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5 ridiculously beautiful places right next to the Shanghai metro
Admire the Huangpu River meeting the Yangtze, frolic in a lush experimental farm or just lie still in Asia's most artistic wheat field -- all only a metro ride away
Shanghai's best-kept secrets aren't all hidden down dark corners and twisting alleyways. Some are actually highly accessible. In fact, so accessible, they're right next to a metro station.
Here are our favorite natural escapes in Shanghai that are too often overlooked -- and each reachable by metro.
More on CNNGo: 15 places to see in China that aren't the Great Wall
1. Wusonkou Paotaiwan Wetland Park (吴淞口炮台湾公园)
The spot: Near the Shui Chan Lu metro station, the Wusonkou Paotaiwan Wetland Park humbles us with the massive view of the Huangpu River. Located in the east of Baosan District, with the well-known Wusongkou to its southwest, the park is near where the Huangpu and Yangtze rivers merge.
The name Paotaiwan, literary meaning “cannon bay,” can be traced back to the Qing Dynasty, when naval cannons were installed at the site.
The fun: Be sure to walk along the park’s 1,974-meter long riverbank, enjoy the river breeze and watch cruise ships sailing slowly on the Yangtze River.
Getting there: Take Metro Line 3 to Shui Chan Lu (水产路站) station then switch to a short taxi ride, which costs around RMB 10. Entry fee for the park is RMB 5.
2. Dongjing Experimental Farmland (洞泾实验田)
The spot: A Shanghai farm has never looked so postcard perfect than the Dongjing Experimental Farmland.
Perhaps the least obvious of our five choices here, the Dongjing Experimental Farmland is a gorgeous stretch of carefully cultivated crops, roughly the size of three football fields.
Every June, seeds are sown in the field, so visitors can enjoy a beautifully green scene by August, dotted by well groomed livestock.
Head here to take those studio-perfect farm-chic shots and relish in a romanticized version of rural life.
The fun: If you are lucky, you will see farmers working in the fields in the afterglow of sunset –- another perfect photo opportunity.
Fishing fans will also be happy to hear that the pond nearby is home to some big wild carp.
Getting there: Although it’s located in the rural Songjiang district, Metro Line 9 can easily take you there from downtown within 30 minutes. Get out at Dongjing station (洞泾站) and the farm is right across the road.
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3. Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Wetland (上海科技馆湿地)
The spot: Though the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum is a major landmark in Pudong, only a handful of Shanghainese have heard of the wetland nearby.
Located beside the parking lot of Century Square, the wetland is an unobtrusive natural wonder in this big city, drawing naturalists, insect-lovers and bird-watchers.
It is a haven for wildlife -- its the only park in the city that has more than two species of wild waterfowl -- and a sanctuary for frazzled human nerves.
The fun: Fish for small lobsters and crabs from the wetland's ponds, but we wouldn't recommend eating them. Bug collectors will find an abundance of prey awaiting them.
Getting there: Take Metro Line 2 to Shanghai Science and Technology Museum station (上海科技馆站). Exit at Gate 7, then walk for about seven minutes.
More on CNNGo: 8 strangest Shanghai museums
4. Fangdian Road wheat field (芳甸路麦田)
The spot: It's incredible to see a wheat field in the city, let alone one located right next to an art center.
This natural farmland lies next to Fangdian Road, in front of its owner Zendai Himalayan Art Center, which will officially open this October.
Consisting of three plots covering 1,800 square meters, the field is cultivated by farmhands especially employed by the art center.
During the wheat-ripening season from now until the end of summer, visitors can enjoy the view of a large stretch of golden wheat field in contrast to the art center's abstract architectural design.
The fun: Enjoy the wheat's scent and collect some wheat stems as your new home decor ornaments.
Getting there: Take Metro Line 7 to Huamu Road station (花木路). Exit at Gate 3.
More on CNNGo: The best Shanghai art outside the galleries
5. Nanyuan Jiangbin Park (南园江滨绿地公园)
The spot: As part of the former Shanghai Expo site, the Nanyuan Jiangbin Park has only been open to the public for less than 10 months.
Visitors will see a variety of plants, including sycamore, red maple, golden stem, even the rare sorrel and crape myrtle.
The star attraction of the park is the tulips, arranged in rows and in different colors.
The fun: Have a big picnic and enjoy the flowers in the park with friends.
Getting there: Take Metro Line 4 to Lu Ban Lu station(鲁班路站). A 15-minute walk towards Huangpu River will get you there.