Hunan Forest Botanical Garden and Sakura Blooms

The Hunan Forest Botanical Garden is one of the few tourist attractions here in the ‘sha. I’ve lived here a while, but had never been because 1) it’s kind of way out there, 2) kind of expensive, and 3) kind of boring to anyone who doesn’t love plants. But this week the cherry blossoms (sakura trees) are in bloom and they only last a few days, so Seth and I headed out to see them.

The Hunan Botanical Garden (also called the Changsha Botanical Gardens) is 湖南省森林植物园 – húnánshěng sēnlín zhíwùyuán in Chinese and is located at 11 Hunan Forest Botanical Garden Road, Yuhua District长沙市雨花区植物园路111chángshāshì yǔ huā qū zhíwùyuán lù111 hào.  From Wuyi Dadao is only cost us 40 RMB to get there, but the taxi driver didn’t know where it was. Thankfully I had my iPhone with a map to show him where to go. However, we were unable to find a taxi driver willing to come all that way back into town to bring us home, so we had to take a bus back. That was annoying.

The garden was 80 RMB per person for admittance, which I thought was kind of high. I don’t know that it would be worth it any other time of year. The “garden” is mainly tulips. There are thousands of tulips of all different colors. 

But the main draw is, of course, the sakuras. Sakuras bloom and the flowers fall within a week, so you have to see them when you can. Unfortunately, it is rainy and dreary here right now, but the blooms probably would be gone by next weekend so we took the chance and headed out to see them. 
 They really were worth the trip. They were stunning. And with the little drizzle of rain making the petals fall a little bit faster than normal, it was just gorgeous. It looked like it was snowing.  If we ever get to go to Japan, I hope we can go while the sakuras are in bloom. 
There are a few other things to do in the park that all cost extra. There is a restaurant (the Sakura Club), a zip line, a golf club, a greenhouse where you can buy tulips, and a small animal park. 

I love any opportunity to take pictures of peacocks, but the animal park was small and depressing so I would recommend skipping it and heading out to the actual Changsha zoo to get your animal fix (that place is awesome).

Overall, without the sakuras in bloom I’m not sure the garden is worth the trip, but while the sakuras are in bloom, don’t miss it! You can see all our pictures of the trip (and Seth’s new purple hair), on our Facebook page.