Monday, June 08, 2009

Shanghai Botanical Garden

I recently went to the Shanghai Botanical Gardens with a local photography club. Although we went in terrible weather, I ended up finding it very, yes, picturesque. There were indeed a whole lot of flowers, and in general it was a nice park grounds.

I don't have a macro lens or extension tube that would allow real close-ups (although I've resolved to get one,) but I’ll quickly show a few photographs of the many flowers there:

The park is in the far south of the City, but it’s not terribly inconvenient: take the #3 line south, all the way down to Shilong Lu Station, which is one station before it comes to an end. From there, walk about five minutes south down Dongquan Lu, to the Park’s North Gate. It’s 15 kuai to get in. There’s also a more expensive ticket that grants entrance to special exhibits inside, but it makes more sense to just pay at the exhibit gate – the park is so large, I can’t imagine also going to all the special exhibits.

Although the grounds just go on and on, I thought the most impressive display of flowers was right at the north Entrance. There were also playgrounds for the kiddies, small bamboo forests, an atrium, Chinese-y pavilions that were popular with wedding photographers, and small ponds. The ponds were interesting, because people were out in force, fishing for crawfish!

Crawfish season is probably over by now, but it was crazy how it works. It was generally done as a two person job. The first person would hold chicken intestines from a rope on a stick into the water – and it was always chicken intestine, maybe that’s the cheapest meat, maybe it just stays on the line the best? The crawfish go after the meat, and a second person comes with a net and snags them. Although the fishing spots seemed over-crowded, some people were sporting huge bags of crawfish.

For those with an interest in hunting crawfish, my friend later told me, a better technique is just to use a flashlight at night, crawfish are attracted to the light. Fortunately for the crawfish, the park officially closes at 5:30, although the guards seem pretty relaxed about getting people out by then.

No comments: