Beijing is bloomin’
beautiful right now!
Put a spring in your
step and check out the
blossoms in these parks across the city.
Photo from Apple Eyes Studio
What’s the flower power? Tulips.
Why here? The first tulip bulbs
were a gift from the Queen of the
Netherlands during her visit in
1997 – 39 bulbs, to be exact. Today
Zhongshan Park has a whole garden of them,
multi-coloured and infinitely more
than double digits, if you’re willing
This year also marks a
century since the park opened,
so expect an added wow factor
When’s best to go? From now until mid-April.
What else is nearby? Time your
visit for a Sunday afternoon for the
perfect complement to flowers: love.
A weekly matchmaking fair takes
place by the pavilion just inside the
south gate. Parents energetically
try to match-up their children with
Post-it notes and message boards
Photo from atiger
What’s the flower power?
Chinese flowering crabapple.
Why here? Yuandadu Park
is a 9km
strip along Beijing’s northern canal,
forming the capital’s longest park.
Every spring it becomes an easy-to-follow
romantic stroll among cherry
blossoms either side of the Xiao Yue
River (or a long, uninterrupted jog –
hard to come by in central Beijing),
when the flowers are in full bloom.
A good spot to see the crabapples in bloom is by Beitucheng subway exit C, the South East corner of the park.
When’s the best time to go?
First two weeks of April.
What else is nearby? The park
has been constructed around the
remnants of the Yuan Dynasty city
wall that protected the city back in
the days when Kublai Khan made
it his capital. This rammed earth
structure is still visible on the
east section near Anzhenmen
subway station (Line 10), where
garish, large statues of the
emperor himself commanding
a herd of elephants can also
Beijing Botanical Gardens
Photo from Time Out Beijing
What's the flower power?
Peony. It was the national
flower in the Qing Dynasty and has
been adopted as the ‘national’
flower by Taiwan. Controversial.
When’s best to go?
All of April and May.
Why here? While the Botanical
Gardens’ Peony Garden deserves
its own pilgrimage up to the Fragrant
Hills (Xiangshan), there’s a few other
buds to get your grove on for, as
you would expect from the capital’s
official centre of flower power. With
over 6,000 species to see, including
tulips, irises and peach blossoms,
we can’t think of a better bang for
What else is nearby? Wofo
Temple on the northern tip of
the garden’s massive expanse.
There’s a beautifully evocative
reclining Buddha dating from the
Tang dynasty – a history of over
Wofo Temple Wofo Si Lu, Haidian
district (6259 1283). Open 8.30am-
4.30pm daily. 5RMB. 海淀区香山卧
What’s the flower power?
Why here? There are a huge variety
of cherry blossoms at Yuyuantan, sourced from
both China and Japan – places such
as the wild mountains of Hangzhou
or Mount Yoshino in Japan. They
bloom in perfect harmony each
year (which can’t be said for the icy
diplomatic relations between the
By the west gate you’ll
also find clusters of white blossoms
that are a cross-breed with gingko.
When’s best to go? Early April.
What else is nearby? The old
CCTV tower (not the ‘big pants’ new
CBD tower) will be looming over you
as you enter the west gate. Whizz
238m up to the 360-degree viewing
platform for great city views on any
non-smoggy day (70RMB).
Photo from Klagyivik Viktor
What’s the flower
Pinggu is known
for its giant
peaches in the
as is the curious
way with nature,
its precursor is a
symphony of pink
blossoms in spring.
While you’ll see peach
in Pinggu, head to Taohuahai for
particularly standout views of pink
rolling into the distance; park up
and walk into the fields for a closer
encounter – free of charge.
village is another pleasant location,
with blossoms along the stream that
runs along its east side.
When’s best to go?
Mid-April until the start of May.
What else is nearby? Head
east to Jinhai Lake (around a
40-minute drive), which is not that
far considering you’re already right
out in the sticks. Try one of the many
water sports on offer around the
lake, or just hike up to the dam for
spectacular views for miles around.
Taohuahai Xiaoyuzicun Dahuashanzhen, Pinggu district.
Open 24 hours daily. Free. 平谷区大
Photo from Wikicommons
What’s the flower power? Lilacs.
Why here? Built 1,700 years ago, the ancient temple boasts its own pagoda and is home to 20 lilac trees that have been sprouting mellow hues for 200 years. Its fragrance is nothing less than intoxicating – Kublai Khan’s daughter apparently joined the temple as a nun in the 13th century, possibly after getting her snout into too many sweet smelling petals, we think.
When’s best for flower viewing? Mid-April to end of May.
What else is nearby? A second helping of flower power is in order at Tanzhe temple, otherwise known as the Wisdom Accumulation Temple. Get clever just by basking in the purity of the white magnolia. So worth the twenty-minute ride from Jietai Temple.
Jietai Temple Yongdingzhen, Mentougou district (6980 6611/6980 2645). Open 8.30am–5pm daily; 45RMB. 门头沟区永定镇戒台寺
Tanzhe Temple Tanzhesizhen, Mentougou district (6086 1699). Open 8.30am-5pm daily; 55RMB. 门头沟潭柘寺镇潭柘寺