Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beijing Parks

Kneeling fansBeijing has many beautifully landscaped parks dotted around the city, often associated with famous historic places of interest. The parks usually provide respite from the bustle of Beijing, or in some cases a refreshing look at crowds of people relaxing Beijing style.

While the parks can be particularly stunning during spring as fresh blossom blooms or spring bulbs burst into flower, some people may not enjoy sharing the experience with a large proportion of the city’s population.

Xiangshan (Fragrant Hills Park) offers a magnificent range of colour during autumn, enjoyed by what seems like millions of the local populace.

Painting chinese charactersThe hike to the top takes about one hour or there is a chair lift if you are happy to queue.

Meishan (Coal Hill) also known as Jingshan Gongyuan (Prospect Hill) offers great photo opportunities of the Forbidden City, the world’s largest palace.

Open daily 6am-10pm. 5rmb.
1 Wenjin Street, Xicheng District

Behai Park

A former imperial park to the north and west of the Forbidden City is well worth a visit for spring blossoms and classical landscaping. Small boats can be hired to travel across the lake.

Open 6am-10pm. 10-20rmb.

Temple of Heaven JammingMany of the parks are a place to watch the locals, particularly those who have retired, relax and interact with each other. They engage in a wide range of activities, some traditional and others less so.

The group at right is playing traditional instruments at the Temple of Heaven park.

Photo Credits

All photos by Russell Uebergang

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