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.
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”.
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.
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).