My most interesting nature experience in Beijing, by Robert

Nature is relatively scarce in Beijing because the place is about as metropolitan as the definition of the word allows for. It’s not unheard of to catch a glimpse of natural beauty here, though. The parks are quite nice, my personal favorite being XiangShan, or “fragrant mountain.” Its rolling hills, green foliage, and beautiful police station are a thing to behold. It also has a nice pond with no less than three swans, nature’s beautiful jerks. Any public park can surprise you, though. It’s not uncommon to catch sight of a hedgehog scurrying near dark. Don’t actually catch one, though, because that’s a cultural no-no. Also, they have spines. Even on the streets in some areas, you observe the habits of the semi-domesticated Beijing street dog. These guys are street-smart as animals come; they’ll switch to the other side of the sidewalk to avoid bumping into people, or even wait for pedestrian signals to cross major intersections. In other words, it’s very much a city, but if you look, you can find nature growing between the cracks.

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