Sizzling barbecue options to keep away winter's chill
By Pan Zheng
AS the city gets colder, the thought of having a picnic in a park sounds a decidedly chilly prospect.
But there is an option, where you can enjoy the outdoors while feasting on tasty fare guaranteed to keep the cold at bay. So what are you waiting for? Go find a outdoor spot and enjoy a delicious barbecue!
In Shanghai there are numerous barbecue options, many in public parks. Park provide large barbecue areas, grills, utensils and even the BBQ food. The only things visitors are asked to bring are some cooking skills.
Here are some good choices for enjoying the great outdoors while preparing lamb kebabs, chicken wings, potatoes and other barbecue goodies.
Gongqing Forest Park
Located on Jungong Road of Yangpu District, in the northeast of the city, this 131-hectare park is probably one of the most popular places for young locals to hold barbecue parties.
The huge picnic lawn - about 93,200 square meters - is located in the center of the park. This ideal picnic lawn is surrounded with trees and bushes, forming a beautiful forest canopy.
The barbecue area is very popular, with visitors gathering from the morning, especially at weekends. The park doesn't take any reservations for barbecue space and tables, chairs and grills are often all rented out at 10am.
So even if you don't plan to fire up the barbecue quite that early, you'd be advised to get your spot early, otherwise you could be waiting well into the afternoon with a rumbling stomach.
Visitors can bring their own food to the barbecue area but are not permitted to bring grills and charcoal for safety reasons.
For around 100 yuan (US$16), two people, bringing nothing with them, can enjoy a good meal.
Address: 2000 Jungong Rd, Yangpu District
Admission: 15 yuan
Sheshan NationalForest Park
If firing up a barbecue on a hillside rather than a lawn appeals, Sheshan National Forest Park in Songjiang District is among the nearest option for locals.
Located on the well-known 90-meter-high Sheshan Hill, Sheshan National Forest Park is famous for its Catholic church and the observatory. At weekends it's often crowded with visitors as admission is now free.
Although small, the hillside barbecue area offers a fine view down to the town. And as it's close to Songjiang University Town, it's popular among students holding outdoor parties.
Rules are similar to those in Gongqing Forest Park but the price is a little bit higher. You can get there on Metro Line 9 or take a Tour 1B bus line from Shanghai Stadium.
Address: Waiqingsong Rd, Shenshan Town, Songjiang District
Dongping NationalForest Park
Located at the north of Chongming Island, at 360 hectares, Dongping National Forest Park is the biggest artificial lowland forest in east China.
The large barbecue square can accommodate hundreds of visitors, and since it's a large park and the barbecue area is well inside, renting a bicycle at the entrance is advised.
At weekends, the barbecue square starts to become crowded after 10am, since going to barbecue party is the first thing many visitors do after getting to the park.
Barbecue prices and rules are mostly the same as at Gongqing Forest Park.
To work up an appetite, Dongping National Forest Park offers many other outdoor pursuits, such as horse riding, grass skating and karting.