Plan your Beijing tour? Aside from so-called highlights in Beijing, it is advisable to add a common local park into your travel schedule to get a real feel of the local life. Taoranting Park is highly recommended.
Taoranting Park (陶然亭公园）takes its name from a pavilion in the park known as “Taoran Pavilion” which is pronounced “Taoranting” in Chinese. “Taoran” literally means “Joyful” in Chinese.
Taoran Pavilion was originally built in Kangxi 34th year (1695), Qing Dynasty (1368 – 1644). The construction of the pavilion was overseen by Jiang Zao (江藻), who supervised a kiln workshop in the north of Today’s park. He had the pavilion built on the west side of the Cibei Nunnery, the oldest building in the park which was built in Yuan Dynasty ( 1271 – 1368 ). He named the pavilion “Taoran” from a line of words in a poem by the Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi, “When the chrysanthemums are yellow and home-made wine is well done, I’ll drink with you and be joyful.”(更待菊黄家酿熟，与君一醉一陶然).
The modern Taoranting Park was revamped in 1952, the first modern park in Beijing. The park now takes a total area of 59 acres and the water area has 17 acres. Taoranting Park is centered on the Taoranting Pavilion on the Huxindao (Mid-Lake Isle) which is linked to the surrounding banks by three hump bridges.
The three arch bridges cut the lake into three parts – East Lake, West Lake and South Lake. Unlike Summer Palace, Beihai Park, Ditan Park, Taoranting Park has no luster of imperial elements and it is well known for its pristine and natural landscape – pavilions, ponds, lakes, hills, gardens and historical sites. In 2002, Taoranting Park was listed as an AAAA scenic area approved by China National Tourism Administration.
Taoranting Park is famous for its wide spectrum of Chinese style pavilions with a total of 36. Some of the pavilions are self-designed, some are moved here elsewhere and other are replicas from the famous gardens in other cities like Hangzhou, Suzhou Wuxi and etc in the southern China. The park has a strong characteristics of Chinese traditional gardening and modern arts. It is popular with residents and visitors for morning exercises, walking and boating for a family outing.
Taoranting Park Add:
19 Taiping Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Just to the north of Beijing South Railway Station (across the second ring road and north of the city moat)
Entrance fee (Park): RMB 2
Opening Hours: 06:00 – 9:00pm
Cibei Nunnery and Taoran Pavilion: RMB 4 ( 9:00am – 5:00pm)
Get to Taoranting Park by Subway
Take subway line 4 and get off at the station of Taoranting ( 陶然亭 ) and exit from Exit C and walk eastwards along Taoran Road for over 600m, you will see the north gate to Taoranting Park on your right side.
Follow me to have a glimpse of the pretty park. I pefer to walk around the park in the early morning to feel the atmosphere featuring the lively morning exercises. I enter the park by its east gate, the main entrance to Taoranting Park. It is a beautiful morning, blue sky and white clouds.
After you enter the east gate, you will find a large signboard posted with the map of Taoranting Park. The map vividly shows you the location of the sites in the park. Basically, people would make a loop travel route around the banks in the park no matter from which gate you enter the park.
In some important places ( mostly the four corners in the park), there stand some direction signs telling people where you are and the locations of the nearby sights.
The early morning finds the park turned into a huge playground for seniors to do exercise, practicing Tai Chi, dancing, playing badminton…
A spectacular pailou, a Chinese traditional archway.
The Xiehu Bridge connects the Mid-Lake Isle with the bank. The Bridge cuts the lake into East Lake and West Lake.
In the northwest corner of the West Lake lie two yellow-eaved pavilions – Chenghuai Pavilion and Zhijin Pavilion.
Have a close look at the two two yellow-eaved pavilions – Chenghuai Pavilion and Zhijin Pavilion The pleasure boat dock in the west lake.
Taoranting Park has several areas for viewing the blooming lotus flowers.
The Taoran Pavilion and Cibei Nunnery are located in the southwest corner in the Mid-Lake Isle. The sight is open from 9：00am to 5:00pm.Entrance fee: RMB 4
Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Beijing guided tours:
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites
Any questions, just drop a line.