the guangxi medicinal plant garden

Saturday, October 18:  This afternoon, I go on an expedition to The Guangxi Medicinal Plant Garden.  My apartment at Guangxi University is on the northwest side of Nanning, and this garden is on the northeast, so it is quite a haul to get there.  I showed the Nanning map to my students on Friday to ask about a bus, and they told me it would take an hour on the 66 from the university main gate, or 1 1/2 hours on bus 44.  I checked out a map and figured out if I went to the university’s west gate, I could catch a taxi and take the expressway.  That would be a lot faster and thus worth the extra cost.

Little do I know the expressway will be clogged.  We’re stuck in traffic much of the way, and of course the meter is running the whole time.  It costs me 45 yuan (~$7.34) to get there.  Oh well, if I go back again, I’ll try the bus.

The taxi driver doesn’t know where the entrance to the garden is; he drops me in the middle of conglomeration of garden shops.  I have to walk quite a distance from here to get to the entrance.  On the way, I pass these crazy sea urchin sculptures.

some crazy statues I pass as I make my way to the Medicinal Plant Garden

some crazy statues I pass as I make my way to the Medicinal Plant Garden

I pay the entry fee of 15 yuan (~$2.45) and go in.  There are apparently all kinds of medicinal plants in the garden, but I don’t bother to read most of the placards, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to give much information.  Surprisingly the signs are written in Chinese and English, so at least I could read them if I wanted to.  I’m more interested in just walking around in a park, away from the city, enjoying nature and taking pictures.

First I come to a long flight of steps with blocks balanced on their points.  I think the middle steps are supposed to hold a waterfall, but no water is running today.

I see some tall stands of bamboo beside a pond.

bamboo

bamboo

striped bamboo

striped bamboo

I try to get my bearings by studying a signpost, while a Chinese girl poses for her boyfriend in the background.

Vain Medicine Section Herb Section

Vain Medicine Section Herb Section

This sign calls the garden to the left the Vain Medicine Section, but another sign says it’s the Ethnic Medicine used by minorities in Guangxi such as Zhuang, Yao, Miao, etc.

Ethnic Medicine Section

Ethnic Medicine Section

Ethnic Medicine Section

Ethnic Medicine Section

pathways under trellises covered in vines

pathways under trellises covered in vines

It seems to me that this place is really just a big botanical garden that’s a little scruffier than ones I’m used to seeing in the West.

Entrance

Entrance

red buds

red buds

colored leaves

colored leaves

Click on any of the pictures below to see a full-sized slide show.

I walk under a really cool arbor tunnel covered with flowers and vines.

arbor

arbor

side view of the arbor

side view of the arbor

from inside the arbor

from inside the arbor

outside view of the arbor

outside view of the arbor

the arbor from afar

the arbor from afar

The far end of the arbor opens up to a butterfly garden.

There are a lot of beautiful plants and pathways and arbors to see, and although the garden is not perfectly manicured and maintained, it is quite pleasant.  It must be tough to exert control over a garden in a tropical climate such as this.  The garden just wants to grow wild.

rock carving

rock carving

pretty path

pretty path

It’s quite warm today, nearly 88 degrees and 75% humidity.  Earlier this week we had some cooler days, so I was hoping that summer was over.  I guess I was wrong.

curvy path

curvy path

girl with umbrella on curvaceous path

girl with umbrella on curvaceous path

dry creek bed

dry creek bed

The Rattan Gallery consists of a vine corridor 1000 meters long adjacent to a woody garden and an artificial lake.  Four hundred meters of this is paved with ancient boat wood.  More than 200 species of medicinal vine plants including flower vine, fruit vine, and vegetable vine are displayed on the corridor.

Rattan Gallery

Rattan Gallery

the artificial lake

the artificial lake

wood garden

wood garden

pretty flowers along the lake

pretty flowers along the lake

coral flowers

coral flowers

vine corridor

vine corridor

vine corridor

vine corridor

from behind the vine corridor

from behind the vine corridor

bridge back from the lake to the forest garden

bridge back from the lake to the forest garden

purple and green leaves

purple and green leaves

pathway bordered by whimsical white flowers

pathway bordered by whimsical white flowers

whimsical white flower

whimsical white flower

pretty colors

pretty colors

the pathway out

the pathway out

By this time, I’m hot and tired from all that walking, so I head out to the road and flag down a taxi.  This time there’s hardly any traffic and I make it home quickly for only 31 yuan.

Little by little, I’m learning about what Nanning has to offer.  It’s a huge city, so I doubt I’ll ever learn it all, but hopefully I can become familiar with a few areas.

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Categories: Asia, China, Guangxi Medicinal Plant Garden, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “the guangxi medicinal plant garden

  1. Looks like a vast space to visit Cathy, and you have taken some superb photos – I especially like the arbor, vines and that splendid butterfly. Another visit maybe, in the springtime?
    And happy birthday btw! Have a good one 🙂

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    • Thanks, Jude. I’m glad you like my photos. The garden was a little scruffy by Western standards, but it did still have some nice things. I’ll probably go back sometime when it’s cooler. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I’m hoping to visit a waterfall on the border of Vietnam. 🙂

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  2. The gardens look delightful, with so many unusual (to me) plants. The butterfly photos are marvellous.

