Friday, August 1, 2014

Xuanwu Lake Park

HNC admissions coordinator and 2012 Certificate alum Lauren Szymanski talks about her visits to Xuanwu Lake Park during her year in Nanjing:

One of the things I loved about the Hopkins-Nanjing Center was its close proximity to Xuanwu Lake Park (玄武).  Nanjing is a large city with a population of over 3.5 million people, so finding a bit of solitude in a visit to the lake and its surrounding park area can be a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city. The City of Nanjing has even identified it as one of the top five parks in the city!

The main entrance to the Xuanwu Lake Park is through Xuanwu Gate, which is part of the Nanjing City Wall. For years, Hopkins-Nanjing Center students, faculty and staff have been participating in an annual Wall Walk, with beautiful views of the lake being a definite highlight of the day.

Entrance to the lake and park is free, and you can definitely spend an entire day there. The park consists of five different islands which are all interconnected by arch bridges. Within the park are pagodas, pavilions, tea houses and restaurants. One of my favorite things about going to the lake and park area was that every visit was always different. There are a variety of trails through the park, so you never seem to walk the same path twice. The scenery also changed depending on the season, with beautiful foliage in the fall, people renting boats or ferries in the spring, and emerald lotus leaves fully open in the summer. 

Whether you want to go for a run through the park, have a picnic, or simply sit by the lake with a good book or your Chinese readings for class, Xuanwu Lake Park appeals to everyone. Being only a 15 minute walk from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, it was one of my favorite places to visit in the city of Nanjing, so if you’re in the area I definitely recommend that you check it out!