The morning after our crazy Color Run experience, we headed out to find some streetfood for breakfast. When our bellies were full, we looked for the famous Longtan Park, one of Beijing’s nicest parks, which we read was located nearby our hotel. It was very easy to find, and unknowingly this park would provide us with entertainment until we raced off to catch our train back to Qingdao.
Longtan Park is located about 1.5 km east of the Temple of Heaven, which we visited in 2011. You can view that posts here: Temple of Heaven. Next to the west side of Longtan Park is the Beijing Amusement Park that features a ferris wheel and other rides.
Longtan Park is a tourist attraction with beautiful garden scenery and a rich culture. The park got it’s name due to the Longtan Lake (Dragon Lake) located inside it, and the theme of the park is Chinese Dragon Culture. Almost all the pavilions, bridges, gates, halls, islands, lake and trees have “dragon” in the named, such as Dragon Gate, Dragon Lake, and Dragon Jujube.
We were pleasantly surprised by the fact that there were mini boats for hire at the lake. For an hour on the lake there are two options: 40 yuan for a paddle boat/ pedal boat (funny how I keep discovering differences between the way Justin and I say things – paddle or pedal, who knows?), and 80 yuan for a motorised boat.
Yes, you guessed it! We opted for the more-exercise, more-adventure, save-40-yuan-option. Little did we know that you really had to pedal hard and fast to move the darn thing. We were left dripping with sweat within no time. At least we got a good workout in! We needed one to burn off those beers from the Color Run Afterparty festivities!
After our sweaty-pedalling-workout around the lake, we floated for about 20 minutes, enjoying the scenery around us. The humidity was at an all time high, and there was not much relief from it on the water, but still, we took in the peace and tranquility until our hour was up.
Once we had returned our boat, we walked to a nearby convenience store to buy more water. All that sweating meant that we were drinking more water that usual. And umm, there was those morning-after beer dehydration effects as well. We definitely needed to keep drinking water!
We sat next to the lake, munching on our roadtrip snacks – Cashews, Almonds, and Dried Cuttlefish – while talking about life, love and all the in-betweens. We have so much to look forward to that thinking about those things has been keeping our minds very busy. After our mini-picnic we walked around the park to see what else we could find.
We found a beautifully curving pavilion with a dragon roof and pillars decorated with golden spiralled dragons. Indeed, the dragon motif is featured in many places throughout the Longtan Park.
This was a great day spent in Beijing’s Longtan Park. If we got another chance, we would love to return to this park when the skies are blue in either spring or winter. Going to a temple fair is an important part of the Spring Festival celebration for Chinese people. The temple fair in Longtan Park is one of the favourites for both locals and foreigners. Of course, even though the skies were grey during our visit, we were thankful for no crowds (yes, you heard me… barely any people at all!). There is something to be said for moments in Bejing when you look around and realise that there is none of the normal hustle and bustle.
Peace. Quiet. Tranquility.
It was perfect!
Address: Longtan Lu
Subway: Tiantandongmen/ Jingson
Bus: Take nr. 6, 12, 620, 116, 807
and get off at Beijing Youleyuan Station
Opening Hours: 6am-10pm
Admission Fee: 2 yuan per person