The steam bath that is the Shanghai summer is upon us. My first inclination is to stay inside enjoying the comforts of air conditioning. But there are a few areas of the city still worth exploring this time of year, including the exceedingly lovely Fuxing (pronounced phoo-shing) Park. Once known as “the French garden,” Fuxing Park was designed in 1909 by the government of the French Concession for the private use of its citizens. Later, the Japanese used the park as a military parade ground during their occupation of Shanghai. Today Fuxing Park is a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city, where local residents can escape the heat and relax with their neighbors, take a lunchtime nap or go fishing in their pajamas.
My favorite section of the park is the beautifully tended rose garden. The pretty flowers perfume the air and make me forget about the sauna-like conditions and pollution for a few precious minutes.
What’s your favorite garden?