After a few weeks exploring our new stomping grounds of Huafa New Town, I’m itching to get outside of the safety zone of our expat-friendly area.
So this morning, deciding to throw caution to the wind, my partner in crime and I set off on a big adventure!
Ironically, we ended up about 10 minutes drive down the road.
But an adventure is still an adventure, even if it’s at your doorstep.
Ever since moving to Zhuhai, the tropical city’s beautiful, deep-green mountains have been like a siren’s call – beaconing to be climbed.
So after asking our friendly Zhuhai Expats forum where to go hiking, Zhuxian Park, came highly recommended.
The park’s name, Zhu Xian, which roughly translates to « immortal feet » apparently lends its name to the legend of a monk, who practiced Buddhism there, barefoot, before reaching immortality.
Sadly, while hiking, I didn’t find my Nervana (despite having a thorough look) but I was still delighted by the bamboo forest, filled with hidden treasures at every turn.
There are Buddisht temples for worshippers to pray for good fortune, statues of Buddha (in different forms) and statues of Chinese diety, a golden and a silver dragon, and boulders etched with red Chinese characters.
These enormous engraved boulders also hold another legend.
Some believe a Chinese civil servant, who’d had enough of government corruption, said goodbye to his old life, to spend the rest of his days hidden in these mountains.
With his newfound, and ample supply, of spare time, he began writing poems with his friends, carving them onto the surrounding rocks.
Statues aside, there are also many natural wonders along the walk, with enchanting scenery and beautiful butterflies of every size and species dancing overhead. There are also a few Australian-sized funnel web spiders, dancing much less.
Walking through the park is very peaceful, with a surprising lack of other visitors, even with today being a weekend.
Perhaps the masses are kept away by the heat, but I’m told tourists swarm to the spot during springtime, when the parks’ pink peach blossoms unfold into impressive bloom.
Address: Zhuxiandaong, Wanzai, Zhuhai
The park is located just behind Huafa Century City, between two mountains and beside the Zhuxian Dong water reservoir.
To get there you can either hop on bus number 30*, or for 10 yuan take a 10 minute taxi ride to the entrance gates.
Follow the beautiful treelined road up to the ticket booth, and pay the entrance fee: 15 yuan for adults, 10 yuan for kids.
Another 10 minute walk up a tree-lined path, with rainforest weepers on either side, will lead you to a fork in the road (See red star). Here you will start your trek!
To the left, where the red arrow points, are temples and statues galore. To the right, peach blossoms and walking tracks.
*Bus lines 5, 14, 60 & 61 will also take you to Zhuxian.
What to bring
Although the forest canopy provides shade in parts, the walk is largely uncovered and so can feel a little steamy.
- So bring a cap, water, and 50 plus sunscreeen. You can even bring an umbrella. Everybody’s doin’ it.
- Insect repellent. You’re in the tropics and in mountainous forest.
- Water. You will sweat more than a crowded spin class.
- Camera. The scenery is pretty enchanting, to say the least.
You may also meet some friendly farming folk, like us, after wandering into their vegetable patch during their lunch.
Or one of these amazing workers (below) hiking through the forest.
The park’s downsides are that it is oppressively hot and mosquitoes are in excess, but with all the park’s enchanting views and things to see, it’s easy to stop scratching, and grin a wide, sweaty smile.