Shipping aside, Gaolan is place to relax, enjoy nature
That there is much more to the Gaolan Port Economic Zone than shipping and industry – for instance, health-oriented hot springs, distinct countryside, alluring islands, cultural history, and mountain fitness can be discovered merely by taking the bus.
The zone administration recently released a map showing five recommended tourist travel routes within its Jinwan District borders.
1. Alluring Island -- Hebao
Route: Hebao Village (荷包村) -- sightseeing deck (观景台) -- Dragon King Temple (龙王庙) -- Entrepreneurial Jungle (创业丛林地带) -- Da'nan Bay Beach (大南湾沙滩)
Hebao (meaning purse, likely because of the island's shape) is the southernmost and largest of several South China Sea islands encircling Gaolan Port. It has eight natural bays, plus 12 sandy and two rocky beaches. Da'nan Bay Beach, which is 4,000 m (4,374 yd) long and 200 m (219 yd) to 500 m (547 yd) wide, is the largest on any Zhuhai island. Visitors can swim, fish, play beach ball games, and gather around bonfires.
Take Bus K8 or 826-1 to Gaolan Port Building, walk 449 m (491 yd) to the Beiqi Road intersection and transfer to Bus 710 to the island ferry terminal.
2. Health-oriented Ocean Spring Resort
Route: Mysterious Island Theme Park (神秘岛乐园) -- Illusion Theatre (梦幻剧场) -- Fisherman's Wharf (渔人码头)
Ocean Spring Resort (海洋温泉度假村) in Pingsha Town was China's first National Demonstration Zone of Tourism & Leisure. It has several hot springs, thrill rides, aquatic activities, performances, culinary delicacies, and accommodations.
Take Bus 540, 826-2 or Z143 to Ocean Spring Resort.
Ocean Spring Resort
3. Distinct countryside
Route A: Taiwan Farmers Venture Park (台湾农民创业园) -- Green Fingers Farm (绿手指有机农园)
Covering 45,000 mu (7,413 acres), Taiwan Farmers Venture Park is located southeast of Pingsha Town and northeast of Gaolan Port. It is considered a prime choice for leisure, conferences, getaways, and agricultural experience. Planted are various fruits including ziziphus muaritiana (jujube trees), carambola (star fruit), strawberries, and guava shrubs, as well as galsang flowers and orchids.
The 300-mu (49-acre) Green Fingers Farm cultivates and processes ecological and safe vegetables, fruits, and livestock. It is also open to tourists seeking a close encounter with nature and farming experience.
Take Bus 204 or 540 to South/North Taiwan Farmers Venture Park.
Plantations [Photos courtesy nanfangplus]
Route B: Taiwan Farmers Venture Park -- Yitian Agricultural-Ecological Garden (一田农业生态园)
Yitian has areas for produce, animal and aquatic breeding, warehouses, and restaurants, and is suitable for ecological tourism, science popularization, and outward bound training.
Take Bus 541 or 605 to Nanshui, transfer to Bus Z132 to Beicun and walk 1,200 m (1,312 yd) to the garden.
4. Cultural history
Rocking cravings on Lianwan Mt (连湾山) date back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and are a cultural relic protection unit of Zhuhai. The inscriptions, engraved on granite, cover 4 sq m (4.75 sq yd). They reflect the geographical environment and social status of the time and confirm descriptions of bandit suppression in the Chronicle of Xiangshan County.
The mountain is situated west of the Jitman Bridge and south of Zhuhai Avenue.
5. Mountain fitness
Hiking enthusiasts are drawn to Ziji Mt (孖髻山), the highest peak in Pingsha Town. More than 90 percent of the 19,100-mu (3,146-acre) scenic spot is covered with non-commercial forests. There are small peaks on each side of its 319-m (349-yd) major peak, in the curved shape of a hairpin, which is where the name comes from.
The mountain is in Wenloushan Park just north of Pingsha Town.