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    • Thanks so much, Elaine. It was a good escape from the city and, though the reviews on TripAdvisor weren’t that great, I found it to have some charms. 🙂

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  3. Love the arbors, vines and array of flowers. I like the wild look, but don’t really have a sense as to how they grow and group the medicinal plants. Lookers like a beautiful place to get away to.

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    • Thanks Lynne. I liked all those arbors and vines too. It was a wild look; I imagine it would be hard to control the growth in this climate. It was a nice place to explore. 🙂

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  4. That old arbour is spectacular and what gorgeous plants and butterflies!

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  5. What a vast garden, and such interesting plants. The butterfly is too gorgeous for words! Happy birthday to you. 🙂 xx

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    • It was a huge garden, on massive scale, as everything seems to be here in China. I didn’t even cover the whole grounds, and I was sweating like crazy by the time I was done. I was surprised at the interesting things I found there; it seemed like it was going to be boring at first. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Sylvia. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love those crazy sculptures at the beginning 🙂 I thought when you started out it was going to be a rather boring garden, Cathy, but you have some lovely shots and plants as the post develops. Love the whimsical white ones and the vine corridors- never seen anything like that. And that oh, so Chinese entrance way! Your closeups of the plants are wonderful, Cathy.
    I forgot to say thank you for the ‘mention’ in your next post. Hope you’re feeling better today. Hugs xx

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    • Those were some crazy sculptures, Jo, and they weren’t even really part of the park; they were in a random area between where the taxi driver dropped me and the park. I don’t know what on earth they were doing there!

      Funny, I thought it was going to be boring too, and especially because I needed to make quite a trek to get there, I almost didn’t go through with it. I was glad to find it had some pleasant surprises, even though it was a little unkempt. Those vine corridors were really cool and crazy. There were so many throughout the park that I didn’t even photograph.

      I WAS feeling better Jo, especially after my Chinese class tonight, but then it was ruined by the news about having to work on a Sunday. It pisses me off!! If I had known this was going to happen, I might not have taken the contract.

      I used to refuse to work on weekends at the University of Nizwa, but here they will dock our pay or even fine us if we don’t do it! So irritating all around.

      I hope your week is going well. I’m off to watch Mad Men. 🙂 xxx

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      • Oh dear! Back to Mad Men! And even crosser women! 🙂 I read your other comment first, Cathy and I did look at flights. £500+ and then spending, etc so it’s really not likely that I’m going to be able to justify that to Mick, incredible adventure though it would be. I doubt it will happen, but I’ll keep my eyes open for deals in the New Year.
        That makes me quite cross too, Cathy! How can they dock your pay for not working overtime? That’s outrageous! It really is! It makes you wonder about this society that has come so far so fast. I’ve been watching a series by Simon Reeves and China does look fascinating but there are a lot of questions to be answered about the way ahead.
        Hugs, darlin. xxx

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      • That’s for sure, Jo! Mad men and a very cross woman indeed!

        Every time I’ve worked abroad I’ve encountered some kind of demand on my time that no one would ever require of us in the U.S. It happened in Korea, in Oman and here. I don’t like it one bit, but I guess its one of the perils of this business; you never really know what the practices of a place will be until they get you here. You have to think long and hard about whether to put up with it, or just hop on a plane. I guess it depends how often it happens, and whether you feel you’re compensated properly. Pros and cons.

        Wow, I know £500+ is a lot, but to come to China from the U.S. and back is around $1,600! So that seems cheap to me. It’s a pain for us Americans to travel anywhere because we always have to cross an ocean in either direction. If it works out, Jo, it would be great to have you, but keep in mind too that I have to work and only have a long break in February. Mike will be here for two weeks, so we’d want to coordinate so we could explore together. If Mike doesn’t want to go to Burma while he’s here, I will try to go during the time when he’s not here.

        It would be lovely to have you. Even if you came for a week during the school year, I could take you to Yangshuo on the weekend, drop you for the week, and then come back for you, or tell you how to get back here if you didn’t want to stay that long. 🙂 I think Yangshuo would be best in late spring, anytime after March. I’ve heard the Li River gets very low in winter and you can’t take the boat cruise down the entire route from Guilin to Yangshuo during that time. Hugs xxx

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      • Eeeh, Cathy- you have had an exciting life! The prospect of Burma makes my knees weak 🙂 But if you’ve traveled all that distance you may as well go a bit further. You and Mike will have an amazing time. I bet it seems far off but life rushes past, hon.
        I will keep it in mind, Cathy, but it’s a very long shot. Thank you for being such a lovely friend. 🙂 Hugs!

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      • Hugs back to you, Jo! 🙂

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