Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Xinsheng Park

Walt Disney said, "We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun together." The nearest Disneyland to Taipei is in Hong Kong, but Taiwan's capital has plenty of less spectacular places where families, couples, friends and singles can relax and enjoy natural surroundings. Xinsheng Park is a 20-hectare site in the heart of Taipei, not far from Songshan Airport.
The park's proximity to an airport means its serene atmosphere is interrupted fairly regularly by aeroplanes coming in to land, but for the rest of the time Xinsheng Park provides a quiet, handy escape from the bustling city.

The nearest MRT stations, Yuanshan on the Red Line and Zhongshan Elementary School on the Yellow Line, are 15 minutes' walk away. We prefer to alight at Yuanshan, because the walk from there is almost entirely pedestrianised, and very pleasant. Yuanshan Park is just outside the MRT station, and at weekends a farmers' market is held in the grounds of the Yuanshan Plaza.
The walk to Xinsheng Park passes through the market area to a main road. After crossing the road, the path continues, meandering through the grounds of Taipei Fine Arts Museum. A second road must be traversed -  Xinsheng North Road Section 3. This involves crossing the entry and exit ramps of a raised freeway, but there are traffic lights.

The walkway through the Fine Arts Museum grounds is very pretty and quiet, and often there are interesting, unfathomable events occurring.

Sometimes you're better off not knowing what's going on.

At Xinsheng Park there's a maze, bike paths, covered areas and pavilions remaining from the 2010 Flora Expo. The pavilions include The Pavilion of the Future, The Pavilion of Dreams and The Taipei Pavilion. You can buy a NT$150 pass to visit all three. The theme of the Pavilion of the Future is "the harmonious ties between mankind and the ecological environment they share with plant life."

The pavilions provide much needed shade on the hottest days, and shelter during rainstorms.

They are also very pleasant, open places to sit and relax if the ground is a little muddy.
The paths are wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians, and there is a YouBike station nearby at the Lin An-Tai Historical House for those without their own bicycles. 

With this fine traditional Chinese home and the Fine Arts Museum close to hand, a visit to Xinsheng Park and the surrounding attractions makes for an interesting and relaxing day's outing within Taipei City.

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