Ritan Park – Beijing’s Most Scenic Spot

No trip to China can be considered complete without stopping by Beijing to view its many sights. The nation’s capital has more than its fair share of national monuments, museums and theatres, enough to keep tourists happily occupied for several weeks. However, those strapped for time may choose to visit only the most important landmarks such as the Forbidden City which was once home to the Imperial Court, the National Stadium, also fondly known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’, the Temple of Heaven situated in Chongwen, the Palace Museum which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Tiananmen Square, which is the largest square in the world. One major landmark that is often overlooked is Ritan Park which is located in Beijing’s Chaoyang District. 

The site is one of the most popular scenic spots in the metropolitan city. It contains a beautifully landscaped garden and a small lake. Many people come here to walk or practice Tai Chi. There is also a tradition of watching the sunset from the highest point in the park. One can find a series of forty four ancient cypress trees, one of which is thought to be over a thousand years old, here as well. The Temple of the Sun is located at the heart of this scenic area and also makes for a memorable sightseeing experience.
Ritan Park is open from 6 am to 9 pm and entrance is free. Those coming here by subway should get off at the Jianguomen Station. The best times to visit is between April and November. Other popular parks in Beijing include Beihai Park, Fragrant Hills Park, Chaoyang Park, Jingshan Park and Altar of the Moon Park. 

The layout of Beijing is such that the roads form ‘rectangular’ rings. While this should make navigating the city easier, the presence of so many small byroads and streets can confuse the first time visitor. Tourists looking for accommodation close to all the sights can try one of the Forbidden City hotels like The Peninsula Beijing. Not only is this Beijing hotel close to all of the city’s treasured landmarks, it also provides gorgeously decorated rooms and hospitable service, making it the ideal choice for business and leisure travellers. 

Escape the city among the greenery at Ritan Park

Although it is located in Beijing’s central business district, the Ritan Park’s surrounding foliage seems to have insulated it from the hustle and bustle of the city. Indeed it appears as a safe, peaceful nook amidst the turmoil and offers the privacy and isolation of a quiet walk for some and for others, the variety of activity and amusement.

The Ritan Park is one of the oldest in China, with its origin as far back as 1530. Its name means the ‘temple of the sun’ and indeed its current location is where ancient emperors used to offer sacrifices to the sun as a ritual during the Ming and Qing dynasty. This square shaped park is spacious, lined with tall tree and thick shrubs with intermingling of water ways and ponds creating a delightful diversity of land and water. Some of the trees are exotic, while others belong to ancient eras such as the 1,100 year old cypress trees as well as another 44 ancient trees. The nine dragon cypress, named for its curved dragon like flowers is another exotic tree to look at.

Gracefully shaded by the bunch of bushes that spread their leafy branches like an umbrella, the Yuxin garden offers a pleasant and tranquil walk even in summer as the scenery is simply breathtaking. The south west section of the park is blessed to have a thick forest as well a ravishing lake to create the most alluring landscape in the garden. The view of breathtaking sunsets can be all yours at the south west corner of the garden where the Qinghui pavilion is located. The park has its own amusement area for children, as well as a separate fishing zone for fishing enthusiast, while each year flower shows and related plant preservation activities brings in a refreshing change of air and scene to the garden.

Find your own private living space redefined with luxury and ultra modern conveniences to attend to your business requirements or leisure pursuits at one of the serviced apartments in Beijing. Strategically located close to the UNESCO heritage sites as well as with easy access to the Beijing Airport and other important commercial buildings, The Ascott Raffles City Beijing offers the convenience of a selection of serviced apartments Beijing with all the luxury you are accustomed to plus a little bit of extra pampering.