Qingming Park – Kaifeng

qingming park - kaifeng

We spent the second part of our only full day in Kaifeng in Qingming Park (also called Millennium City Park). It’s a theme park based on a painting called Along the River During the Qingming Festival by Zhang Zeduan. The picture is the shape of a scroll rolled out horizontally. Unfortunately they don’t exhibit the picture (except for short periods every few years), so we didn’t see the original. When I was in China Art Museum in Shanghai a week ago, there was an interactive exhibition about this painting, but it required special tickets so we didn’t go in (the museum is free except for special exhibitions). But back to Kaifeng.

qingming architecture
Building at Qingming Park

When they use theme park they don’t really mean the kind with rides and activities. It’s more like a museum, but in a park. There is also a show – reenactment of a historical battle (I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a specific one, or just a generic battle) with uniforms, horses, canons, guns and everything. There is a voice-over that gives context to the battle, but it was in Chinese, so you know, didn’t catch much of that. There were cheesy pyrotechnics to mimic guns and canons firing, and maybe even some bombs? I am not sure, because the place was packed with people so I could barely seen anything over their heads.

monkey qingming
That monkey did not look very healthy

There were quite a few very impressive buildings. We were able to go inside some of them, but they were mostly empty, so I prefer the outside.

pagoda kaifeng
Pagoda at Qingming Park

In one of them, however, was a stage with a band. They were practicing for a concert with traditional Chinese instruments. The most impressive were the bells – you can see them in the picture below. In real life they were grey colored, but I couldn’t take a good photo in those light conditions. I also really liked the flute. If someone wanted to give me one of those I certainly wouldn’t say no. (I had lessons for 4 years in primary school, and I like different types of flutes or similar instruments.)

traditional chinese instruments
Practicing for a performance

They sounded very nice, but unfortunately we couldn’t wait for the actual show.

qingming bridge
A white bridge over a lake

My favourite structure in the park was this white bridge. It looked amazing and the view from it was pretty nice as well. My friends found some other uses for it as well.

Some nerds sliding down a bridge
qingming park toboggan
The same nerds now sliding down something that is actually meant for sliding

Unlike the boys, I am not a huge fan of slides, but I do love swings. In fact, I think they are by far the best thing on the playground. I can’t resist one, not that I ever try too hard. There was a good sturdy swing, that went high up – I am not going to pass on that kind of treasure.

swing at qingming
A really good swing

Because we only entered the park after lunch, after a few hours the sun started getting pretty low.

tower at qingming
We couldn’t go inside this one
chinese trad music
The background music for a show

We left the park to go to a restaurant to have an amazing dinner of duck (if there is a difference between Beijing duck and Kaifeng duck, I didn’t notice it) and some other dishes. Alex, Fabio and I mostly focused on the duck (it’s definitely in my top 3 Chinese dishes) and left the rest to Diandian. Then we went to Kaifeng university where Diandian is studying (well actually he was just graduating). There is no park there, so the students hang out on the football field. After 9pm everyone but us left the field. We stayed for quite a long time, having some beers and listening to music.

Early next morning we left Kaifeng. It was interesting to see such a radical mixture of ancient and modern, and I had a lot of fun.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *