Like their modern day counterparts, the Imperial Chinese were very fond of parks and pavilions. This means Beijing is scattered with beautifully landscaped gardens, some dating back hundreds of years, open for public enjoyment. As the park containing one of China’s four historical pavilions, Taoranting Park offer solace from the daily grind of city life.
Its creator, Jiang Zao, inscribed the inspiration for its name; a poem by Bai Juyi, speaking of a time of joy and cheerfulness. Back in the day, the view was not very appealing, with swaps to the south and the rooftops of a dirty city to the north. This changed during the 1950s, when the park was given a facelift by turning the swamp into a lake and oriental landscaping.
Visitors can see the detailed work of the Temple of Mercy while boating around the lake or strolling on the island in the middle of it. Two memorials stand on the slopes of the Glorious Autumn Mound, with ornate engravings, the remains of an old graveyard. The curious tomb of a beloved pet parrot and another of concubine (or examination papers of a failed imperial student) are interesting little peeks into the more mundane Chinese life back then. The hill on the park is a great place to enjoy the serene views over the lake.
Back when it was made, and all the high points were occupied by the aristocrats, the Taoranting Park was the only place that locals of lesser standing could come to celebrate the Double Nines Day – which falls on the 9th day of the 9th month, and required people to go to a ‘higher place’. On other days they would relax with a stroll down the paved paths of the pavilion, just like hundreds of visitors today. These gardens are designed to balance the water and earth components of the scenery to create a harmony that will surround all who enter.
Perfect for people watching, the park can be reached from centrally located Beijing accommodation. Travellers with business or a longer stay in their minds can opt for a luxury apartment in Beijing. The serviced apartments offered by the conveniently located Ascott Beijing are designed to provide maximum comfort and elegant luxury, perfect for corporate housing for families.