The novel coronavirus epidemic may be ongoing, but the tulips at Taiziwan Park are in full bloom despite it all.
The flowers — red, orange, pink and purple — appear beneath lofty trees, by a small lake, crisscrossing meadow land and along the north boundary of the park.
Taiziwan Park, on the southern side of West Lake, is popular with families. It’s a great spot for picnicking and for couples taking wedding photographs, as it’s ablaze with flowers all year around. Daily visitor numbers once peaked at 100,000.
However, because of the stringent epidemic control policies in Hangzhou, mass gatherings are not allowed so the park has introduced measures to cut down crowds, ensuring its annual tulip exhibition is safe.
Visitor numbers are limited to 10,000 a day but may be adjusted in the future depending on the situation of epidemic.
Visits must be booked via the Zhangshang Xihu app, or the Hangzhou Huagang and West Lake Scenic Area WeChat accounts.
The park is linked to Alipay’s color-based health code system and only people with green code can book. Visitors have to have their temperatures checked and swipe their identity cards before entry, and face masks are required at all times.
The entrance is equipped with somatosensory screening machine and staffed with volunteers. If the machine detects a person with higher temperature, volunteers will double check and immediately report suspicious cases to authorities.
To prevent crowding, the park has designed a counterclockwise route that starts from its northern exit, passing by the western exit and ending at the eastern exit.
In addition to tulips, the park has planted other species of spring blooms, including hyacinths and crocuses. Adding to the color and fragrance are classic park plants — yellow winter jasmine, pink camellia and pink and white hill cherry trees.
Hangzhou Bus Company has two services to the park that pick up passengers at Chishanbu Bus Station and Su Causeway Bus Station.
Other scenic spots at West Lake are reopening gradually.
Longjing Restaurant, one of the city’s most popular dining establishments, was the first eatery in the West Lake Scenic Area to reopen on March 1.
Customers are advised to avoid sitting face to face, and tables have been set further apart than before.
All staff and diners must receive temperature checks and show their health code before entering the restaurant. The central air-conditioning has been switched off and windows are opened frequently. Extra tableware is offered with each dish to encourage diners to use one set of chopsticks and spoons to take food from communal dishes and another set to eat with. Staff can also separate food into portions for each diner.
Small boats are now available to paddle on the lake. However, in order to lower infection risks, only three to five people are allowed per boat, according to the size.
Passengers must show their green health code and have their temperatures checked.
Taiziwan Park is livestreaming its tulip exhibition, and museums are also using livestreaming platforms to attract online audiences.
Liangzhu Archeology Museum, for example, is still closed but can be visited online. It has held three livestreams so far, viewed by more than 170,000 people each time.
To show gratitude and respect to medical staff for their contribution to the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, the management committee of the West Lake Scenic Area announced over the weekend that all scenic spots will open to medical workers all over the country free of charge throughout the year.
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