At Shuangxi Park, a 2-hectare Chinese garden in Taipei, Taiwan, visitors can currently experience some of the best views of the surrounding beauty–by floating on giant lily pads.
An initial report by Metro announced that the lily pads would be made a tourist attraction during a special exhibition held by Taipei’s City Parks and Street Lights Office (PSLO). Only children and small adults are allowed on the plant, with a maximum weight of 140 pounds and a maximum sitting time of 60 seconds.
Originally from the tropical regions of South America, these giant water lilies are now part of the park’s traditions. While they do draw together large crowds of tourists and locals hoping to get a peek of the interesting form, the plants are rather difficult to grow.
Pests have made the process slower, along with other factors. A rare plant, the department can only allow a limited exhibition this year due to high temperatures and water shortage.
“Currently, the challenge in maintaining the giant Victoria water lilies here at Shuangxi Park is that there are many snails and that we have to fight off pests, for example–cutworms,” says Lin Chao-Chin, a Parks and City Lights Officer in an interview with Metro. “If we don’t fight them, the leaves would be cut off while they are still small. There would be many tiny holes in the leaves, rendering them unable to grow.”
While there are various factors contributing to the lack of the plant’s growth. Staff members of the park have reported that the water lilies grow to over five feet in diameter. A rare species, it seems as though the plant also has rare outcomes.
Regardless of the setbacks, the City Parks and Street Lights Office continues to hold several water lily-sitting sessions each year, with this year being its fourth. Only up to 60 people are allowed for each session. The first session begins at 9 a.m. with the second one beginning at 2 p.m.