Spring has arrived in Beijing, and that means the parks around the city are full of fresh blossoms, new flowers and budding trees. Amid these natural wonders are the throngs of tai chi practitioners. And although you can see sky scrapers in the background of every park you still feel a bit of a distance from city life, almost like sneaking away into another part of the country. The parks are distinctly Chinese, with pagodas, beautiful bridges and groomed shrubbery and trees.
Jingshan Park, behind the Forbidden City, is better known in English as Coal Hill. This park, although small, offers everything you desire from an exotic park. With the center of the park a giant hill, from the summit you can see all of the Forbidden City down below. A pagoda at the summit makes for a peaceful and religious location, while the back gardens are full of musicians and artists enjoying the quiet escape from the city that so surrounds Coal Hill.
Beihai Park is one of the most addictive gardens in Beijing. As a fee-for-entry garden this is less crowded but perhaps more majestic as a result. You won’t find the loud distractions that occur at many free parks and gardens in China. You’ll also find great little places to be alone, to find serenity and to escape the city. The park is centered on north lake, Bei Hai, with a large hill at the southern end that houses a pagoda. You can see the Egg, a massive theater in the southern part of the park. You can also watch wild and captive birds on the lake and stroll the back gardens in the north section of the park.
Chaoyang Park is the largest dedicated park in Beijing (see image). You’ll find rides, sports greens, lakes with boat rides for sale, and multiple other activities. It isn’t a place to go if you want to find nature, but more of a place where you go for entertainment. There are beautiful sections of greenery, but they will be full of locals enjoying the open space for kite flying, Frisbee or simply doing a bit of exercise.
These, amid other parks, offer a great escape for Spring time in Beijing, and are sure to be filling up as the weather improves.
Check out the Best Parks in Shanghai.