Compared to its easterly neighbours, the city’s westside might not get the same level of love from visitors, foreign residents or even us (hands up!), but sometimes – just sometimes – trips to the wild west are well worth it. Haidian’s masterfully crafted Yuyuantan Park, one of the city’s biggest, is one such worthy destination, endowed with a mighty fine and mighty wide central lake and lush greenery. It’s also surrounded by a host of noteworthy monuments, including the spindly Central Radio & TV Tower, the imposing Military Museum and the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Best spot Not so much best spot as best time here – since a heavily tree-focused renovation in the early '90s, it’s become a picturesque hotspot for leaf-spotters, with a fabulous autumn palette and a sakura population that would make Japanese cherry blossom blush – a trip here in spring may make you wonder why anyone forks out thousands for a trip across the water, when Beijing’s home to such a beautiful spot of its own.