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Showing posts with label Parks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parks. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Fufeng Pagoda, Mountain Climbing, and the Chongyang Festival in Zhongshan

One of the photos in the previous post which shared my excitement two days ago about seeing yet another rainbow in China included Zhongshan's Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔) in the distance. Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by Zhongshan Park and climbed Yandun Hill (烟墩山) for a closer view.

Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔) in Zhongshan


Had I been at this same spot when the earlier rainbow appeared, I believe I could have easily captured them together from there.

As with visits to the park in previous years, the tower was closed, so unfortunately I couldn't climb higher for a hopefully clearer view of the park's surroundings.

closed entryway to Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔)


I took another path down the mountain and was surprised to see apparently new netting which not only blocked access to the adjacent green areas but also several other paths.

Stairs lined with a rope net at Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


Stairs lined with a rope net at Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


People walking up stairs lined with rope netting at Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


I didn't recall seeing anything like that at the park before. The large numbers of police and China Militia around the park were also unusual.

But for anybody who was confused about the changes, there was at least one sign that explained the conditions.



They were due to the upcoming Chongyang Festival (重阳节 — Chóngyángjié), also called Double Ninth Festival in English. One of the traditional activities for the holiday is mountain climbing. The sign indicated people could begin their holiday ascent as late as half hour after midnight that night but would need to leave the park by 1:30 a.m. The park would later open at 6 a.m. on the day of the holiday and close at 6 p.m. Then the park would reopen at 5 a.m. the day following the holiday for normal operations. The sign also asked people not to light fires, smoke, or bring anything that could explode.

A little after 9 p.m. yesterday night I returned to the park and found one of the more popular entrances filled with people and lined with police.

Entry to Zhongshan Park at night for the Chongyang Festival in Zhongshan


From there, the path from there to the top of the hill was a lot more crowded than it had been during the day.

people on stairs at night in Zhongshan Park in Zhongshan


Other than the many people, security, and rope nets, there wasn't much else that was unusual at the park. I did meet some people under a tent doing some community service by highlighting the dangers of illegal drugs though.

informational display of illegal drugs


At first I feigned surprise that they were selling so many types of illegal drugs, but they quickly set things straight — perhaps an especially good idea with all of the police around.

This wasn't my first time to participate in some Chongyang Festival climbing. My most memorable experience was the time friends in neighboring Zhuhai invited me to take a night hike up Banzhang Mountain, which is a much more challenging climb and affords more open far-reaching views.

Zhongshan had other sites open this year for the holiday, such as Dajian Mountain (news article in Chinese), with higher climbs as well. But this year's holiday climb still had its charms. And now I have finally seen the Fufeng Pagoda up close at night — definitely no rainbows in the sky.

Fufeng Pagoda (阜峰文塔) with lights on at night in Zhongshan

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A New Scene at Ganzhou Park

Earlier I posted several photos taken at Ganzhou Park. I can honestly say that at the time I had no expectation I would still be in Ganzhou over a month later. Fortunately, and not unexpectedly, the additional time has allowed me to discover much, much more than I would have otherwise. So on that note, here is a view from a hill path I had not explored until yesterday at Ganzhou Park.

People underneath a large tree at Ganzhou Park in Ganzhou

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Following the Rainbow: A Pagoda, River, and Bridge in Ganxian, Ganzhou

A little over a week ago in Ganzhou, I saw a rainbowan uncommon experience for me during my years in China. Seeing the rainbow was all the more surprising because I hadn't noticed anything which made me think one was a likely possibility.

Later in the week on Saturday, I visited Ganzhou's Ganxian District (赣县区). A storm passed though during the afternoon, and as the rain subsided I thought it could be a prime opportunity to catch yet another rainbow. So I headed eastward down a tree-covered section of Meilin Street (梅林大街) to an intersection with a clearer view.

And there it was.

rainbow over Meilin Street (梅林大街) in Ganxian, Ganzhou (赣州赣县)


I hadn't ever seen two rainbows in such a short period of time in China. Looking further down the road, it appeared there might be some natural scenery to pair with the rainbow. So I changed plans and headed in that direction. By the time I reached the perimeter of Ganxian's most urban area, the rainbow was gone. Yet the view was still rewarding, and I spotted the Zhenxing Pagoda (振兴塔) in the distance.



Now intrigued by the tower, I headed toward it. Soon I was at the Gong River (贡水), the same river where I had earlier seen people observing the Hungry Ghost Festival in Ganzhou's Zhanggong District (章贡区).

Zhenxing Tower( 振兴塔) and the Gong River (贡水) in Ganxian (赣县), Ganzhou, Jiangxi


Nearby I spotted the Meilin Bridge (梅林大桥).

Meilin Bridge (梅林大桥) in Ganxian, Ganzhou


I then headed down to the riverbank where I took in more views and also saw construction work on a riverside walkway.

men walking on land sticking into the Gong River with the Zhenxing Tower (振兴塔) in background


construction of a walkway next to the Gong River near the Meilin Bridge in Ganxian


construction of walkway next to the Gong River in Ganxian


The previous time I saw a rainbow, I had to give thanks to a woman for the fact I saw it all. This time, I had to give thanks to the rainbow for bringing me to sights I would have likely missed otherwise. And I still ended up making it to my original destination, which I could fortunately appreciate even after the sun had set.

One more thing . . . While I had been walking near the river, there was a brief drizzle and a rainbow appeared once more. I wasn't in an ideal location during its brief existence. But nonetheless, I finally captured a rainbow in a more scenic Chinese setting.

