Like the even smaller Houhai Exercise Park on the opposite side of the lake, Houhai Park (really just a small square) is a popular place for a spot of group exercise. There’s a bit more space here, though, so you’ll see a greater variety of activities being performed.
People meet here for dancing, singing, badminton, taichi, keepie-uppies, sword swinging, shouting, walking backwards, or even just to rub their backs up and down the trunk of a tree.
Early morning is a favourite time for taichi and other more meditative activities. By evening time, it’s all about singing and dancing, with just as many people sitting on the low walls and watching as there are those joining in. It’s a very family-friendly atmosphere and there are always plenty of little games you can join in with, especially if you have kids.
The park is just back from the small duck sanctuary, known as Mallard Island, from where you can rent boats.
Houhai Park off Yangfang Hutong