Shanghai in full bloom

PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A girl dressed in traditional wear posing for a selfie in front of a cherry blossom tree at the Gucun Park in Shanghai last Saturday.

The park, home to 12,000 cherry blossom trees, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The official Cherry Blossom Festival starts at the end of March.

The first wave of cherry blossoms flowered last month - about two weeks earlier than usual, and the earliest in nearly 20 years, according to Shanghai Botanical Garden experts.

One of them, Mr Zhu Jijun, explained that the early flowering is due to the "warm, mild temperature this winter".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2017, with the headline 'Shanghai in full bloom'. Print Edition | Subscribe