The core of Santai mountain lies in the three peaks. But the charm of Santai Mountain Forest Park is more than that. The purple and romantic orychophragmus, the red and bright poppies (or Beauty Yu), the white and pure magnolia, the butterfly-like tulip, and the golden rape flowers… Press the pause button for your busy life and take a sightseeing bus at Santai Mountain. Just go through the forests, watch the flowers, and enjoy the moments of seven colors with a peaceful mind.

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Located in Suqian City, Jiangsu Province, Santai Mountain Forest Park is the largest natural secondary forest in northern Jiangsu. It is known as the “oxygen bar” and the “backyard garden” of the city. In spring, there is Natian Flower Sea; in summer, there is lotus flowers in the breezing winding courtyard; in autumn, there is love expressed by the red maple leaves; and in winter, there is plum blossoms in the snow. In every season and every month, Santai Mountain is showing its unique charm. And a trip to Santai Mountain during spring is definitely the best choice.

 

Jinghu Lake

The name of “Jinghu Lake” (Mirror Lake) is, as a matter of fact, related to Zen. It comes from the Buddhist verse: There is no bodhi tree, and the mirror is not a platform either. From the very beginning, there is nothing, so there is no reason to get any dust.” If you walk closer to Jinghu Lake, you’ll notice that it really looks like a bright mirror. Two horizontal and long likes divide the lake into several parts and the bridge with classical and delicate design spans on it. Standing at the southern bank of Jinghu Lake, you can see three beautiful peaks of Santai Mountain. The looming hills and trees are not as magnificent or grand as the famous mountains, but they still show unique charm. Not far away, there is Tianhe Tower, the highest point of Santai Mountain. It is the best place to have an aerial view of the mountain. The copper bells hung from the tower eaves are making clear and echoing sounds, creating extraordinary atmosphere.

 

Seven-color “Natian”

 

When you leave the Jinghu Lake, an ocean of seven-color flowers will immediately come into sight. This is the famous Natian Flower Sea. The best angle to appreciate the beautiful scenery of Natian is still the bird’s-eye view. Only in this way can you understand the original thoughts that inspire the designers. The undulating hills are divided into a dozen of flower fields of regular shapes, with each of them planted with one type of flower. As the result, different fields bloom in different colors. An aerial view from the top will show that the different blocks of flowers are well organized and together form an impressive view, just like the Futian clothing (Kasaya) of monks.

 

Natian has its different colors as the four seasons change from the rich variety of flowers. The red poppies, the yellow sun flowers, the blue sages, the purple willow verbena, the orange rudbeckia, and the pink tulips……From the mid-February to the late March, the plum blossom is the only flower that blooms to welcome the spring; in early April, the hills all pink all over with cherry blossom and peach blossom. When it comes to mid-to-late April, the place will be complexly taken over by the poppies.

 

In Suqian, there are stories behind the flowers, which are even more vivid and touching. Legend goes that Xiang Yu was defeated in the battle of Gaixia, Yu Ji, Xiang Yu’s wife, did not want to live alone in the world, so she killed herself and her blood soaked into the soil before a bright and red flower bloomed. In memory of her, the later generations call this type of flower (poppies) Beauty Yu. In the days when Beauty Yu bloom, taking a walk on the hills which are decorated with dazzling colors including red, white, yellow, pink, and so on, is nothing but romantic.

 

Another impressive sight is the gorgeous “Rainbow Bridge” that spans across Natian. It is a 2.3-kilometer pedestrian bridge. The color of the bridge body changes accordingly to the flowers below. If you find it a bit challenging to walk the entire bridge, you can also take the “little train” in the scenic spot.

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