Find peace in these less-visited parks

From: Shenzhen Daily

While Shenzhen citizens are blessed with many free-entry public parks not far from their homes, they sometimes have to compete for a spot to take photos because such popular destinations as Lianhua Hill and Shenzhen Bay are always so crowded, especially when the sunshine is bright on a weekend.

Here we offer readers with the alternatives of four less-visited parks. Not that well-known, perhaps, but just as beautiful, with good facilities and unique charms.

Lixin Lake. San Shi

Lixin Lake Park (立新湖公园)

A natural lake in Fuyong, Bao’an District, Lixin Lake, with the additional function as a backup reservoir, enjoys the nickname of “Shenzhen’s Mini West Lake.” It covers about 120,000 square meters.

The clear lake, with green mountains and luscious plants reflected on its surface, is a refreshing scene amid the city’s hustle and bustle.

Sheltered bridges dot the paths, providing visitors with places to rest and take in the fresh air and view. There is also an elevated hiking trail, where even the most anxious soul will find peace and solace after taking a stroll.

How to get there: Metro Line 11 to Fuyong Station, Exit D (地铁11号线福永站D出口)

Xuezhujing Park. Liu Xudong

Xuezhujing Park (雪竹径公园)

Previously known as Xuexiang Park, this gem hidden in Longgang District is built by a reservoir and therefore has the fantastic scenery of mountains and the lake.

Visitors can hike the mountains or take a leisurely walk by the lake, surrounded by orchid trees (Bauhinia variegata) in full bloom in spring. The pink clouds of flowers attract many shutterbugs each year from February to early April.

Halfway up the mountains sits Suyun Tower, the highest building in the park, where people can climb up and take in the panoramic view of the park and its luscious surroundings.

The park is family friendly, as children can spend all day having fun at the playground, equipped with swings, a huge sand pool, a jungle gym made of ropes and a steel frame, and a trampoline.

Fans can also use the tennis courts, basketball courts and table tennis tables at the sports center in the park.

How to get there: Metro Line 10 to Xuexiang Station, Exit C (地铁10号线雪象站C出口)

Xiangsilin Park. File photo

Xiangsilin Park (相思林公园)

At the foot of Bijia Mountain and by the side of Silver Lake, a community known for the first villas built in the city, Xiangsilin Park has literally been the “back garden of the wealthy.”

Not far from the east gate of the park, visitors can hike or cycle on a double-decked trail surrounding the lake, taking in the refreshing views and experiencing a gentle breeze along the way.

A 15-minute uphill walk will lead to a big lawn, where people can camp, picnic or just let their children run around for fun.

How to get there: Metro Line 9 to Yinhu Station, Exit A, then cycle for 1.7 km (地铁9号线银湖站A出口骑行1.7km)

Baishawan Park (白沙湾公园)

Those with a passion for cycling or hiking can visit Baishawan (White Sandy Bay) Park in Baguang, Longgang District.

In addition to its 1,200-meter-long seacoast, the multiple hiking trails in the park provide a superb experience of hiking by the seaside. On the sandy beach, people can collect shells and hunt for crabs. It’s also a pleasant experience to camp by the sea. Following the coastline to the northeast takes people to Xiaogui Bay in the neighboring city of Huizhou.

Facilities in the park are also new and complete, catering to the needs of families with children. Visitors can buy snacks and other things at a 7-Eleven convenience store in the park.

Those interested in history can also explore Yanzao, a nearby ancient Hakka village. Some 50 uninhabited yet well-preserved traditional Hakka buildings and an occasional folksy sculpture in the lanes await history buffs to explore their stories.

How to get there: Bus B988 to Baguang Coastal Campsite Station (公交B988路至坝光海滩营区站)