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May 9, 2011

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Pleasant parks perfect for a picnic

WITH the weather warming up nicely it's time to fill that picnic basket to the brim with tasty treats and head outside. Chen Ye looks at some of the city's best destinations for an al fresco feast.

Already exhausted by spring hiking and climbing? Then it's time to slow down the pace and take it easy for a moment with a leisurely picnic.

Late spring and early summer can be the best time to enjoy an outdoor excursion with a basket of tasty food and drinks - and an eyeful of beautiful views. A big open space, an extensive lawn or by a lake usually make the ideal picnic spot.

And if you're looking for something to do after your outdoor feast then how about going to a park or a zoo where you can also watch animals, play outdoor games or enjoy some other form of activities.

Below are some recommendations for popular picnic spots in and around Shanghai.

Century Park

The entire design of the park is a perfect combination of Eastern and Western influences, where visitors will find a huge space full of grass, flowers and a lake.

The Century Flower Clock is the park's symbol and is made entirely from plants.

The park features an Outdoor Music Plaza which has an area of around 8,000 square meters, and is a good location for a picnic as visitors can enjoy music as they eat.

The Musical Fountain uses more than 600 colored lights with 208 water jets to provide a pleasant visual and aural sensation.

With a length of 80 meters, the Green World Sculpture Wall is made of granite and features a range of animals and plants from around the world that include Chinese pandas, Thai elephants, Vietnamese buffalo and Australian kangaroos.

The park also has a wide variety of plants arranged by different climates, from tropical zones to frigid zones.

Open: 7am-6pm

Address: 1001 Jinxiu Rd, Pudong

Admission: 10 yuan (US$1.5)

How to get there: Metro Line 2 to Century Park Station

Binjiang Forest Park

This wild forest park in Shangha's Pudong New Area has the most extensive forest coverage rate in Shanghai.

Opened in 2007, it is situated where the Huangpu River, Yangtze River and East China Sea converge, with a coastline extending 2 kilometers.

For people looking for a river view and wild plants, Binjiang park is the ideal choice.

There are several themed gardens in the park, featuring wetland, rosebush, magnolia, among other things.

Bulrushes can be found everywhere along with an abundance of wild flowers in bloom and more than 200,000 specially protected trees.

In order to both conserve the raw wild forest and provide more chances for visitors to get closer to nature, the park has built a special walkway for guests to enjoy the sights of the wetland forest zone, especially its native birds, fish and insects.

A sightseeing shuttle bus, boats, bicycle tours and other entertainment facilities are also available in the park.

Open: 8am-5pm

Address: 3 Gaoshatan, Gaoqiao Town, Pudong (near Suitang Highway)

Admission: 20 yuan

Tel: 5864-4791

How to get there: Take Metro Line 6 to Gangcheng Road, then transfer to Waigaoqiao No. 1 bus.

Gongqing Forest Park

Shanghai Gongqing Forest Park in Yangpu District is a popular picnic spot, especially among young people as several of Shanghai's key universities are located in the area.

It has more than 200,000 plants set among hills, lawns, lakes and streams that make it one of the most visited places for a picnic.

Occupying 131 hectares with a greenery coverage of around 124 hectares, the park is dubbed as the city's "oxygen bar."

In the middle of the park is a large lawn with a total area of 93,200 square meters, the perfect place for kite flying.

The park offers more than 30 kinds of recreational activities, including horse riding, boating, hiking, climbing, kids amusement park and bungee jumping.

Open: 6am-5pm

Address: 2000 Jungong Rd, Admission: 15 yuan

Tel: 6574-0586

How to get there: Take Metro Line 8 to Xiangyin Road Station and transfer to Bus 102.

Shanghai Wildlife Park

Shanghai Wildlife Park, opened in 1995, is China's first state-level wildlife park with an area of more than 153 hectares.

There are more than 200 species of precious animals, including giant pandas, golden monkeys and takins, as well as imported giraffes, zebras, white rhinoceros and cheetahs.

Visitors can take a bus tour that gives them a closer look at savage carnivores in an environment resembling their natural habitat.

For adventurous types, these wild animals can even be fed with fresh meat sold at the park.

Open: 8am-5pm

Address: 178 Nanliu Highway, Pudong

Admission: 130 yuan

Tel: 6118-0000

How to get there: Take Wanye bus line at Shanghai Stadium.

Continued on B2

Dongping National Forest Park

Dongping National Forest Park is on the north side of Chongming Island and said to be one of the best places to enjoy fresh air and relieve stress in Shanghai.

With a total area of around 360 hectares, the park is a famous national 4A tourist destination.

It used to be a tree farm until 1993 when it became a national forest park, and in 1997 it was chosen as a top 10 tourist destination.

With a 500-square-meter water amusement park, more than 20,000 square meters of beach and plenty of camping space, the park is suitable for all ages.

Hiking, golf, tennis, beach volleyball, paintball, forest horse riding and go-kart racing are just some of the activities available in the park.

There is also a designated area for barbecues, although visitors are advised to bring their own food as prices in the park are more expensive.

In addition, there are many eye-catching gardens including plum blossom garden, cherry blossom garden, maple garden and China rose garden.

Open: 8am-5pm

Address: Dongping Forestry Farm, Beiyan Highway, Chongming County

Admission: 70 yuan

Tel: 5933-8266, 5933-8028

How to get there:

Take Metro Line 1 to Wenshui Road where you can take the Shenchong Line bus. Then after arriving at Nanmen in Chongming, take either the Nandong Line or Nanjiang Line buses to the park.


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