A Visit to Jade Lake Park

On April 25, 2012, in Beijing, Festivals, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

When you travel to Beijing, you will see that there are lots of parks offering locals and tourists enough opportunity for some outdoor activity, a walk around a lake, family time and a nice scenery to take pictures. If you want to learn about the country and culture you can get a lot of information on organized China tours where you can rely on the tour guide’s knowledge. For the less informative but more relaxing part of your holiday you might take the opportunity to visit Beijings parks. There are many parks with their own atmosphere, so they are not just all the same.

Yuyuantan Park (Jade Lake Park) is situated in the western part of Beijing and is surrounded by other places of interest such as the CCTV Tower west of the park or the Millennium Monument and the Military Museum close to the south entrance. Two man-made lakes build the center of this municipal park which is a great place to visit especially in spring time during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival starting towards the end of March. There are more than 2000 cherry trees mainly in the north western area of the park. Apart from the different types of cherry trees offering great scenery for pictures you will also find many other types of trees, including bonsais, and also rare stones in the park.

There are several entrance gates; the general admission fee is 10 RMB, half price for students. The park opens between 6:00 and 6:30 am and closes between 20:30 and 22:30 pm, depending on the season, and the last admission is at least an hour before closing time. It might seem annoying that you have to pay money to enter a regular municipal park but this guarantees that the park it very well cared for and it’s also less crowded than some parks where there is no entrance fee.

Around the lakes and most of all around the entrance gates you will find lots of stands to buy souvenirs, things for kids and adults, dried fruit and other snacks. And you will also pass several food areas where you can get all different kinds of warm and cold meals with tables to sit down to enjoy your meal. You can try out things like grilled scorpions which aren’t really typical for this area but still an experience for visitors. There is also a big variety of sweet treats from different countries, like ice-cream, churros, crêpes, sugar cane juice, cotton candy or fried durian fruit.

Currently the eastern lake is drained for construction but that doesn’t affect any of the other activities going on in the park, like for example photography contests or auctions of pictures. Of course, more people stay in the western half of the park because of the better view on the lake. There you can rent boats, have a picnic, do some outdoor activities, just go for a walk and enjoy the great view. Many Beijing hotels are in the vicinity of the big parks offering some nature just around the corner.

Jack Li

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