LOVELY cherry blossoms have already started to bloom in Baoshan District’s Gucun Park, where the annual Cherry Blossom Festival is underway.
The festival continues until April 15 and the largest forest park in Shanghai boasts more than 12,000 cherry trees. There are about 60 species of cherry trees and some are more than half a century old.
The best time to view the peachy, pink, white and red cherry blossoms is expected to be later this month.
Walking around the trees can make one feel like they are in a fairy tale, but park visitors can also take boat rides or rent bicycles.
This year’s festival includes traditional Chinese opera performances and a pottery workshop is open to visitors.
Forest Walking Park, Children’s Forest Carnival Park, Countryside Forest Park and Forest Sporting Park are the four main areas for checking out the cherry trees.
The children’s park features a carousel and carnival train to keep the little ones busy. This area is adjacent to the lake, covers more than 25,000 square meters and has hundreds of cherry trees.
There are also magnolia, apple and other trees in this area.
A barbecue grill house offers hearty fare for hungry visitors.
Countryside Forest Park has 28 varieties of cherry blossoms. Winding pathways provide a soothing atmosphere for visitors to have a pleasant stroll under the cherry trees. This area is also a great place to take photos.
White cherry blossoms dominate in Forest Walking Park, which provides a “spectacular view,” according to an official from the district’s park management ecological projects office.
The Forest Sporting Park is a newer area. It contains a soccer pitch, as well as tennis and basketball courts.
Gucun Park officials say updated information about the blossoms is available daily on its Weibo and WeChat platforms.
This year, the festival includes temporary tents serving food and snacks like Chinese dumplings and spicy Korean rice cakes.
Hengshan Beijiao Hotel offers Shanghainese cuisine and will hold a German Beer Carnival with authentic German brews and live performances.
The park in Baoshan District is easy to access. Just hop on a Metro Line 7 train and get off at Gucun Park Station. Numerous bus lines also stop at the park. More buses will be dispatched if the number of visitors soars, Zhang Zhong, the park’s director says.
According to traffic police, 2,400 temporary parking spaces have been set up near the park to cope with the expected jump in visitors. The park already has 3,000 permanent parking spaces.
Gucun Park has 41 ticket windows, ensuring visitors don’t have to wait more than 10 minutes to enter even during peak times.
The admission fee is 20 yuan (US$3.21) per person.
Cherry Blossom Festival
Date: Through April 15
Venue: Gucun Park
Address: 4788 Hutai Rd
How to get there: Gucun Park Station of Metro Line 7