In the southwest corner of the Zhangdian district of Zibo, the botanical garden is a massive park that we didn’t even explore fully in several trips. It is west of the train station, and we always entered through the east entrance. Unlike the other parks in Zibo, this park is further away from the city center, so it is less crowded and there is plenty of room to explore!
On one trip to the botanical garden, Landon and Owen played in the gravel for a long time, and then went off trail gathering sticks and discovering the wall that separated the garden from the railroad tracks. We saw a few kids who stopped to play with us, but it was not nearly as crowded as the downtown People’s park. Even though it’s a much longer run/walk, it was a great place where I could let my boys explore and be boys!
Of course, like all parks in China, the garden is full of green grass, trees, shrubs, and flowers. There are trellises and benches to stop and rest. This park has wide enough walkways for scooters, cars, and golf carts, so we had to be a little careful on the wide roads. There are so many paved paths to take through the trees, and almost of all of them are shaded. As far as amenities, I did not see any snack stands on the east side of the park. Restrooms were public squatters across the street. I would recommend visitors bring snacks, water and go to the bathroom before visiting.
In the botanical garden, we met our friend, Aya. Aya spoke really great English and made our last few weeks in Zibo so much better! She’s a performer that is employed by the railroad company. She just came up to us and started telling me how much she loves foreign children. She put some music on her phone and danced around with the boys, and then some other kids came over and Landon partner danced with this adorable little 5-year-old girl for 10 minutes! After we finished playing hide-and-seek with Aya, she took us home with her to have lunch and meet her family! She was such a blessing sent to us just when I was feeling a little sad about having to stay in China for longer.