Honghu Park

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November 19th 2022
Published: April 2nd 2023
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While looking for things to see and do in Shenzhen, I came across the graffiti wall at Honghu Park. There was only limited information about it and all several years old, so I didn’t know if it even still existed. However, the park looked nice, so it would be a nice place for a stroll even if the wall was no longer there. The park is really accessible too as it is only a short walk from a couple of metro stations. I got there around 9:30-10 am and there were a quite a few people there, but it didn’t feel too busy.

I’d read that the graffiti wall was at the back of the park so made my way there. I think the directions I’d read where from the main entrance, which I hadn’t used. So I just made my way there by following the path around the edge of the park. The first part I walked through was pretty meh as there wasn’t really anything to see. That changed as I got further into the park and I came to a pretty little stream, which had stepping stone walkways across it. I liked the view with all the greenery and flowers of the park and then the high-rise buildings in the background to remind you that you were still in the city. It was nice because the buildings weren’t too close so it didn’t feel like they were encroaching on the park. The park also had some small modern glass structures and viewing platforms in it.

I headed up onto one of the viewing platforms and got some views that weren’t amazing. Just across from here, I could see two small blocks of flats, I presume that these were workers accommodation. I think it would be a really nice place to live with the park on your doorstep. I kept walking and followed a path that was popular with joggers, lots of people were getting their run in before it got too hot. There was a little river at the other side of the park, separating the park from the business and/or residential area near it. Also, across the river was the graffiti wall. I have to say that on first impressions I wasn’t too impressed. There wasn’t too much graffiti and it was mainly old and faded. The bridge across the river was also gated and locked up making accessing it impossible. I wasn’t sure if this was a Covid measure (since Covid is the reason/excuse given for anything and everything) or gentrification was occurring and graffiti is too counter-culture. I was making do with the glimpses that I got until I was greeted by a giant hedge that blocked my view across the water. Great!

However, there was a really nice lotus pond area so that made up for the disappointment that I felt. There were lots of little walkways across the pond and I spent a good while wandering around there taking photos of the different coloured lotus flowers. The flowers looked beautiful and I enjoyed photographing them as none really looked the same. There were a few other people there, taking photos too but it wasn't crowded and you didn’t have to wait long for someone to move so that you could get a good shot. I also liked the little stone all with cut-out windows. They added an extra element and made the pond look prettier.

I managed to catch some more glimpses of the graffiti wall as I walked on. In the park, I saw a traditional bridge that was rather tall and steep and a traditional style gate, which I liked. The views of the river and the surrounding area were nice. I liked being able to see the graffiti and the tree lined walkways offering shade, and then in the distance some tall buildings and then a huge one further behind. It had these giant spires poking upward into in the sky. By the river, shaded by the trees were some platforms, so I wandered onto a couple of them to take some photos. These seemed to be multi use with people doing fishing from them or exercising. I saw a sign warning that the river was used for sewage and not to paddle in it. Gross!

I saw some people walking along on the path in front of the graffiti wall and this made me hopeful that it wasn’t closed off. I came to an entrance/exit of the park and headed over the bridge there to the graffiti wall. I was so happy that it was open and stretched in both directions. I decided to walk along the side I had see from across the river first. The first section was nice and bright, like the pictures had been done fairly recently. I really liked the cat holding a face mask, very apt. I didn’t have a clue what some of the pictures were. The further I got along, the older the graffiti art looked, as it was faded and peeling. I also liked the small Bart Simpson outline and the Hello Kitty wearing a gas mask. I enjoying walking along the river, too. I was quite amazed at how much life there seemed to be in the place with people fishing from the banks, others out in the water, dogs and their owners out for a stroll and even delivery drivers riding along the path.

I headed back and to the other side of the graffiti wall. I liked the woman with the big hair with a speech bubble saying ‘Don’t look at me!’ Further along there was a small Buddhist shrine in front of two pieces of art. I wasn’t sure if it was there specifically for the art or another reason and I guess I will never know. There was a picture of a golden Buddha on black stone and an urn with incense sticks in it. There was a box of incense sticks just beyond it, semi hidden by the pillar and it made me think that they were there all the time. Just beyond the pillar was some cleaning equipment and I wondered if the incense belonged to the cleaner. Maybe they were appalled by the bits of nipple on show or didn’t appreciate the demonic face? A few steps further on, and there was a security guard sitting chilling. I wondered if he was there to act as a deterrent. It was really quiet though, I only saw one couple walking along this side. My favourite pieces on this side were the penguin and the vases. I liked the simple and bold colours of the vases, and the penguin was just cute. I also enjoyed watching the river, and see what looked like a tractor ploughing through it. At the end of the main graffiti wall, there was a bridge crossing the river. It had a gate on i all locked up to stop people using it. However, it proved to be an ineffective deterrent as I saw one old man, and an old woman with her grandchild squeeze through and climb over. Just past the bridge the graffiti wall came to an end. There were a few pieces here, but they looked older and weren’t as interesting

I made my way back to the entrance and headed back into the park. I took a walk around the lake. It’s bloody huge. I enjoyed the walk though. It was nice to see everyone out and about getting their exercise in or fishing with their pals. I was actually surprised that there were so many people fishing as I didn’t know it was so popular here. The views across the lake were nice. I liked the trees that were growing out of the water and the birds that were sitting on them. However, I’ve been back later when the trees were more autumnal in colour and it looks even better then. It was a bit strange to see an intersection right there above the lake with its pillars going down into the water, but at least it was covered with flowers so you couldn’t see the traffic on it. After making my way around the lake, I headed for the exit as I was tired. I really enjoyed my visit to the park and know it will a place I will revisit.

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