It’s that magical time of year when nature comes alive again. For urban day-trippers, it’s time to shake off the torpor of winter and embrace the exuberance of springtime. And what better place than Jinshan to breathe fresh air, enjoy rural tranquility, and delight in nature’s palette of seasonal blossoms.
The coastal district becomes a sea of vibrant color in spring as it hosts its flower festival from late March to May 8. Visitors can expect to see spring blossom and flowers, plus fresh vegetables and strawberries ripe for the picking.
Every town and virtually every farm house will be showing off its horticultural skills for the occasion.
As one of the biggest agricultural centers in Shanghai, Jinshan boasts more than 2,000 hectares of orchards and some 1,300 hectares of rapeseed. And in spring, peach, cherry, pear, camellia, magnolia, orchid trees, roses and tulips are either in bloom or about to blossom, transforming Jinshan into a giant garden.
Festival venues include Luxiang and Fengjing ancient watertowns, Jinshanzui fishing village, as well as the picturesque Langxia Village, famed for its idyllic countryside views. The suburban district has planted around 1,333 hectares of rapeseed, which bloom into blocks of gold at this time of year. Flowers are also blooming around farmers’ houses, paths and riversides.
Around 200 hectares of pear trees and 1,000 hectares of peach trees will be in bloom through mid April. And 2,670 hectares of flowering milk vetch and golden cauliflower have been planted. Golden rapeseed is found in the fields of Langxia Town, while pink peach and white pear blossoms line a stretch of Jinshi Road, separated by patches of golden cauliflower and milk vetch in bloom.
Urban day-trippers can pick fresh, juicy strawberries from Jinshan’s 11 agricultural centers, and sample original Jinshan cuisine and spring specialty snacks in a host of farmer bistros. Other highlights of the festival are a photography/short video contest open to both professionals and amateurs, a farmer’s painting competition, a flower arranging contest, the debut of a horticultural documentary, various folk arts such as the dragon dance and farmers’ songs, as well as displays of Jinshan’s agricultural produces.
The flower festival ties in with the 2015 Shanghai International Flower Exhibition, whose Jinshan branch venue is in Luxiang. And to nurture the next generation of flower fans, children can learn about horticulture from botanists on hand during the festival.
Recommened tourism options
CULTURAL tour: Agricultural Tools Museum — Donglin Temple — Fengjing Ancient Town — Chinese Farmer Painting Village
The route includes Jinshan’s signature cultural attractions and the roads that link the sites are lined with rapeseed or cherry, peach and pear trees.
Farming fun tour: Agricultural Tools Museum — Strawberry Research Center — Langxia Ecological Park — Zhonghua Village
Visitors can learn about historic agricultural tools, pick fresh strawberries at the research center, have fun playing traditional village games in the ecological park, go fishing in the river, and after all this exertion enjoy an authentic home-style dinner in Zhonghua Village.
Beach tour: Agricultural Tools Museum — City Beach — Jinshanzui Fishing Village
Visitors can enjoy the sea breeze, stroll around the small fishing village, and chow down on some delicious seafood.