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You will find this park easily walking along the main commercial and shopping street of Ganzhou, Wenqing Lu.
It is great to observe what the locals do in these recreational spaces. Yep, going to the park is the new rock and roll. And for me, the elderly have always been the people I've wanted to speak to most whilst living and working here. Well if you can't beat them (or speak Gan dialect), join them.
Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn, observe the well looked after horticulture, huddles of excited conversation, dancing or shadow boxing or the group of me that gather on a Saturday afternoon with birds in cages.
Written Mar 6, 2013
Address: 64 Wenqing Road
The Science and Technology Museum is an odd array of Chinglish and feats of science explained through interactive models and displays. Great for children, students or field trips. Some interesting methods and installations but not comparable to other science museums around the world which I have visited.
A small entrance fee (approx: RMB25). Take any forms of ID, especially Chinese ID as you'll receive lower student rates.
Two exhibits worth mentioning: a planetarium (see photos) and a mechanical robot that plays a saxophone (see videos).
Updated Feb 28, 2013
Address: 黄金广场, Golden Square
A new world landmark?
Situated far away from the city centre of Ganzhou is this rather odd combination of engineering and backwater semi-rural suburbia, juxtaposed with the bizarreness and rapacious ambition of Chinese tourism.
The self-important notion of the city's new 'Harmony Tower' is brashly labelled as the world's tallest, mechanical clock. At 113 metres high the clock tower stands taller than Big Ben, two words almost every English student in China can utter. Next to it, at this riverside location, is a rather eerie take on Tower Bridge, at least in my opinion ... but you have to squint to see it. Really squint and there is no lifting system or guided tours of course.
As of November 2011, the park is far from completion - with the insides and mechanics largely completed, the English construction team have handed completion over to the Chinese and they seem to be rather dragging their feet. I eagerly visited recently during the mid-afternoon siesta-like downtime and found about three workers working on another building in the development. In the surroundings there will probably be shops and facilities and possibly some museum or exhibition space. It struck me (no pun intended) that it seemed an odd place to build such a gargantuan landmark in an area which is hard to reach by foot or public transport, however, it's only about a twenty minute diversion from the CBD. However, nearby you've got factories and neglected parts of the city, including some areas of very serious pollution and why you would want to show this off to tourists I am not sure. However, perhaps in the long term or twenty years time the areas around more than likely will be leveled to make way for new types of beauty in the city and for this city that fancies itself it will slip into place just fine.
It is difficult following China as a rendered drawing as much of the clipart that beautifies signposts and billboards does but if these are to be believed then I'm sure the architects have got it just right.
I am proud to say that the UK engineering team are Smith of Derby (follow the link below, it's an interesting read). Hopefully I'll be able to give a more thorough review in the coming year because like many open spaces, this one's a building site. But the clock is there, on time and chimes every thirty minutes: guess if you build a clock this grandiose it would be pointless to have it belling only every hour. It also means we can go home early if you're not prepared to sit around for a long wait. I tried to open up the doors and have a look inside the building and the downstairs floors but they are all locked and although decorated in a faux, Renaissance style Western look, the spray gold fixtures and fittings are currently gathering dust.
Updated Feb 28, 2013
Address: Yangming Road, Zhanggong, Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China
Asking around when I originally arrived here, most people told me there wasn't a museum. However, in the new Golden Square area, and rather cumbersomely named, stands the 'Ganzhou Museum of Cultural History and Urban Construction.
There are some interesting exhibitis taking in the cultural heritage of the region, particularly that of in nearby Ruìjīn [瑞金] and Lǒngnán [陇南]. Ganzhou cities history is also briefly documented with reference to the Song period and surviving architecture.
There is one must see inclusion however. On the ground floor, (to the left hand side of the main entrance) is a large room with a to-scale model of Ganzhou, placed under glass tiles. There is an inspirational audio visual display that runs (I know on weekends, Saturday afternoons at hourly intervals). Other days of the week, not sure. The video lasts about fifteen minutes and outlines the vision of Ganzhou in 2020. The plans are typically breath taking and rapid. The rate of change is simply unbelievable and perhaps beyond the realms of the majority if it's inhabitants but that is what is going to happen, like it or not. From the city's main drag on Wenqing Lu, watch as complete new districts in the city are realised such as the Hong Kong Industrial Zone and Higher Education sector. Even after seven months of living here, there are still things to see and if you made it as far as the museum try not to miss this installation.
The rest of the museum is unremarkable with much better museums in other cities, but as far as a small third-tier city it's not bad. Fairly small and easy to complete in an hour or more. Free entry.
