Countryside parks with vast wetlands, farmlands, forests and lakes are casting a new light on Shanghai’s image as a concrete jungle and provide ideal venues for leisure and relaxation. According to local greenery authorities, another three countryside parks will soon be opened in Songjiang, Minhang and Jiading districts. As the Qingming Festival holiday approaches, follow Shanghai Daily as we explore the city’s ecological treasures.
Qingxi Countryside Park
The park in Qingpu District was built on a natural wetland. After it was opened to the public in September 2016, it soon became a popular vacation destination. Blanca Chen, a visitor to the park, described it as “one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.”According to Chen, inside the park, flying birds, reed marshes, clear creeks and a cedar forest create a serene and picturesque scene. “It’s a good place for taking pictures,” said Chen. “I don’t know which scene struck me the most. In the morning when the first rays of sunshine pierced through the cedar trees on the water, or in the afternoon when all kinds of birds were flapping around.”
How to get there:
- By car — From downtown, drive along Huqingping Highway and then turn to Jinshang Highway and Shangcai Road.
- By public transportation — From People’s Square, you can take Huzhu Express Line to Zhujiajiao Bus Station, and transfer to Qingceng Line to Liansheng.
Langxia Countryside Park
Located in Jinshan District, this park is more like an enclosed village. The villagers were not relocated when the park was built, but still live in their old homes and work on their farmlands. The roads and visitor service facilities were rebuilt and upgraded when the park opened to the public in October 2015. The good road conditions have made the park a popular venue for jogging.
Tall and straight cedar trees are planted along the pavement. Through the trees the vast farmlands take on different colors in different seasons. “It is the countryside in my memory,” commented visitor Zhang Yanshi. “I walked over 10 kilometers there and the fresh air restored me. “The restaurant there provided the freshest vegetables, meat and eggs and the taste was amazing,” she added. In the park there is also a stud farm. People can book a villa nearby and spend a weekend on horseback. Rental information can be found on popular online booking platforms, like Airbnb.
How to get there:
By public transportation — At Lianhua Road Station of Metro Line 1, look for the Lianhua-Langxia Line. Take the bus to Langxia Agritourism Station, or Langxia Nongjiale Station.
By car — Take the G1501 Highway and exit at Luxiang. Then drive along Zhulu Highway, Jinlang Highway and turn onto Caolang Highway and you’ll find the service center of the park.
Changxing Island Countryside Park
The park on Chongming Island opened its first phase last fall. It covers around 5.5 square kilometers, 1.5 times larger than the Dongping National Forest Park, also on the island. This park is so large that it’s easy to feel alone and surrounded by serenity, even with thousands of other visitors. The park has a wide range of flower species. An edible breed of roses named “crimson glory” are in full bloom between April and October, while cherries, yellow peaches, grapes, pears and figs can also be seen throughout the year.
As for the farmlands, people can not only try planting agricultural products while visiting, but also rent their own 50-square-meter piece of land. They can choose which vegetables they want to grow and the produce will be sent to their homes regularly. The park will also soon open a campsite for overnight visitors. Being near the Qingcaosha Reservoir, the largest water source in Shanghai, the park has strict rules on environmental protection. Visitors are limited to no more than 10,000 people at a time. Littering and other acts that might threaten the environment are prohibited.
How to get there:
Take the Shenchong No. 4 Bus near the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in the Pudong New Area and get off at Changxing Island Traffic Hub. It is not a long walk to the park from there.
More natural attractions set to open soon
- The Guangfulin Countryside Park
The Guangfulin relics, located in today’s Songjiang District, can be traced back to 2,500 to 4,000 years ago.
The relics were first discovered in 1958 by a local villager. After half a century of research and study, they have been arranged at the Guangfulin Cultural Relics Park, which will open in May. The park will focus on relics unearthed in the area, ancient ceramic wares and local religions, arts and folk cultures.
One of the most highly anticipated facilities in the park is the Guangfulin Culture Gallery. The museum was built underwater, with only its roof poking above the water. It will take visitors back 4,000 years to find the root of Shanghai culture. A countryside park next to the relics park will open in October. It will contain about 11 hectares of farmland planted with corn, sunflowers, rice, peaches and pears.
How to get there: The nearest Metro station is Songjiang University Town Station on Line 9. From there, take bus Songjiang No. 15 or 24, and get off at the East China University of Political Science and Law.
Pujiang Countryside Park
The Pujiang Countryside Park in Minhang District is expected to open in June, but its most beautiful views will not arrive until fall. The existing forest in the park is expected to create a golden blanket of fallen leaves along with the blooming autumn flowers, such as confederate roses and rose mallows.
The park will be divided into four parts — a coastal zone, a dense forest zone, an urban forest zone and an entertainment zone. The park will feature a lake and more than 600,000 trees. The Changshou Buddhism Temple in Pujiang Town, which dates back more than 100 years, will be relocated to the park. A new temple is being built there. Around it, thickets of bamboo will provide a quiet venue for meditation and Zen study.
The preserved Duhang Old Street will also be included in the park. The street originated as a commercial center in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and remains vibrant today. How to get there: Metro Line 8 Shendu Highway Station will be near the park, and a bus route will connect the park to downtown.
Jiabei Countryside Park
The park in Jiading District is expected to open its first phase in September. The park is composed of farmlands, a bamboo forest and orchids. Upon entering the park, visitors will see a vast rice farm and a sea of lavender. There will also be maple, cedar and tallow trees. An archway decorated with wisterias will be a highlight of the park once it grows out. How to get there: The nearest Metro station will be Jiading West Station on Line 11, which is still 2km away. If you drive, take the Shenhai Highway to Jiasong Road N.