A Dragon in the City Jungle – Beijing 北京 (part I)

Hi everyone. How is Spring going wherever you are? Hope it is as I have here: blue sky and warm sun heating things up around you! OK don’t leave… I’m kidding, I know some of you still go through winter but at least take a look at today’s post would you?!

So, Sprin20161108_095220g. I dunno ‘bout you but this is one of my favorite season. Why? Because, growing up in Belgium, Europe, I only knew rainy depressing winter. Moving in Beijing,I kept the
depress
ing part, rainy days turning into polluted days though. I have to admit, I dunno which is worse…. Anyway, Spring always means temperatures rising up, sun shining out and cloudy days far behind. Flowers blossom and birds sing as we, human being, start smiling as the weather warms our heart. So yeah, Spring means happiness and laughs and almost the season of light clothing and sexy guys showing-off their body shapes and… I am loosing track!

Spring it is! And no spring equals the one I am going through right now IMG_20160327_154522and discovered a year ago when I came to China for the first time: big cities hide treasures. Hidden or advertised parks, amazing romantic spot in the middle of the urban jungle. Beijing is actually one of the best places to enjoy those sunny week-ends without planning a road trip to the sea. In this publication and others, I will introduce you to nice parks (公园gōngyuan in Chinese) and not only the biggest as the Temple of Heaven or the Summer Palace (which are parks you NEED to visit though). And today’s park will be one close to the Temple of Heaven:

Longtan Park –龙潭湖公园

Lóngtánhú Gōngyuán (you can translate it as “the Pool of Chinese Dragon”) is a quite large park located in the 2nd ring of Beijing, which means close to the town center. East of the Temple of Heaven, it is one of the largest urban park in this big big.. BIG city. I won’t start quoting Wikipedia or else, I will give you a link down below so you can actually figure out yourself how to get there, why and more about its history (not Wiki link though!).

Map

I visited this park on my first journey here. I landed in Beijing on March 14th 2016. After a couple weeks, obviously looking to get in the Temple of Heaven, my roommate and I considered looking around as the queue at the entrance of Heaven was unbearable because of the mass and the heat! So we started going east and found out this park randomly. Let me say that we weren’t disappointed! This park is so close to the city however so peaceful and obviously no crowd pushing you to get in or out. “un havre de paix” and natural beauty all over. A small warm wind of fresh air (at that point I haven’t experienced the so-feared pollution in Beijing). It was a gift and we were glad tourists weren’t there to ruin that afternoon.

Another friend joined us as we told her the Temple of Heaven is overrated and to crowded. We sat on a bench after a while watching the sunset as the lake in front of us reflected the buildings shadow cast by the last sunrays.

IMG_20160329_225952.jpg

You may think Beijing is only pollution, Chinese running all over the place and noise all around you. Let me ease up your mind: China is many things we, westerners, won’t ever agree on; still, China is magnificent: historically speaking, in matters of architecture beauty, and for its peaceful locations all over the big cities. Beijing, as traditional Chinese it can be, is also a to-do trip you must add on your bucket-list. Those parks inside the urban jungle are worth the trip, if the Great Wall and the Forbidden City are not your thing! Central Park may be the greatest place ever in NYC, Beijing has several of them and as quite as a Church.

Walking alongside the lake, witnessing Chinese elders doing their Taishi and pic-nicking on the fresh grass is everything you need to get away from the stressing lifestyle you may have. Trust me, I did it, and I felt so great.

Longtan is unique for its sobriety, quiet and awesome landscape within the city. And it’s one of the best I have done so far. The houses on the lake, the typical Chinese architecture, the usual boat tour…. Attractive, peaceful and so refreshing are the words I use really often in this post to describe this amazing place.

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For more pictures, I suggest you wait a couple days I will add them in my gallery and you can also check out my Instagram feed, some pictures have been published there too.

I hope I convinced you guys, for those who simple travel a week or more here or for the expat living here as I do!

 

See you soon guys!

All pictures are mine (at that time with my Samsung S4, now with my Huawei Mate 8) 

more on my Instagram : instagram-logo @romain_blog

2 thoughts on “A Dragon in the City Jungle – Beijing 北京 (part I)

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