Visitor numbers exceed expectations at new park
The newly open Pujiang Country Park in Minhang District has attracted over 370,000 visitors during its first month of trial operation.
That is well above expectations, the park’s operator said on Monday.
A daily average of 15,000 visitors have come to the suburban country park since its trial opening on July 29, causing traffic congestion on the Puxing Highway near the park’s Gate 1.
Sometimes, those driving to the park have been caught in a jam for up to an hour on the highway waiting to enter the parking areas, the park said.
Visitors are advised to try to avoid the peak periods at weekends and after 6pm every day, said Huang Liming, the park's operation director.
An average of 23,500 visitors have come on weekends, accounting for half the total numbers during the monthlong operation, Huang said. And some 30 percent of the visitors came between 6pm and 9pm, he added. The park opens from 5am to 9pm every day.
The first phase opening covers about 5.82 square kilometers, equating to about 700 football pitches. It is divided into five parts — farming, entertainment, physical exercise, ecology and riverside walking.
One the most popular sites is the Garden of Miracles that features a large castle built from flower frames. Climbing onto the top of the castle, visitors can see a "flower blanket" that covers more than 16,000 square meters.
The Forest of Vitality near Gate 2 is decorated with wild flowers and a pathway in the forest leads to an outdoor venue surrounded by an artificial river.
The Willow and Egret Farming Area offers typical rural scenery. In this area, visitors are able to pick fruit, plant corn, watch egrets and other wildlife and camp by the river.
To attract visitors to other park sections, the operators have prepared a stage show called "Monkey Subdues White-skeleton Demon," based on a classic Chinese literature journey, in the Forest Performance Center of the park. The stage performance incorporates acrobatics, puppets and multimedia shows to attract children and their parents.
The park operators will improve traffic guidance and visitor flows to prepare for the official opening in October, Huang said. Facilities will also be improved and some safety concerns addressed.
The operators will publicize real-time numbers on WeChat of visitors in each park section as well as the number of vehicles using the parking areas, he said.
More chain stores, restaurants and other shops will open soon. Currently, the parking sites near the Forest of Vitality and Willow and Egret Farming Area are free of charge to attract more visitors there, Huang added.
On completion of its second and last phase by 2020, the park will cover 15.29 square kilometers.
It is one of seven in a first batch of country parks to open in Shanghai, mostly in suburban districts including Jiading, Jinshan, Songjiang and Qingpu.