Zhenxing Tower (振兴塔) and a rainbow

Friday, August 10, 2018

Lotus Flowers, Bridges, and a Sculpture at a University Pond in Ganzhou

Recent posts (here and here) featured scenes from parks in Ganzhou, Jiangxi. To continue the theme, below are a few photos taken on a rather hot afternoon at Bajiao Pond (八角塘) at the Jiangxi University of Science and Technology campus on Hongqi Road in Ganzhou.

lotus flower at Bajiao Pond (八角塘)


lotuses and a bridge Bajiao Pond (八角塘)


lotus flower at Bajiao Pond (八角塘)


curving bridge, sculpture, and lotuses at Bajiao Pond (八角塘)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Dancing, Cards, and a Liberation Monument at Ganzhou Park

A few scenes from Ganzhou Park in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, on a rather hot afternoon . . .

people dancing at Ganzhou Park
Dancing to music


people playing card games at Ganzhou Park (赣州公园)
Playing cards without music


10th Anniversary of Liberation Monument (解放十周年纪念碑)
The 10th Anniversary of Liberation Monument (解放十周年纪念碑)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Brooding at Jiuxing Crag in Yunfu

In a footnote for a post about some views of and from Yunfu's Jiuxing Crag I mention I chose to use the term "crag" in the translated English name because that is what the neighboring city Zhaoqing did for a set of hills with a similar name in Chinese. Reader Nicki commented:
Oooh, Crag. It really makes the place sound dramatic and broody. Nice!
On that note, at its summit Jiuxing Crag has a small pavilion with seating.

pavilion at the top of Jiuxing Crag in Yunfu


There are also more uneven places to sit, though perhaps less comfortable.

rock outcrop at the top of Jiuxing Crag


Both locations could serve well for some elevated brooding.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Climb Worth the Time: Views of and from Jiuxing Crag in Yunfu

As with Pingfeng Hill, according to a guide at Panlong Cave none of the hills most closely surrounding Panlong Lake in Yunfu have paths allowing a hike to their summits that doesn't require skilled mountaineering. The guide suggested if I wanted to hike up a hill to head to Nanshan Park (also called Nanshan Forest Park). It was a fine suggestion and somebody else recommended the park as well. But I would recommend Jiuxing Crag* (九星岩) first because of the views it offers located in the midst of the most central urban area of the city and its karst topography.

As an added bonus, it is closer to the Panlong Lake Scenic Area. Here is yet another photo taken there:

view at Panlong Lake including Jiuxing Crag


Jiuxing Crag is the hill behind some buildings on the left side.

Below are a set of photos taken from various heights on Jiuxing Hill during a hazy day. On the right side of the first photo is the hill which is to the right of Jiuxing Crag in the photo above. Pingfeng Hill is in the distance on the far left side of the second photo and far right side of the third photo. Unfortunately, the view of Panlong Lake is blocked unless you venture off the path into riskier areas. I refrained from venturing this time.

view from Jiuxing Crag (九星岩)  in Yunfu (云浮)


view from Jiuxing Crag (九星岩)  in Yunfu (云浮)


view from Jiuxing Crag (九星岩)  in Yunfu (云浮)


view from Jiuxing Crag (九星岩)  in Yunfu (云浮)





*I didn't find any official English translations of the hill's name. I went with "crag" since that follows the way neighboring Zhaoqing translates the names for a set of similar hills also identified in Chinese as "岩".

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Karst and Water: The Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu

The first thing that caught my eye as I arrived in Yunfu, Guangdong, was the incredible number of places selling various types of stone. The second thing was the karst topography in the midst of Yunfu's central urban area.

Soon I was photographing some it from my hotel room window. But the Panlong Lake Scenic Area which I had just passed is a more popular place to take in the karst views. It isn't as famous as similar sites in Guilin or neighboring Zhaoqing, but it has its own charms. And you can walk around the lake and hills for free.

I had planned to mention this scenic area earlier, but I ended up going down a rabbit hole trying to figure out what to call it English — more about that in a later post. The lake takes it name from Panlong Cave, which is in one of the hills surrounding the lake. More about the cave in another later post. A guide at the cave said it isn't possible to walk up any of the hills. But there is an accessible hill top not far away. More about that crag in yet another later post.

For this post, below are some photos taken on a cloudy and slightly hazy day as I walked around Panlong Lake in a clockwise direction. Yes, the sculpture in the last two photos is leaning to one side. And yes, there are ducks in the lake. But mostly, I share these to highlight more of the karst topography and some of the nearby urban areas in a city not familiar to most people outside of this region in China.



path at the Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


View from Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


path at Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


bridge at Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


Panlong Lake in Yunfu


people on boats at Panlong Lake


Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


Longzhu Island (龙珠岛) at Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


Yunfu's city center behind Panlong Lake


Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


sculpture at Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu


sculpture at Panlong Lake Scenic Area in Yunfu

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Working, Not Working, Traffic, and Sales: A Few Labor Day Scenes in Zhaoqing, China

Today was Labor Day (May Day) in China. And today I was in Zhaoqing, a prefecture-level city which borders my previous locations — Yunfu and Jiangmen.

As I have seen during past Labor Days elsewhere in China, today . . .

Some people worked.

Paifang Plaza


Some people enjoyed their day off work or school.

yellow bridge at Paifang Park in Zhaoqing
Paifang Park


Some people sat in traffic.

heavy traffic on Duanzhou 4th Road in Zhaoqing
Duanzhou 4th Road


And some stores had holiday promotions.

Jessy Line's International Worker's Day sale sign


Zhaoqing is a popular tourist destination in the region, and the increased crowds (and hotel rates) were easy to spot during the three day holiday period. More about Zhaoqing later after I first return to posting about Yunfu. For more Labor Day photos, see past years' posts featuring scenes in Shenzhen and in Yinchuan