A walk through one of Beijing’s lovely parks
Ritan Park [the Temple of the Sun] is located in Chaoyang District, about a forty-five minute walk from my apartment block. One day on the way to lunch my friend and I decided to take a walk through the park as it was such a lovely day. We saw an entrance fee of 1 RMB (about 20 cents AUD) but for some reason we were allowed to enter without a fee.
The park covers an area of 206,200 square metres, but we only walked the distance from the front gate to the back. Along the way we saw the royal shrine which was built in 1530 and used by Ming and Qing Emperors to make sacrifices to the sun.
The park is really lovely and another one of Beijing’s parks where you can see the elderly Chinese practising t’ai chi, playing Mahjong or walking around the ponds with their grandchildren; flying kites. We were lucky to be able to see the blossoms on the many trees within the park; such a lovely sight.
There is a wonderful Chinese restaurant in the park which I have eaten at a couple of times before with a rooftop area to sit and overlook the park. There is also a cafe called the ‘Stone Boat Café’ where you can sit either inside or out, overlooking the water; enjoying a cup of Chinese tea and some Chinese snacks.
My friend and I strolled throughout the park speaking to the local Chinese, taking photographs, looking at the flowers and trees and generally just enjoyed a spring day in Beijing.
A lovely hour or so and well worth the time when in Beijing.