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Flowers blooming in Lianhuashan Park

It is definitely spring here right now in Longhua, and flowers are blooming everywhere.

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Jeff on the trail going up to the viewpoint from the north side of the park

We took the trail up to the viewpoint from the north side of the park. This trail is less steep than the trails going up from the south side of the park. It also takes longer to climb up to the top, so that is why we have not taken it in the past.

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View of downtown Shenzhen from the northern trail going up to the viewpoint

These trails are not only nicely paved; they are pretty. They have rocks embedded in the cement in beautiful patterns.

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Jeff standing on the trail next to a nice rock design in the cement

The Chinese like to put portable (flowers in pots) arrangements in their parks. I am standing next to a nice one near where the trail intersects the road in the park.

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Ann standing next to a flower arrangement in Lianhuashan Park

Here is a photo showing the view from the top of Lianhuashan. This photo is looking towards the Civic Center in downtown Shenzhen. This beautiful arch looks like a bird getting ready to fly.

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View of Shenzhen looking towards the Civic Center from the top of Lianhuashan

Here is another photo of the view from a different angle. There were lots of flowers in pots around the fence at the viewpoint.

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Ann at the viewpoint on the top of Lianhuashan

There is a very famous statue of Dengxiao Ping overlooking Shenzhen at this viewpoint. He is considered the founder of this special economic zone in Shenzhen which was responsible for the city’s growth and prosperity. He is revered in Shenzhen for this decision. This is one of my favorite statues because I love the way that he is depicted walking forward, as if he is too busy and has too much to do to pose for a monument!

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Statue of Dengxiao Ping at the viewpoint of Lianhuashan Park in Shenzhen

It was near sunset when we got to the top of Lianhuashan. We stayed until after the sun had set, so Jeff could get some sunset photos. This is my favorite of the photos that he took, as the sun sinks into the western horizon next to two tall buildings in Shenzhen.

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Sunset photo taken by Jeff from the viewpoint on top of Lianhuashan

We took the trail down from the viewpoint, and left the park by the entrance that goes toward the Civic Center. This is not the main entrance, so I did not take any photos of it. We came down this way because I wanted to walk under the arch. It is enormous, too big to fit into a photo when you get up underneath it!

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Looking up at the arch near the Civic Center at night in Shenzhen

One of the amazing things that you can see in Asia is the “light shows” that many buildings display at night! These buildings have lights have are programmed to turn colors in many different patterns at night. Many of the buildings in downtown Shenzhen do this with their lights. I like the pattern of lights on the side of this building. It is displaying a Chinese knot pattern. The lights are actually red, not yellow, but they look yellow in my photo.

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Building in downtown Shenzhen displaying lights in a Chinese knot pattern

Here is another photo of Shenzhen buildings with their colorful lights at night. Many of the lights on these buildings were changing their colors and patterns, but that doesn’t show up in a photo. I am going to need to learn how to upload video or link to it so I can show some of these nighttime building  light shows.

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Buildings in Shenzhen at night

Here is a photo of me at the Vietnamese restaurant where we went to eat dinner. It is located in Link City. Link City is the big underground mall connecting the Coco Park (a big, expensive shopping center) subway station, and the Futian (Civic Center) subway stations. We discovered Link City when we were looking for open restaurants right before Chinese New Year when almost everything near us in Longhua was closed. Link City is a great place to eat because it has many inexpensive restaurants. Shenzhen has lots of great restaurants, but most of them in the downtown area are expensive.

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Ann getting ready to eat dinner in a Vietnamese restaurant in Link City

This photo is not of an “only in China” moment, because it could likely take place in many other countries! These four guys were part of a road crew that was getting ready to repaint the crosswalk in front of the entrance to Century City, where we live. I guess the traditional white lines of the crosswalk are not a good thing in China, as white is the color associated with death and sorrow.(Walking across the street in the path of death and sorrow?) So they were supposed to  repaint the lines red. What the three guys are standing around looking at in this photo is the large glob of red paint that they have accidentally put on the man hole cover. How to deal with this? After I took this photo, they tried to scrape it off. Then Jeff and I left to go on our outing to Lianhuashan. When we came home that night we could see how they solved their problem. The just decided to paint the entire man hole cover red. We now have a red crosswalk with a large red “eye” on one end in front of the entrance to our complex! They also repainted all the other crosswalks red between our complex and the subway station.

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Road crew repainting the crosswalk red in front of the entrance to Century City

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