At long last, warm weather is finally here and the days are getting a little brighter. Celebrate the arrival of the good season by spending time outside and discovering the various parks around the city. Purple Bamboo Park (or Zǐzhú Yuàn紫竹院) is among the seventh largest parks in Beijing and is located at the southern end of Baishiqiao Lu in Haidian District, close to the National Library. Due to its distance, it’s not as popular as other parks in Beijing, but Purple Bamboo Park is definitely worth a visit.
The park gained popularity during the Ming dynasty. During the 13th century, Purple Bamboo Park became an important source of water. But, in the Republican period, it was transformed into land for paddy fields and rented out. After 1949, the government restored the park and planted the 50+ species of bamboo from which the park now takes its name.
If you enjoy classical Chinese landscapes, Purple Bamboo Park is the place for you. It features three lakes linked together by numerous bridges, little islands and waterside pavilions. To enjoy the view from the lake, you can take a ferry boat (RMB 10/person) or rent a paddle boat (RMB 50/30 min) for a workout.
Admission is free and the park is open until late. Combined with the park’s beauty, these reasons make Purple Bamboo Park a favorite with locals. You will always find people practicing tai chi, singing, playing mahjong or cards, and dancing to music in the evenings. All the locals are very friendly and curious to speak with foreigners, this may be a good opportunity to brush up on your Chinese or make some Chinese friends.
Escape the bustle of Beijing for one day and surround yourself with peace. Kids will love running and hiding among the bamboo trees, and take advantage of the fairgrounds with rides starting from RMB 3 (9am-6pm).
Free. Daily 6am-9pm (Apr 1-Oct 31), daily 6am-8pm (Nov 1-Mar 31). 35 Nanjie, Zhongguancun, Haidian District (8841 2800) 海淀区中关村南大街35号紫竹院
To read about more parks in Beijing, have a look at our April 2013 issue.
Source: Purple Bamboo Park
Photo from Wiki Commons