ALP – The Botanical Gardens of Hang Zhou

28 May
By Kenneth Cheah (Theme 5)

Having been to the much heard of 西湖, or West Lake of Hang Zhou, a few of our ZJU theme leaders had planned a second trip to an equally (if not much more amazing) to 西溪湿地, or the XiXi National Wetlands.
A short bus ride from the Zi Jin Gang campus, we soon found ourselves in the midst of a lot of greenery and beautiful Chinese architecture reminiscent of the period dramas we have all grown up with.

Met at the gates by the beautiful architecture

Directly in front of the bus stop, was a delightful lily pond, complete with a full biodiversity of many freshwater species.

Lily pond right below the archway

Here comes mistake number 1) I wore jeans to a wetland reserve, while the noon sun was directly overhead.
Apparently I wasn’t alone though, but there was a very pleasant breeze throughout the entire demarcated walkway, wide enough even for vehicles to pass through at certain times.
One thing I had noticed while there, was how many wedding couples there were. It felt very much like our very own Botanical Gardens / Gardens by the Bay, here in Hang Zhou!

When at a tourist location, just act like a tourist. Take pictures (:

There weren’t a lot of wildlife unfortunately (I’ll be honest, I half expected some form of a panda reserve having seen the amount of bamboo available), but for what they lacked in fauna, they made up for it in with flora.

Need the help of our Biology@SUTD team to identify these plants (:
**Updated: This is Thalia sp (Thanks to Jean Yong!)

It’s not all just a wetland reserve (unlike Sungei Buloh back home). It’s actually more of a tourist attraction, evident by the number of stalls set up throughout the park, along with their exorbitant prices for drinks to quench our thirst.

*Insert dramatic lens flare here*
Joshua preparing to join an eternal game of chess

There was in fact a river winding through the entire wetland, and there were “sampan” cruises available to take you throughout the entire park.

Rowing down a river

  At this point, I think I’ll let the images do most of the talking (: Do visit the place if you ever get the chance to visit Hang Zhou!

Like I said, more flora than fauna
Definitely an amazing chance to observe uh… Pollination (:
A walkway surrounded by freshwater plants
A closer look at how tall the plants are in relation to the visitors
More fauna…
Look how happy Delphine is!
A couple taking their wedding pictures. Like I said, it’s the Botanical Gardens of Hang Zhou
And a nice stalk of bamboo, taken for our favourite Biology Professor (:

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