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Verdant Urban Oasis

March 23, 2015
Gongqing Forest Park

Spring has well and truly sprung in China’s culture capital and while there are plenty of bitty inner-city gardens where you can go to get your green on, nothing beats escaping the shadow of skyscrapers to soak up the sunshine, blooms and breezy warm weather. Barely 30 minutes from central Shanghai, on the banks of the Huangpu river, Gongqing Forest Park is a 131-hectare verdant respite the year round, but really comes into its own during March and April.

Lovers looking for grassy knolls and quiet strolls should head to the north section of the park where they can explore shady cedar alcoves filled with fiery orange blooms, colourful landscaped gardens and meander around the mirror ponds and peaceful canals before taking a sup stop in a picnic-perfect meadow – just be sure to bring your own pickings as the onsite offerings aren’t amazing. Got the tots in tow? Stick to the south end where you’ll find a bevy of fam-friendly facilities, including a fun playground with rock climbing walls and roller coasters, plus horse riding, go-karting and row boats. Those looking for something a tad more Zen can also shoot through to the towering bamboo groves where early-risers come for morning qi gong. Right on.

Nenjiang Rd / Yangpu / +86 21 6574 0586 / 6am-5pm daily /