Yuan Ming Yuan park Beijing (YMY)

Parks – so many of those in China, and most of them are super nice..!
We went to YMY park on a sunny Sunday – the weather played in our favor and it was truly a magnificent day.
The only downside was a very strong wind throughout the day – but none the less a very good day to go out.

Yuan Ming Yuan docks

Yuan Ming Yuan docks

The park is a little far away from the center, located in Haidian district (see below map),  and is considered to be the old summer palace.
We went without reading too much beforehand, and it was our mischief, as we could not put things we saw in context so I can warmly recommend – read about the place a little bit before going.
Still, even without knowing the history, the park is very big and impressive, and actually very similar to the “new summer palace”.

The ruins area

The ruins area

Surrounded by vast beautiful gardens, a lot of flower patches, plenty of lakes small and big with beautiful plants inside and a lot of nature everywhere – it was an awesome escape from the city – even though it’s still in Beijing.

You will not hear any noise of cars / buses / airplanes and in general it’s very quiet.
The place is very clean and well groomed, very big but still not “too much” and it’s got a lot in it.
I can tell you after being in both parks, that if I had to chose only one to visit – I would have gone to YMY.

Old temple - amazing details

Old temple – amazing details

You can find a lot of small ancient houses, temples and you can find a big “ruins” area – as this summer palace was sacked and ruined twice.
Once at the time of the Second Opium War, where two British commanders were taken captive along with their forces – from England, India and France, and they were all tortured and only 16 out of around 36 survived.
As a “revenge” 3,500 British troops attacked the summer palace, looting and leaving it in ruins.

The second time was in 1900, in the Eight Nation Alliance invasion – where soldiers from 8 nations burned the place to the ground almost entirely.
**Recommended to buy a map at the start, it costs around 10RMB and is worth it (cool even as a souvenir)

If you are in the city center, you can take bus line 601 from along the 3rd ring road, get off at Yuan Ming Yuan nan men station.

See some pictures from the park

Here’s a map (if you are located in China you will need a VPN to see the location pin).

View Larger Map

Adam Disatnik

I have been living in China since early 2013 in the great Beijing. I try to travel as much as I can and try to understand the culture and the habits as much as possible. It's amazing how much can be learned about China, and about life, while living abroad in a totally different country than the one you grew up in. I love it! Catch up on my blog to try and understand along with me:) Adam.

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1 Response

  1. Amir Klein says:

    Adam, thanks for sharing your experience! I’ve never been to this park, although I’ve heard about it a lot! now, that you recommend of going so much, i will definitely find a quite Saturday sometime and go :)
    I usually don’t like the parks in Beijing. they tend to be vast, empty, boring, full of concrete, and with no sitting places or even shaded drinking stands. A small park i used to go to is called “龙潭公园” (Longtan Park), not far away from the Temple of Heaven. nice and quite, not too many people, but doesn’t feel deserted either. Especially recommended around the Dragon Boats Festival or Spring Festival :)

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