Saturday, February 17, 2018

Nanning's Renmin Park

This park, located in the west of Nanning, is one of the few landmarks in Nanning. Built in 1951 on the remains of an old Song dynasty temple and later a republican era fortification. The park provides a rare green space in Nanning's concrete jungle.

The park has a few sights. A small fort with some republican era antiques. It was built very shortly after the 1912 revolution, and was used primarily against bandits and others in the province. It was built by a local mayor (warlord) and was later used by the actual republican government against the Japanese during the Second World War. There is lots more information at the fort itself, but all in Chinese.

The large lake at the bottom of the hill the fort is built on is called White Dragon Lake. According to legend (the plaque near the lake), during the Song dynasty a Daoist rolled down the hill and found immortality. I guess you really should do a barrel roll. The temple is long gone, but the lake and hill still exist.

There is also a large memorial to Mao and the communists who died in Guangxi during the various revolutions in the early 20th century. Next to it is a small museum to commemorate Mao's 1958 visit to the city. That much of the Great Leap Backward's policy was implemented in Nanning at that time goes unrecognized, but the people lining the river to see him and paintings to show his greatness abound. It is really a microcosm of how Mao is viewed in China. A great leader who liberated the people and was adored for it.... but don't look in to anything he actually did.

The park itself is much smaller than other parks in Nanning, but the history there makes it worth a visit..... since you're in Nanning anyway.

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