Within the City of Beijing, spring months are filled with cherry blossoms and seasonal treats. However, there is one place within the city that offers the most beautiful views of cherry blossoms, unobstructed by the modern world outside the park. This is YuYuanTan Park, centered around the YuYuanTan or Deep Jade Lake. The biggest Sakura or cherry blossom viewing festivals in Beijing are held in this former imperial park, and the entire grounds are coated in blossoms from the beginning to the end of spring.
Where to Spot Cherry Blossoms in the Park
One of the most popular places to see the blossoms within the park is on the mirror bridge. This bridge, like many other in China, was made so that the reflection on the water looks like a perfect mirror, suggesting a world below the bridge.
During cherry blossom season, the water below the bridge is thick with petals, obscuring the view, but also blanketing the reflections of people on the bridge in a dreamy cloud of petals. This makes it a popular place for photos and to reflect upon the transient nature of the blossoms themselves.
If viewing from the bridge isn’t what you want to do, you can also pay to take a ride across the river on a small boat. During the blossom season, this ride is fragrant, peaceful, and often leaves you surrounded in falling blossoms. This is one of the best ways to see the slight pink tinge that is on all of the petals as the water and open air separate the blossoms from the rest of the world.
Stroll Around the Park
Families often come to the park, which has an entry fee of 10 RMB, to enjoy the flowers, but also to enjoy the games and vendors. Much like a traditional carnival, food, drink, small gifts, and skill games are available throughout the park.
A typical expedition is the park will take between two to three hours and take you past a number of different vendors. However, many people bring in packed lunches and simply stroll around the park enjoying the flowers as well.
Low hanging willow trees shade seating areas around the lake from the worst of all weather, making it enjoyable to watch the cherry trees even in times of inclement weather. In addition, the park is very rarely closed, with access being guaranteed during most daylight hours.
The park is often empty enough for those who need to sit on a regular basis to enjoy themselves as well. Every few meters there are heavy stone benches available.
Most Convenient Place to Enjoy Blossoms
The park is always kept clean and is a quiet oasis in Beijing. It does take a small while to arrive at the park from the center of the city, but by taxi the ride should be no more than twenty minutes from most hotels. The areas outside of the park are filled with taxis looking to take people back to their hotels as well, making it an easy to access area of Beijing.
In terms of access, ease of use, fun for the whole family, and the sheer number of cherry blossom trees, no other park can beat YuYuanTan Park for cherry blossom viewing. The exceptional beauty of the park and calm atmosphere that it provides also make it the most beautiful place to view the blossoms in Beijing.
Address: Xisanhuan Lu (across from CCTV Tower). East entrance on Sanlihe Lu (just south of Diaoyutai); south entrance (with parking lot) behind China Millennium Monument. How to get there:take Subway Line 1 and get off at Military Museum Station,then enter through the south gate.