Escape the Concrete Jungle: Nanjing’s Serene Parks

Escape the Concrete Jungle: Nanjing’s Serene Parks

Nanjing is a city that is near beautiful water and mountains and has various historic attractions dotted all throughout the city. The great Yangtze River passes through here, complemented by beautiful lakes such as Xuanwu, Pipa, and Mochou – all in all making for great scenery surrounding the different size parks in the city. In the following paragraphs, we will be introducing some of the more unique parks, as they are iconic of what Nanjing, and other cities like it in the region south of the Yangtze, have to offer in terms of water and mountain scenery. As you stroll along the parks, you get a definite feel for Nanjing as a city of rippling lakes and rolling mountains.

Xuanwu Lake Park
Xuanwu Lake Park Photo: ccnh.cn/csyc

Xuanwu Lake Park 玄武湖公园
Xuanwu Lake is located at the foot of Zhongshan Mountain, surrounded by the towering ancient city walls built during the Ming Dynasty, the beautiful Jiuhua Mountain, and the Jiming Temple. This is a park that has got it all in terms of historic attractions – making it one of the largest cultural and recreational parks in the city.

There are five islands in the middle of Xuanwu Lake, each with a different theme of attractions to offer visitors. The first is Huan Island, with its rippling lake waters and willow trees bending ever so flexibly under the light breeze – a typical garden as you would find anywhere south of the Yangtze. The most beautiful attraction on the island is Taihu rock (Chinese scholar's rock) sculpture of “a young boy paying homage to the Guanyin goddess”. Next is Ying (cherry blossoms) Island; it is home to great early-spring flowers, including cherry blossoms. Third is Ling Island; it is bordered to the east by Zhongshan Mountain and visitors may be able to catch a glimpse of the sun rising/setting behind the mountains. Another attraction is Liang Island, known for the chrysanthemum exhibits held annually. Last but certainly not least is Cui Island, a little tucked away place that is as serene as it is beautiful. Stone bridges connect all five islands, allowing you to stroll past interchanging scenery at your own pace. Also, surrounding the lake are other attractions including many other historic sites, water theme parks, gardens etc.

Xuanwu Lake Park 玄武湖公园 View In Map
Add: 1 Xuanwu Alley, Nanjing
地址:南京市玄武巷1号
Tel: 025 8361 4286
Opening Hours: 07:00-21:00
Tickets: 20 RMB/person (no-peak travel season); 30 RMB/person (peak travel season)
Getting there: Take bus routes Sightseeing Line 1, 1, 3 (roundabout), 8, 15, 22, 25, 28, 30, 33, 35, 38, 47, 52, 56, 74, and metro Line 1 to Xuanwu Lake Park station

Bailuzhou Park
Bailuzhou Park Photo: daotoo.com

Bailuzhou Park 白鹭洲公园
Bailuzhou Park is located to the south of Lishe Bridge and Gutao Yedu on Qinhuai River; it is one of the major attractions along the river. This park used to be a private garden of a great official and hero Xu Da during the Ming Dynasty. The park used to be very prosperous and well-kept during its heyday. Even today, visitors are still able to witness much of the private garden's beauty that has been preserved down the long line of history.

Bailu Island is located in the middle of the lake and is overgrown with a variety of trees and flora, with stone walkways winding all the way through. One of the best vantage spots at the park is to climb to the top of the mountain; there you'll be able to gaze out at the entire view of the park lying before you. Aside from the historic architecture such as Lufeng Temple, the park also offers many other attractions. 13 different style bridges are dotted along the park, making for nice, quiet strolls as you make your way through the numerous attractions. There is also a theme park, a restaurant, a tea house, and an outdoor stage that hosts periodic performances of Chinese opera, acrobatic feats, magic acts, bonsai and flower exhibits, as well as arts and craft shows.

Bailuzhou Park 白鹭洲公园 View In Map
Add: 1 Changbai Street, Baixia District, Nanjing
地址:南京市白下区长白街1号
Tel: 025 8662 7129
Opening Hours: 06:00-22:00
Tickets: 5 RMB/person
Getting there: Take bus routes 15, 304, 44, 49 to Pingjiangfu Rd, and walk 196 m to destination

Baima (White Horse) Stone Sculptures             
Baima (White Horse) Stone Sculptures Park Photo: tourunion.com

Baima (White Horse) Stone Sculptures Park 白马石刻公园
Baima Park is another large urban-style park that offers both recreation as well as a chance to learn more about culture and art that is the local stone sculptures. The park has a precious collection of several hundred stone sculptures and carvings gathered from areas all around Nanjing. These historic artworks are laid out with flowering peach plants to make for a unique combination. This is the first park in Nanjing featuring artwork arranged with flowering peach trees.

There are currently over a hundred stone sculptures in the park, including 2 stone turtles dating back to the Six Dynasties period (Three Kingdoms), a stone monk and four stone horses from the Song Dynasty, and a series of other stone artworks from the Ming and Qing dynasties. These pieces represent different styles and disciplines of stone carving, ranging from those grander pieces intended for the palace to the more down to earth peasant artworks, or from the more religious-oriented to those that portray local folk customs, or even from those intended for homes to those that were meant to decorate burial sites. This is truly a unique park that reflects the great culture and history of Nanjing as a city where stone artwork has flourished and developed for thousands of years.

Baima Stone Sculptures Park 白马石刻公园 View In Map
Add: 1 Baima Manor, Xuanwu District, Nanjing
地址: 南京市玄武区白马山庄1号
Tel: 025 8540 8062
Opening Hours: 07:00-18:00
Ticket: 10 RMB/person
Getting there: Take bus routes 125, 143, 20, 308, 315, 48, 67 to Baima Park (East of Taiping Gate) station and walk 325 m to destination 

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Keywords: Nanjing parks Baima Park nanjing xuanwu lake park Nanjing Bailuzhou Park Nanjing

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