Olympics year-after: Olympic Forest Park (south side)
Olympic Forest Park is a nice concept, but the result leaves more to be desired.
For one, it's much too massive, especially when you consider the water is foul and the sights are commonplace, even downright boring. There's scant little to do inside -- you can rent a boat, but I can't imagine anyone wanting to -- and the coffee shop has long shuttered its doors. Perhaps this place would be nice for an evening stroll -- especially since speakers along the sidewalk constantly play violin and piano concertos and, I kid you not, the instrumental version of Can You Feel the Love Tonight -- but who would possibly go all the way to Fifth Ring Road just to walk around yet another Chinese park?
My final complaint is that there's no way of getting across the central lake to the south entrance exit if you're anywhere on the northwest part of the park. You have to walk around, and the walk is long and exhausting (the park is 680 hectares, after all) and can get really annoying. Did I mention the elevator music?
Again, it's not a bad park, and the designers certainly had their hearts in the right place. It's just a little -- dare I say? -- unnecessary.