Published: June 2nd 2010June 2nd 2010
Singing Bird Forest
There must have been at least a hundred of these caged birds hanging from trees singing loud and beautiful!
On Saturday, May 29, we visited the Shanghai Botanical Garden.
When we first entered the gate, I was drawn toward a forested area where I could hear birds singing very loudly. It turned out that there were cages hanging from the trees everywhere you looked! I found this on the internet about the birds : "The Huamei is a case in point. A thrush-sized bird, it is remarkable for two things: its head markings, which look like a painted eyebrow (huamei means just that) and its beautiful singing voice. It is one of the iconic birds of China. However, when googling “huamei” and trying to find a reference page about it, no references can be found in the first 40 page entries. Nearly all the rest are given over to a huge assortment of Chinese factories named after the bird, but the bird itself is nowhere to be seen." Each bird cage had little painted pottery food and water dishes.
As we continued walking, we kept passing men carrying cages, I assume that they were taking them to the forest, but I also read that the Chinese will take their caged birds for walks.
There were beautiful flowers scattered everywhere.
didn't walk through the Children's Garden, but in the front was a building with loads of pigeons and there was a lake where we watched a woman catch a good sized fish. There were people fishing throughout the park.
We had purchased the ticket where we had entry to the Bonsai Garden, Succulent House and the Tropicarium. There was a fourth thing, but we never figured out what it was for (written in Chinese).
The Bonsai Garden, which is Penjing in Chinese, was much larger than expected. I enjoyed it at first, but then it strated getting a little repititious - I would much prefer to look at flowers! When we were entering the Bonsai Garden, Leah was excited to find 2 cats!
We then went to the Chinese Restaurant, The Garden Palace, for lunch. It was very crowded, but we were seated in our own little room. We found things to order quite easily and it was very tasty - and a nice rest!
Then we went to the Tropicarium or Conservatory. I really enjoyed it there! There were beautiful orchids scatttered throughout the building, and as you can tell by all the pictures, I couldn't decide which I
liked best, so posted almost all of them! I was also excited to see a real pitcher plant! These are carnivorous plants and I was surprised how big they were! While Jim took a short nap, Leah and I climbed up to the observation deck.
Afterwards, we were all getting tired, so we rented a pedal car and rode through the Demonstration Garden. There were various topiaries and statues, it seemed like many of them represented different countries, but I didn't see any English explaining the garden.
In two different areas, we had passed pavillions with music. At one, a man who spoke English welcomed us and explained that the people were all retired and came to the park each morning to practice and perform their music together.
The Botanical Gardens are about 240 acres and we definitely didn't see it all! It would be so different at different times of year also, but we all felt it was a very enjoyable day.
There are more photos below