A Trip to Guangzhou’s Panyu Baomo Garden

Baomo Garden Guangzhou

There are many things we like about living in Guangzhou – one of them is that we have an active CLO (Community Liaison Officer) who plans outings for us. All we have to do is sign up, pay some money, and step onto a bus and the rest is taken care of! We are taken to a great site, pointed in the right direction, picked up and whisked away to find something to eat, then someone drives us home.

It’s a great way to get out of the city and to see other ways of life. We often remark on how we live in “new” China with the high rises, glitz, and new wealth surrounding us. So, it’s nice to see another point of view every once in awhile. Sometimes the journey to the attraction is as much fun as the attraction itself!

A month or so ago, we went to Baomo Gardens.  Although it’s about 45 min – 1 hour away, it’s still in Guangzhou (this place is HUGE)!     It was built at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644 -1905) but was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in the late 1950s.    In the late 1990s, the garden was rebuilt according to the previous layout, with considerations given for size and quantity of people.

It is an incredible place – so many details to be discovered in roof lines, floor patterns, wall tiles, waterways, botanicals, stone bridges, pillars and relics. One thing that is interesting is that when China began the reconstruction of Baomo, many items that originally belonged here but were taken to other places were returned to the Gardens and now are on view.

In my mind, I must admit, that a garden would have more natural elements and less concrete…more of a blend of natural surroundings, highlighting blooming plants.  In other parts of the world, you see gardens where nature has been tamed, has been cautiously directed, or is just completely organic.

I would put this garden in a different category because the backdrop for the plants is just as, or more important than the plants themselves.  And there’s a lot of concrete, rocks, and hard surfaces all around.  I DO think it’s pretty…in fact, it’s incredible…. but I expected something different than what I found! :)

A Great Wall at the entrance of Bao Mao Gardens in Guangzhou.

A Great Wall at the entrance of Bao Mao Gardens in Guangzhou.

The entire garden was connected by streams and rivers, which were brimming over with huge and hungry koi!

The entire garden was connected by streams and rivers, which were brimming over with huge and hungry koi!

Funny translation situation.  I think the translator was from the South.

Funny translation situation. I think the translator was from the South.

Hanging around on one of the many bridges at Bao Mao Gardens.

Hanging around on one of the many bridges at Bao Mao Gardens.

I love this kid!

I love this kid!

We arrived on a Sunday morning and it was not very crowded until just about the time we left. We loved the peacefulness of this large, well planned space.

We arrived on a Sunday morning and it was not very crowded until just about the time we left. We loved the peacefulness of this large, well planned space.

Originally destroyed in the 1950s, the entire place was rebuilt in 1995 and many of the buildings look just as the originals did.

Originally destroyed in the 1950s, the entire place was rebuilt in 1995 and many of the buildings look just as the originals did.

I'm not quite sure how stalagmites and stalactites made it to the gardens, but alas there many of them all around!

I’m not quite sure how stalagmites and stalactites made it to the gardens, but alas there many of them all around!

We took a boat tour around the canals and were able to capture snapshots from the water!

We took a boat tour around the canals and were able to capture snapshots from the water!

The entire garden was covered in artistry - even the railings of the many stairs had different inserts depicting various aspects of Chinese life.

The entire garden was covered in artistry – even the railings of the many stairs had different inserts depicting various aspects of Chinese life.

Lots of Bonsai trees around!

Lots of Bonsai trees around!

Bao Mao has many artifacts in its traditional style buildings. This mural was incredible!

Bao Mao has many artifacts in its traditional style buildings. This mural was incredible!

Chinese gargoyles!

Chinese gargoyles!

Bonsai in bloom!

Bonsai in bloom!

The large lotus pond was adorned with large, golden Buddha.

The large lotus pond was adorned with large, golden Buddha.

A few soft pink lotus blossoms were opened....

A few soft pink lotus blossoms were opened….

....and a few were closed. Great expectations!

….and a few were closed. Great expectations!

I think Superboy was ready to be in a few pictures!

Love the outdoor hallways at the garden. Beautiful!

 

There are the smiles!

There are the smiles!

A warning sign in the Rose Garden.

A warning sign in the Rose Garden.

The inscriptions here are from the Thousand Character essay and four famous calligraphers from the Song Dynasty.  The essay is used as a children's primer in China to introduce both the Chinese characters and Chinese culture.

The inscriptions here are from the Thousand Character essay and four famous calligraphers from the Song Dynasty. The essay is used as a children’s primer in China to introduce both the Chinese characters and Chinese culture.

Wow - there were thousands of rose bushes!

Wow – there were thousands of rose bushes (and subtle pathways through the rows!).

More elements from caves now adorned with golden wrap around dragons!

More elements from caves now adorned with golden wrap around dragons!

Chinese_Bao_mao_gardens_guangdong_26

The boat house where one could have tea, listen to Chinese opera singers and “look out onto endless happiness”.

About 

Currently, I’m globetrotting with my family as my husband is a Vice Consul with the United States Foreign Service.

Our first post was Recife, PE, Brazil, and we arrived in August 2010. Upon arrival, our daughter had just turned four and our superbaby son had just turned three months.

During the summer of 2013, our family of four moved to Guangzhou, China, for a two-year post. Our daughter is seven and our son is three.

4 thoughts on “A Trip to Guangzhou’s Panyu Baomo Garden

  1. Maya

    Where did you find this CLO (Community Liaison Officer)??? We live in GZ and could really use one!! Thanks!!

  2. Maya

    Please please email me some more details about the CLO; I would LOVE to use one :-) (I wrote my email in this message). THANKS!!!

  3. admin Post author

    Oh sorry – I don’t know if I have been clear. The CLO I spoke of is an employee at my husband’s office. I don’t think she is available for outsourcing! :(

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