WHEN people talk about autumn scenes, what's the first thing that comes to mind? For many people, it's probably leaves in all their red and gold autumn splendor.
While there are amazing autumn displays in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and further afield in New England in the United States, we really don't need to go so far away, because the city has rich options to enjoy fall colors.
Shanghai Botanical Garden
Located in Xuhui District, and at almost 82 hectares, the Shanghai Botanical Garden is the biggest municipal-level botanical garden in the country. Since it opened to the public in 1978, more than 15 million visitors have passed through its gates.
Home to more than 6,000 species of plants, it boasts the largest number of tree species in Shanghai, making for wonderful autumn views.
When autumn approaches, species including the persimmon tree, the Chinese elm, the buttonwood tree and beech are among the first wave to reveal their autumn colors. Then, as the weather gets colder, the ginkgo tree, acers and the trident maple start to take their autumn hues. Dawn redwood, the Chinese pistache and pond cypress are the last to celebrate autumn, delivering the grand finale in December.
In the garden, each species is at its autumn best for a week or two. But as there's a continual procession of color, if you visit the garden in different weeks, you'll see the different scenes.
Address: 1111 Longwu Rd, Xuhui District
Admission: 15-40 yuan
Shanghai Binjiang Forest Park
While Shanghai Botanical Garden has the greatest variety of trees, Shanghai Binjiang Forest Park may well have the greatest number - of a total area of 120 hectares in the first-stage project, forest coverage is more than 90 percent.
Walking in the forest park, you'll see autumn colors anywhere: Dawn redwoods grow along the road; the No. 1 Fengyu Pavilion is surrounded by North American maples; in the Azalea Garden, more maples are starting to turn red.
The park also has a Leaf Appreciation Garden, especially for visitors to appreciate the beautiful autumn views.
Address: No. 3 Gaoshantan, Gaoqiao Town, Pudong New Area
Admission: 10-20 yuan
Jiading Ancient Gingko Park
This park was constructed to protect 10 ancient gingko trees at Xiaohekou area of Jiading District.
These are around 200 years old and 20 meters tall, and stand in an area of about 600 square meters.
When autumn arrives, these trees turn yellow very quickly, like an ancient emperor suddenly putting on his dragon robe. It's a rare and impressive scene in the city.
In Anting Town also in Jiading District there's another ancient gingko park.
While there is only one gingko in the park, at 1,200 years old it is the oldest tree in Shanghai.
And it's certainly worth a visit to see this venerable gingko - Shanghai's No. 1 tree - adorned in its autumn splendor.