Mochou Lake Park, Nanjing – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

mochou lake park

Nanjing, a city steeped in history and culture, is home to numerous natural and architectural wonders, and among them, Mochou Lake stands out as a jewel in the city’s crown. Situated on the west bank of the Qinhuai River, Mochou Lake covers a total area of 0.511 square kilometers, with the lake itself encompassing 0.323 square kilometers, and the land surrounding it occupying 0.187 square kilometers. It is the second-largest lake within the main urban area of Nanjing, eclipsed only by Xuanwu Lake.

The history of Mochou Lake dates back to the Six Dynasties period when the south bank of the Yangtze River shifted northward, eventually forming the lake we know today. During the Southern Tang dynasty, it was known as “Hengtang”. Due to its proximity to Stone City, it was also referred to as Shicheng Lake (Stone City Lake). In the early years of the Ming dynasty, numerous pavilions and towers were constructed along the shores of Mochou Lake. By the mid-Ming period, it became one of the renowned gardens in Jinling, owned by the descendants of Xu Da, Duke of Wei. During the Qing dynasty in the 58th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1793), Mochou Lake underwent a significant renovation, with the construction of “Yujintang” and more than ten other pavilions around the lake. Unfortunately, during the Xianfeng period, many of these architectural treasures were destroyed in the ravages of war. In the tenth year of the Qing dynasty’s Tongzhi reign (1871), efforts were made to rebuild Mochou Lake, gradually restoring its former splendor. In the 18th year of the Republic of China (1929), Mochou Lake was transformed into a public park, open for the enjoyment of all.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours7.00 – 21.00
Telephone Number025-86661790

Location and Transportation

Mochou Lake Park is located in the heart of Nanjing. Its exact address is No. 132, Shuiximen Avenue, JIanye District, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 7, 19, 37, 41, 48, 134, 160, 166, 204, or 306 and get off at the South Gate of Mochou Lake Park Stop (莫愁湖公园站).

Metro: The nearest metro station to the park is Mochou Lake (莫愁湖) on Line 2. After getting out of the station from Exit 1, you will be standing right next to the box office.


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Highlights of Mochou Lake Park

Legend And Folklore

mochou lake in mochou lake park

The name Mochou Lake itself is derived from a poignant tale of a young woman named Mochou. Hailing from Luoyang in Henan Province, Mochou’s early life was marred by tragedy as she lost her mother at a tender age, leaving her and her father to face life’s hardships together. Tragedy struck again when her father met an unfortunate end while gathering herbs, and with their meager means, Mochou had no choice but to sell herself to pay for her father’s burial. At the time, a merchant named Lu saw the pure and captivating beauty of Mochou and was deeply moved by her plight. He assisted Mochou in arranging her father’s burial and brought her to the capital of the Southern Liang Dynasty, Jiankang, which later became known as Nanjing.

One fateful day, Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty, while enjoying the flowers, happened upon Mochou and was instantly captivated by her beauty. His obsession with her grew to the point where he couldn’t eat or sleep, ultimately leading to his decision to have Lu’s son executed, enabling him to take Mochou as his concubine. Upon learning of this, Mochou was filled with grief and anger and chose to end her life by jumping into what was then known as Shicheng Lake. In her memory, the name of the lake was changed to Mochou Lake, a testament to the enduring legend of a young woman who captured the heart of an emperor.


Traditional Architecture

traditional architecture in mochou lake

One of the most striking features of Mochou Lake Park is its collection of ancient buildings, primarily constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Among these, “Yujintang” is a standout structure, originally built during the Southern Liang dynasty and later restored in 1793. Yujintang consists of two halls, one to the north and one to the south, connected by a corridor with a lotus-viewing pavilion. In the center, you’ll find a lotus pond with a white marble statue of Mochou, standing over 2 meters tall.

Moreover, “Suhe Xiang” is a courtyard located just south of Yujintang, forming a cohesive architectural unit. With a total area of 111.10 square meters, this brick and wood structure is adorned with wooden inscriptions from 1914 by Chen Zuxu, as well as inscriptions of poems and writings from various eras, such as Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty and modern poet Guo Moruo.


Various Gardens

cherry blossoms in mochou lake park

The gardens in Mochou Lake Park are a sight to behold, offering a vivid display of natural beauty throughout the year. Notable among them is the Sea of Begonias, which covers an area of approximately 12,600 square meters. The garden is adorned with nearly a thousand begonia plants representing over forty different varieties. Additionally, Mochou Lake Park boasts the China-Japan Friendship Iris Garden, which is the largest of its kind, featuring a wide array of iris species. Since its establishment in 1995, the park has worked tirelessly to introduce, cultivate, and manage irises. Furthermore, it has also fostered cultural exchanges with Japanese experts who have visited the park to provide technical guidance and gift new iris varieties.


Picturesque Pavilions

teahouse and gardens in mochou lake

A series of picturesque pavilions graces the landscape of Mochou Lake Park, each offering a unique perspective on the natural beauty that surrounds them. The “Shanghe Pavilion,” located in the southern part of the lake, on the east side of the bamboo forest, exemplifies the classic architectural style of the Ming and Qing dynasties. With its brick and wood structure, it consists of three rooms, covering an area of 115.57 square meters, along with a 100-square-meter platform that extends over the water, paved with beautiful rain flower stones for 54 meters. The “Daidu Pavilion” is situated to the west of Mochou Shuiyuan, covering an area of 38.08 square meters, with an attached corridor measuring 54.6 square meters. It also serves as a departure point for scenic boat tours and features a 500-meter-long, 2-meter-wide boardwalk along the lake’s edge. Lastly, the “Huxin Pavilion,” located on the island in the northeast part of the lake, is a brick and wood structure with an octagonal design, covering an area of 112.84 square meters. The pavilion is surrounded by a 100-meter boardwalk.


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Useful Information from Reviews

Boat Ride Information:

  • Boat rides have a minimum duration of 1 hour, with two pricing tiers: 100 yuan during the off-peak season and 120 yuan during the peak season, which is from September to October.
  • Additionally, a 100 yuan deposit is required, but it will be refunded upon return of the card. The lake is home to ducks.

Entrance Features:

  • At the entrance, there is an outdoor children’s entertainment area, making it a family-friendly destination. Parents can bring their children to fish or catch frogs by the water.

Ideal for Relaxation:

  • Mouchou Lake Park is recommended for leisurely activities like post-meal strolls or those seeking a quieter atmosphere away from crowded places.
  • If you are specifically traveling from out of town, it may not be necessary to visit Mouchou Lake Park, and alternatives like Xuanwu Lake or Zhongshan Scenic Area are suggested.

Seasonal Attractions:

  • In March, cherry blossoms bloom, and in July, lotus flowers bloom, enhancing the overall beauty of the park.
  • The park is especially picturesque during these blooming seasons, offering a delightful experience for visitors.

Dining Options Outside South Gate:

  • Outside the south gate, there are plenty of dining options, including local Nanjing snacks. This provides an opportunity to explore and taste local flavors after your visit to the park.

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