The Mangrove Forest Nature Reserve (Hong Shu Lin)

It is a beautiful evergreen forest peculiar to the subtropical coastal area of Hainan. Despite the name, the trees here do not actually have red leaves. The bizarre thing about this coastal forest is that when the tide is in, the roots of the trees are surrounded by water, giving the appearance that the trees grow directly from beneath the sea. This aquatic environment is ideal for breeding fish and shrimp and the leaves on the trees here are also said to have medicinal value. This particular type of tree produces seeds which sprout and propagate within their own shell. Once they have dropped from the tree to the ground, they grow into flowers within one or two hours. If the seed falls into the sea however, it does not take root but remains alive for up to three months until it finds land to harvest on. Tide times vary according to season, but when the tide is in there are some really fun boat trips to be enjoyed, winding in and out of the tree trunks and then on to the tiny island nearby, ripe with pineapple trees.

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