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Friday, February 7, 2014

THE PARKS AT THE HEART OF BEIJING: ZHONGSHAN AND JINGSHAN PARK


Beijing Parks are a wonderful place to relax away from the noise and the traffic. Although not so well know they offer a wonderful variety of plants and flowers to admire. 


"Seen from a distance, it seems that the skyscrapers of modern Beijing are respectfully leaving enough space to the old Beijing not to suffocate the old buildings of the Forbidden City and its surrounding parks".



Beijing is one of the most polluted cities in the world, famous for its monuments, but unfortunately also for its traffic and its smog.

This said it is also true that Beijing has very beautiful and monumental parks.

Two of the most beautiful parks in Beijing are just in the heart of  the town at walking distance from the famous Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square:  Zhongshan Park and Jingshan Park.

Zhongshan Park

Zhongshan Park is just next to the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing.

It is a wonderful place to rest away from the traffic and to see a beautifully kept park with many interesting plants, some shade and some times some local music too.

Zhongshan Park is one of the oldest parks in Beijing.

There are 612 Ancient trees in Zhongshan Park and the majority of them are cypresses.

They were planted when the altar of land and grain was built at the centre of the park during the Ming Dynasty around 600 years ago.

The seven trees outside the Southern Gate of the altar are 1000 years old, hence called "Liao Cypresses".

Locals are chatting around the little paths of the park or are practising sports outdoor, including a very scenic dance waving their fans in rhythm and stopping sometimes in difficult postures as statues or if under a spell.

It is amazing to look at this people of different ages, sex and background practising with so much love and interest this wonderful dance.

Zhongshan park is situated at the side of the Forbidden City and it has a wonderful collection of rare orchids in the little lighthouse at the side of the park.

It is a recommended sight if you are going to visit Beijing.

Read below about Jingshan park.

The gate at Zhongshan park, notice the ancient trees at the right side of the gate.

At Zhongshan park do not miss the wonderful collection of rare orchids.

More wonderful orchids at Zhongshan park.



Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park is part of the Forbidden City, but today it is necessary to buy a different and separate ticket to access it.

Jingshan Park is the name given to the old Imperial gardens, now divided from the Forbidden City by a large avenue that cuts in two this wonderful place in  Beijing.

As Zhongshan Park, Jingshan Park is also a very interesting park to visit if you are in Beijing.

Chongzen, the last Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, hanged himself in this park in 1644 when the peasant uprising army led by Li Zichen broke into Beijing.

The huge pagoda is the highlight of the park offering breath-taking views on the Forbidden City.

From higher up the Forbidden City looks even more imposing than when you visiting it.

Seen from a distance, it seems that the skyscrapers of modern Beijing are respectfully leaving enough space to the old Beijing not to suffocate the old buildings of the Forbidden City and its surrounding parks.

The huge tower at Jingshan Park. From the top you can enjoy wonderful views above the Forbidden City. 

Tea tasting. A wonderful experience, but some times also a tourist scam to overcharge tourists.
I guess the tea tasting at Jingshan Park is half way between a tourist attraction and a tourist scam.


Are you planning to travel to China?


Read my page My China Project where you can find the list of all of my posts and the destinations covered in this blog in China.

Read also the page Visit China and the page What to know before to travel to China.






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