This leafy spot with a large lawn, laid out by the French in 1909 and used by the Japanese as a parade ground in the late 1930s, remains one of the city’s more enticing parks. There is always plenty to see here: the park is a refuge for the elderly and a practising field for itinerant musicians, chess players, people walking backwards and slow-moving taichi types.
Heavily shaded by big-leafed wutong trees, it’s a choice place to take a seat and escape the summer sun; there’s even a popular kids’ playground. Impassive to the laughter of children, the huge stony-faced busts of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels gaze out from a seemingly redundant epoch, and nobody seems to notice. The park stays open later during the summer months.