I’ve been getting city fever lately. Now matter how nice it is to stroll through the leafy former French Concession , looking at all the nice things I can’t afford to buy , dreaming of the $7USD cups of coffee I would like to have , I’ve been itching to get out. Last weekend featured a long metro ride out to SongJiang District and the awesome SheShan (“Mount She”)
This week featured a loonnng metro ride (19 stops from my house) to the northern reaches of Shanghai. GongQing Forest Park is a sprawling “forest” located in the hinterlands of Yangpu District , a bus/taxi ride onwards from the terminal station Shiguang Rd on metro line 8. Admission is a mere 15 rmb , although additional activities are extra.
We woke up early Sunday morning with the whole day ahead of us , and an intense craving for coffee. Nothing can change my love for coffee. Breakfast foods , on the other hand , are a whole another story. Maybe I’ve been in Asia too long but I skipped the bowl of cereal and went straight to the spiced lotus root and duck neck. Yes, duck neck. It is awesome.
We procured seats using advanced metro riding methodology long studied in the dog eat dog world of Shanghai rush hour, and 19 long stops later we were there!
Picture a forest park in your mind. What do you see? Trees , certainly , flowers , yes , a lake , of course! Rollercoasters , go-karts, paintball? No. The Chinese , however, do. The forest park as envisioned by them is an all-included entertainment center. I took full advantage of this.
A three-hour tour . A three-hour tour. Uh guys, I can’t see the shore anymore!
Cap’n Booze welcomes you aboard!
The park (you know the nature part!) is really great and even though there is a rollercoaster somewhere in the confines of the vast park it’s easy to forget you are in Shanghai. Thick pine groves with no people and only a dirt track , verdant woody areas with wildflowers. Reverberating blasts from the horns of cargo haulers on the adjacent Huangpu River (ok , ok , still in Shanghai :))
The entertainment in the park includes go-karts , bumper cars, a merry go-round , a log ride , rollercoaster with complete upside down loop , paintball , archery ,horse riding, a kids zone , paddle and electric boat rental for cruising the lake , a zipline over the lake ,various food and drink stands, DIY BBQ pits, two-seater bike rentals, and a few other assorted carnival rides. I was hugely let down by the sign proclaiming mini-golf when there was no mini-golf to be had. Seriously , there is no putt-putt option in the entirety of Shanghai , and most likely in the entire country. This is a travesty.
With the exception of the lack of mini-golf , this is a ROOMAOMAO certified awesome, excellent city escape. Go there while the weather lasts , before the definition of fun becomes hot tea , blankets, and meters tall stacks of DVDs. Viva la summer! (or verano if you please)
Even though it’s only Monday my thoughts are already wandering off to next weekend. Where to go? Tongchuan Fish Market? Nanxiang for some of the best Shanghai XiaoLongBao? Hmmm , choices , choices.