South China Botanical Garden

The South China Botanical Garden is a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. Boasting a stunning collection of rare and exotic plants, this attraction is also a center of cultural learning and scientific research. Visitors are free to photograph gorgeous blooms, learn about slash and burn cultivation and create a piece of traditional pottery.

The garden was first built in 1929 and began its existence as Sun Yatsen University's Institute of Agriculture and Forestry. Today, it is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Many scientists and researchers still work here and regularly publish scholarly titles based on their findings.

With so many unique and interesting displays, the garden is high on most tourists' "must do" lists when visiting the nearby city of Guangzhou. The garden is divided into three main sections: the Research and Residential Zone, the Dinghushan Nature Reserve and the Nursery and Exhibition Zone.

The Research and Residential Zone

In this zone, visitors will find the fascinating herbarium that houses some 1,000,000 plant species, many of which are quite rare. This is also the zone that houses cutting edge laboratories where scientists conduct research connected to biotechnology, plant resources and other academic disciplines.

The Dinghushan Nature Reserve

Formed in 1956, Dinghushan is considered the oldest nature reserve in China. Approximately 2,400 distinct species of plants are cultivated here, of both tropical and sub-tropical varieties.

Also in this zone is the renowned Long Dong Magic Forest, which has been selected as one of the most scenic spots in the region. It encompasses two peninsulas that are known as the Relic Garden and the Palm Garden. The two are a study in contrasts, with the Palm Garden providing a display of evergreen trees and plants, while the Relic Garden reflects the changing seasons.

Also in this zone, visitors encounter "Guangzhou's Oldest Village", a recreation of a primitive settlement. Here, visitors can try out the ancient villagers' lifestyle by engaging in some of their typical daily chores and learning about slash and burn agriculture.

When it's time for a break, the village also boasts a number of tree houses that replicate the homes of ancient villagers and provide places for modern tourists to relax and rest their feet.

The Nursery and Exhibition Zone

This arboretum features some 13,000 plants and trees such as magnolias, orchids and rhododendrons. Altogether, this zone boasts some 30 categorized gardens along with an education hall and state-of-the-art conservatories.

Who Should Visit

Tourists of many descriptions are fascinated by the botanical garden. People intrigued by rare plants and photography flock here, as do people who are interested in scientific research.

Visitors with an interest in China's culture and history will love the recreated village, while children enjoy the Science Education and Information Center with its interactive exhibits.

Tips for Making the Most of a Visit to the Botanical Garden

Although it is a rainy season, visiting the botanical garden in March through mid-May is probably the best time of year for seeing the most species in bloom. The summer is also a lovely time to visit. However, the weather can be hot, so shorts, sunblock and hats are recommended.

Most summer visitors also find that their comfort is enhanced when they carry and use mosquito repellant. Also, prospective visitors should be aware that nearby Guangzhou hosts the Canton Fairs from April 15th to April 30th and October 15th through October 30th. The garden can become quite crowded during these fairs.

The garden is open year round, and visitors who make repeat visits in various seasons will find that the display varies greatly each time. On most days, the garden opens at 7:30 and closes at around 5:30.

Botanical Garden Location and Transportation

The garden is found about five miles north of Guangzhou in southern China alongside the Pearl River. It is accessible by bus, subway and taxi from the city.

Questions and Answers About South China Botanical Garden

Dilyana 2013-04-11
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Hi,My name is Dilyana and I will be for a day in Guangzhou on May 2, 2013. How can I get from the airport to the Botanical Garden by subway (metro)?Also, you list a lot of shopping places. I would like to know which one is the best for shopping traditional Chinese clothes like embroidered dresses, Qi Gong costumes, small children traditional clothes, traditional souvenirs. In general all traditional stuff.Also can I check on this blog the tours that are offered. I may want to book a tour.Thank you

Hi Dilyana, here is the map of Guangzhou subway for your information:

For shopping in Guangzhou, please check here:

For tours in Guangzhou, please check here:

Whitney Liao replied on 2013-04-15
Sasha 2013-03-04
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Hello.I am looking for nice park,or forest to go with family and kids for picnic and BBQ.Where its allowed to make a small fire?
Dear Sasha, Here are some options for reference. 1. Tianhe Park(天河公园) Address:No.270 Zhongshan Avenue, Tianhe District(天河区中山大道270号) 2.Xiaogang Park(晓港公园) Address:No. 146 Qianjin Road, Haizhu District(海珠区前进路146号) 3. Luhu Park(麓湖公园) Address:No.11 Luhu Road, Yuexiu District(越秀区麓湖路11号) Lussie Lu replied on 2013-03-04
Ana 2013-02-05
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Hi, I am in Guangzhou now. I am staying in Zhujiang New Town. How do I get to the Botanical Garden from here on the metro?
Dear Ana, It is about 13 km from Zhujiang New Town to the Botanical Garden. You could take line 3 subway from Zhujiang New Town station(珠江新城) and get off at Tianhe bus station(天河客运站). Then take No. 534 bus and get off at Sanbaosu station(三保墟站) where is about 500 m from the Botanical Garden. You could walk there or take a taxi. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-02-05
Gerardo Ossa 2012-10-06
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Hi Lynn Ye, my name is Gerardo Ossa and I am at Guanzhou now. Could you please tell me if can I go by using metro?

Hello Gerardo, can you explain your question more clearly? Where do you want to go and what is your starting point?

Simon Huang replied on 2012-10-08
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I updated this article on October 11, 2012
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