Monday, 16 March 2009

Parklife: Messing about in boats

moored boats at the waterpark

people's park lake

As parks are hugely important in urban China, for even the new rich will live in an apartment with a smallish communal garden, this week I'm going to be showing you round two of the parks in Shijiazhuang. There are two parks within easy travelling distance from me, the waterpark, a five minute walk from my house, and People's Park, which is a 45 minute bus ride away in the more exclusive downtown area. The park is where people from toddlers to octogenrians, from wealthy young hipsters to older people whose harsh lives show too clearly on their faces, go to hang out, play and listen to music, play various sports, fly kites, canoodle and take boats out.

the sun attempting to set over the waterpark in February

Owing to the Chinese tradition of including a pond in their gardens, the centre piece of the park will always be a lake. In a seething, densely populated city like Shijiazhuang, these lakes are the largest open area around, and it's definitely a relief that it's now warm enough to take a leisurely walk around them. Although for me obviously nothing could compete with the sea, I still feel a lot more chilled out after contmeplating some water.

people's park lake with average height new build apartment blocks behind

It can also be quite entertaining! Now I just have to get around to actually going in one of the boats....

hmmm, you all going to fit in there?

these teenagers getting onto the island were hilarious - they shouted and waved at me so vigorously they nearly capsized their rather overcrowded boat!

gettting stuck going under the 'swan bridge' at the waterpark


  1. luv these cute car shaped boats:)

  2. on a quick look they look like as some car got stuck in a water pool:D

  3. Wow...those are really neat little boats...

  4. What fun, great photos there. Always enjoy my visit.

  5. I'm glad they have some nice parks since the living areas are small.
    Cute little boats. Would have been funny if the enthusiastic teenagers had fallen in!

  6. hei ! you make me feel like going back to China !!!