Fairy Lake Botanical Garden
Situated in the east suburbs of Shenzhen, Fairy Lake Botanical Garden leans against Phoenix Tree Mountain which is the highest peak of Shenzhen. It covers an area of 588 ha (2.27 sq mi). Established in 1983, this is a multifunctional botanical garden integrating scientific research, plant species collection and display as well as tourism. In order to better develop the botanical garden, a plant sample exhibition hall, where over 70,000 samples are displayed, has been established.
There are over 7,800 species of plants in Fairy Lake Botanical Garden. Due to the abundant species and advantageous climate, the garden is divided into 17 Special Gardens. They are Butterfly Orchid Garden, Rare Plant Garden, Palm Plant Garden, Bamboo Garden, Peach Garden, Shade Plant Garden, Desert Landscape Garden, Aquatic Plant Garden, Miniascape Garden etc. The whole garden includes six main landscape areas including Paradise on Earth Area, Lake Area, Temple Area, Desert Landscape Area, Fossil Forest Area and Pine and Azalea Area.
Paradise on Earth Area
Paradise on Earth Area includes Shade Plant Garden, Butterfly Orchid Garden and Rare Plant Garden. Heavenly Pool is a part of this Area. The spring water of Phoenix Tree Peak flows into the pool. A legend goes that once there was a beautiful phoenix inhabiting a phoenix tree beside the Heavenly Pool surrounded by green mountains, and the pool with limpid water attracted many fairy ladies to bathe and play here. No wonder that people call it Paradise on Earth.
Fossil Forest Area includes Paleontological Museum and Peach Garden. First built in 1997, the fossil forest covers 20,000 sq meters (about 23,920 sq yd). There are over 500 fossil woods, which are introduced from Liaoning, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia. The fossil wood was formed in the Mesozoic era, when nearly all the trees were imbedded under the ground as a result of the movement of continents. After millions of years, these trees turn into fossil woods. As the world’s only fossil forest in ex-situ conservation, this is a good place to learn the origin and history of lives. The greatness and grandness of the fossil woods really give all visitors a great shock.
Paleontological Museum is a multifunctional museum which collects researches and displays the fossil samples of animals and plants. Looking from a distance, you can see the shape of the museum is like the skeleton of a giant dinosaur. It is in this museum that over 9,000 fossil samples are collected. The museum is divided into three exhibition areas: fossil wood exhibition area, animal fossils exhibition area and plant fossils exhibition area.
The fossil wood exhibition area, covering over 20,000 sq meters (about 23,920 sq yd), has a collection of nearly 800 pieces of fossil wood. These collections are mainly from Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, America, Indonesia, South Africa, and Madagascar.
The animal fossils exhibition area presents a large number of animal fossil samples from Rehe fauna in and around Hebei Province, Chengjiang fauna in Yunnan and Kaili fauna in Guizhou. The fossils include many animal species. Among these fossils, Zhanghe Beast Fossil is the treasure of this museum. This beast fossil uncovers the mystery of the early evolution of mammals and provides a basis to study the evolution of oviparous animals to zoogony animals. Besides these, several dinosaur fossils attract the interest of many visitors.
The plant fossils exhibition area mainly displays ancient plants fossils, including algae, fern, gymnosperm and angiosperm, showing visitors the plant eco-environment in the Mesozoic and Neozoic eras.
Fairy Lake Area
The Fairy Lake is surrounded by unique garden sceneries and rare plants. The attractive landscape wins great praise from visitors. The water in the Fairy Lake is also from the spring in the Phoenix Tree Peak. Sitting beside the lake, visitors can appreciate the sceneries and enjoy fishing.
Buddhism Developing Temple (Hongfa Temple) is located in the center of the botanical garden. In the south stands the Phoenix Tree Peak. And in the north lies the Fairy Lake. Buildings in the temple are splendid and refulgent. As one of the centers researching and spreading Buddhist culture, this temple attracts thousands of monks and Buddha followers each year.
Besides, there are other scenic spots in the botanical garden. Such as Sightseeing Pavilion, Dragon Tower, Jade Belt Bridge, Double-Harmony Pavilion etc. The botanical garden is like a botanical kingdom, in which numerous plants present unique charms.