Fairy lake botanical gardens or XianHu is one of the best choices for a cheap day out in SZ. Located in Luoho at the foot of Wutong Mountain, this huge green expanse gives a perfect day time getaway from the busy streets and fast pace of Shenzhen life. It’s somewhere I’ve been a few times if I needed to clear my head and walk around some fantastic nature. Rated as a AAAA tourist site and opened in 1988 it is one of the well known places to see in SZ, and regulary features in the top 10 Trid Advisor things to do (I will review them all) in SZ. Bring water and snacks as there are not many places to buy these. Mosquito spray, sunglasses, sun hat and sun cream are also needed.
Now this place is HUGE. So be prepared for a lot of walking. I did around 14KM last time I was here. The entire park is well signposted and has maps everywhere so you can’t get lost . The start of Fairy Lake is a long uphill walk, which is beautiful but can be difficult. You can take the shuttle bus from the bottom to the top for 3RMB if you didn’t want to walk. I chose to get the bus up and walk down at the end. The bus stops at HongFa Temple, which is a great place to start your visit.
This is a wonderful little temple with cool traditional style architecture. It is a new temple built in 1985, but its in traditional style. Its very busy with people lighting candles and paying respect to Buddha. I especially loved the orange rooftops, reminded me of Beijing. The temple has over 40 buildings, including the following halls: Sanmon, Mahavira Hall, Hall of Four Heavenly Kings, Hall of Guanyin, Bell tower, Drum tower, Founder’s Hall, Dharma Hall, Dining Room, etc
Next stop was the butterfly and orchid garden. There’s a large collection of different flowers and orchids here of all sizes and colours, with butterflies flying round and even interacting with you, it gives a really nice sense of nature and relaxation, and of course lots of picture opportunities. After this I headed down to the lake itself. The park is called Fairy Lake so I would say it’s the most important part of the park. It’s a very big lake and its great to walk around, or go on a boat, see the fish and the ducks or just sit and think. Tucked away near here there is a great little coffee/tea shop. Perfect to get out of the heat and relax a while. After this you have the option to walk the entire lake, which is very relaxing. In fact there are MANY gardens and sections in this park including Cycad Conservation Center (苏铁保存中心) Magnolia Garden (木兰园) Rare Trees Garden (珍稀树木园) Arecaceae Garden (棕榈园) Bamboo Garden (竹区) Shade tolerance Garden (荫生植物区) Fruit Tree Area (百果园) Aquatic Plant Garden (水生植物园) Peach Garden (桃花园) Gymnosperm Garden (裸子植物区) Bonsai Garden (盆景园)
More than just a lake
As well as the lake and the temple there are other areas of the park worth visiting. There is the Desert Plants garden which has a large selection of cacti and plants from hot desert countries, not something you see too often in SZ so worth checking out. There is a small museum which holds a few dinosaur exhibits. Its very air conditioned and cool, but truthfully its seen better days and its very run down and dirty. Just outside the museum is the petrified forest. These old trees are millions of years old and were formed by volcanic ash. Definitely a great photo opportunity.
Best way to get here is get the metro to Huangbeiling station exit C then get the bus M182 for 6/7 stops. The LAST stop is XianHu. Park entrance is 15 RMB. Or simply use a didi.
I really recommend you visit Fairy Lake, it is just beautiful with so much colour, you really wont regret it.
Feel free to follow me on instagram joemacpherson0412