On this visit to the Botanical Garden I decided to go in the morning so that I could have more time to explore the expansive gardens.
It was a gloriously sunny day for January, and it was like I had never been before because it was, quite literally, seen in a different light.
This time I was able to visit one of the temples inside the garden.
It has a handy stone-carved map at the entrance.
This opens up to a spacious courtyard with a refreshing view of the city in the distance.
There are cable cars going up to Wanshi peak but I chose to walk.
And what a walk it was! I did not think it was possible to have another brand new adventure, that there could be such endless expanses in such a small island.
I had the special privilege to be able to stare at this beautiful tree for as long as I wanted.
The higher courtyard in the temple is complete with the wafting scent of incense,
lotus flower tiles on the floor...
and a hushed atmosphere.
The Wanshi peak is right behind this temple, and the climbing path offers a more beautiful view at every turn.
The peak itself is an abruptly noisy and crowded place, with a cafe to serve all the people coming up on the cable cars.
The path leads on from the peak and broadens into a wider road overhung with vines.
After this there is a cactus garden with a very large but very cosy greenhouse.
And finally a the familiar walk back past the lilly-pond stage, radiant in the brilliant sunshine.
My very first sight of spring blossoms in China, a first glimpse of what I am sure will be the most beautiful season of the year in China.