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2005-06-13 Oriental Land a peaceful escape
2005-06-13 15:43:01
ORIENTAL Land, located on the shores of Dianshan Lake in Qingpu District, serves not only as recreational and social center, but also the ¡°lungs of the city.¡±

Walking through the land¡¯s main gate, visitors immediately enter a world of lush greenery. Covering an area of 373 hectares, the ¡°city forest¡± features more than 400 different types of plants, 110,000 trees, and 170,000 square meters of grass.

The beautiful tree lined streets are a distinguishing feature of the area, providing an enjoyable walking path.

The beautiful tree lined streets are a distinguishing feature of the area, providing an enjoyable walking path.

There are more than 500 sweet osmanthus trees standing on both sides of the Sweet Osmanthus Road. When the autumn breeze is gentle, the fragrance of sweet osmanthus is everywhere, making the air taste sweet.

¡°More and more city residents come to the area on the weekend for its clean air and ecological environment,¡± said Huang Jin, general
manager of the Oriental Land. He said the area attracted more than 1 million visitors last year.

Opened to the public in 2001, Oriental Land was designed as a campsite for youngsters.

¡°Nowadays, students are always overloaded with homework and feel they are under great pressure from peers, which is not healthy for their overall development. In addition, health and fitness are under threat through ¡®over-safe¡¯ lifestyles,¡± said Huang.

¡°Thus, high school students around the city are required to attend the three-day outdoor activities here in order to help them develop physical and social skills,¡± Huang added.

Last year, more than 300,000 students took part in the threeday camp.

The well-structured outdoor education program offers a range of practical activities, such as rock climbing and outdoor survival techniques.

The students are also encouraged to pitch their own tents and make their own food, although guides are always on hand.

The campsite has about 100 employees trained in all aspects of safety and outdoor activities to ensure each student is secure and the experience is rewarding and fulfilling.

Huang said the area has also drawn much attention from corporations, organizations and international schools in the city.

Students from six international schools, including Shanghai American School, the Britain International School, and Shanghai Singapore International School, have already enjoyed challenging and unfamiliar experiences at the camp.

At the campsite, a new health and physical fitness testing center, the first of its kind in China, was opened to the public last year.

Huang said visitors can test their speed, stamina, strength, and balance by climbing manmade rocks, walking over a long bridge, or trudging around lakes.

Health experts provide health-care tips and diet suggestions after the test.

Huang said Oriental Land serves not only as an outdoor education base, but also an ideal weekend getaway for stressed city dwellers looking to return to the happiness of nature.

On a sunny day, parents can spread picnic blankets on the grass while children fly kites.

The water surface within the camp covers an area of 130 hectares.

Boat rowing provides an enjoyable pastime for most visitors. Dragon boats are also available for rent to those who are curious about the traditional Chinese sport.

People can team up to compete on the lake. The drummer leads the crew through rhythmic beating of a drum while paddlers follow the pace and splash their paddles on the lake.

After exciting sports activities, visitors will have the chance to appreciate 167 sculptures along the 700meter ¡°Sculpture Avenue¡± advocating knowledge and human civilization. Artists nationwide have worked on the sculptures.

The avenue includes sculptures of many historical figures, including Plato and Albert Einstein.


Copyright 2005 Shanghai QingPu Government All Rights Reserved.