Updated Feb 28, 2013
Address: Golden Square Area
Visible from almost anywhere in the city, a walk up to the top can reveal some interesting views of Ganzhou as the city expands and swallows up the rural areas beyond it's perimeters.
This is a newly built structure so don't expect any travel firsts or rare artifacts. Illuminated every night, it can look rather charming. Ironically during the day however, I suggest you pack a torch because there is minimal lighting inside the dark staircases and some very threatening turns and steps. It is really rather dangerous and you must feel with your feet and arms until your eyes adjust.
The surrounding gardens and plants are definitely worth a look and it's a great place for a summer picnic.
Written May 2, 2012
When it all gets too much and you are craving familiarity, peace or quiet escape to the sanctuary in the newly developing part of town. 'Italian Best Coffee' is an Illy franchise situated in the new Mixes Mall. Keep going from 9 Square, and tucked behind Ganzhou Athletics Stadium and library is the new Mixes Mall. There is multiplex cinema and some other establishments specialising in food, computer equipment and drinks, including Day One and a branch of Coodoo (for Apple gear).
Wi-fi available here, English menu's, various coffees and flavours on offer. A really cool place to hang out and recharge. Teas and coffees from about RMB20 upwards. Very Westernised and pleasant English speaking staff. Five stars.
Written Dec 11, 2011
Address: The Mixes Mall, Ganzhou
Tong Tian Yen is one of the premier attractions of Ganzhou. A charming area of countryside and cradle of culture contrasts with this rapidly diversifying city, about 10km north of the city. Tong Tien Grotto or Rock is the largest collection of cave inscriptions in South China. There are 359 stone Buddhas mostly preserved from Tang and Song dynasties. Inscriptions of poets and writers speculate on the philosophies of religion. These cliffs and their art are therefore dated at around 900 years old.
This was a beautiful place from which to observe Autumn colours, getting amongst the hills, pavillions and trees - looking back onto the cityscape at times. Witnessing Autumn is not an easy task in built up areas of China so if you are around during seasonal changes this is good place for a stroll and more.
Updated Dec 11, 2011
Bao Hu Lu is a theme park the north side of the Zhangjiang River in the city of Ganzhou. It can be reached by the number 18, 109, or 118 buses.
As with many public attractions in China, this dated theme park needs a little love and is somewhat dilapidated but for a small city attraction there are worse places you could and probably have visited. Some more modern rides sit here with a small-to-medium sized rollercoaster, 'Swinging Arms', 'Rolling Hammer' and majestic 'Skycraping Wheeled Machine': that's the large ferris wheel you can see along Ganzhou's riverside and from several viewpoints around the city.
There is RMB10 entrance fee after which individual rides and attractions charge different amounts. I visited for the first time in November at the end of a day. It is difficult to anticipate seasonal variations in these lesser known attractions so there were things that weren't open/running - expect the unexpected. For a park area and place to watch the world go by having if you've exhausted all other options in the city, give it a try.
Written Nov 5, 2011
Address: 105 National Road, Zhanggong, Ganzhou
Near the confluence of the two rivers in Ganzhou there is a Song Dynasty city wall that spans most of the eastern section of the city's waterfront. Buses running to the more busy market areas on Zhongshan Lu can be seen below, but there are really fantastic peaceful spots to get away from the beating heart of the city. To the other side of the river you can see the observatory, clock tower and the mountains that make up Ganzhou's rural perimeter.
Dotted along the wall, which can be enjoyed from up on top and below, there are also a number of pavilions and temples from the Ming and Qing periods. The mandatory resting spots and senior citizens partaking in a number of eyebrow raising acitivities best at peak times of the day, but there's always recreation here, great!
Beyond Bajingtai, heading away from the city centre you'll come across some antique and snack stalls. If you spot these it's a good idea to come off the river path and check out what's across the other side of the street as this area of Zhongshan Lu contains some of the old town where there are some of the most beautiful hutongs and ancient details I've seen in China. Turning one corner can unveil roads that seemingly haven't changed in a hundred years. It can come by complete accident that you are gifted with these views into people's lives, indeed their houses. They look at you with the same awe you've got for the period features going on way above eye level.
Written Oct 15, 2011
Address: North and east edge of the city centre
In the Tongtian hills, you find statues and inscriptions from the Tang and Song dynasties. This is the main concentration of sculptures of South China. No comparisons with Mogao (Dunhuang), Dazu or Datong, but they have a lot of charm. You can walk freely, take pictures without being disturbed by touts or large groups of tourists.
The sculpture are quite in good state. Their red colour in the green vegetation makes the visit a pleasure.
Written Apr 15, 2008