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Century Park

Add:Gate 1, No. 1001 Jinxiu Rd; Gate 2, No. 901 Jinxiu Rd; Gate 3, No. 701 Jinxiu Rd

Tel:021-5833 5621

Time:7am-6pm

2012-08-23

Sprawling Century Park is one of the biggest parks in Shanghai and it’s probably got the cleanest air (unless you want to go all the way to Chongming County). The ecological park covers 140 hectares of emerald green at the end of Century Avenue. It features an open-air theater,[CN1] and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum is nearby.

The square, green lawns, woods and various facilities make it a place of recreation on weekends. There’s space for sports and you can go running on a track or on lanes; you can also rent a bike.

The park opened in April 2000 at a cost of more than 1 billion yuan (US$146.4 million) and was designed by British LUC Co. The park combines Eastern and Western cultures, human imagination and nature, and it features Chinese gardens.

The main areas are wooded lands, man-made Jingtian Lake and other bodies of water, and lawns. There are 45 scenic spots, such as islands, country gardens, secure children’s playgrounds, grasslands, bird preserves and facilities for scientific experiments.

Century Flower Clock is a landmark, facing Century Avenue, with its “back” to Jingtian Lake. It is surrounded by a flower bed of 12 meters in diameter. The mechanism of the Century Flower Clock is controlled by the satellite and the error is only 0.03 seconds. It’s scientific, artistic and practical.

Entering from the No. 1 gate, visitors encounter the 12.5-hectare artificial Jingtian Lake. It’s 5 meters deep. The lake is linked with Zhangjiabang Creek at the outer edge of the park and a sluice gate controls the level of the lake, which ripples in the breeze and shines in the sun. It also reflects clouds in the sky.

In the west of the park is the 8,000-square-meter open-air theater, with stages and state-of-the-art sound, lighting and other performance facilities. Music amplifiers project the sound to the audience. The Musical Fountain combines water, music, light, movement, shape and rhythm. It is ornamental, artistic and participatory. The fountain has 208 spray heads and 600 fancy lanterns, to coordinate the light and water displays. The water dances to the music. The water/light/music shows are breathtaking.

Century Park offers many activities. You can rent a bike or a tandem bicycle to get around the huge park (private bikes not allowed). There’s fishing, boating, kite-flying and plenty of space for a picnic.

There are spectacular fireworks shows during the Spring Festival, the May Day holiday and the National Day holiday in October. You can save a lot of money by watching the fireworks from outside the park, but you’ll miss the music.

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