Beihai Park

Beihai Park or North Sea Park is located half kilometer to the west of the north gate of theForbidden City. Beihai Park is one of the most popular parks in the city of Beijing. The whole park covers a total area of over 68 hectares, more than half of it is taken up by the Beihai Lake. It is used to be the former palace of the emperors in successive dynasties, called the Winter Palace by Westerners. It has a history of 1000 years. Beihai has existed throughout the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Most of the buildings now standing was constructed during Emperor Qianlong's regin in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.). Here had been used to be the imperial garden for many dynasties, including Lion, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties of China.

Beihai Park is now one of the best of China's classical gardens with artificial hills, pavilions, halls, temples and covered corridors today. In summer, Beihai Park is an ideal place to escape from heat. The view in front of the magnificent White Dagoba on top of White Dagoba Hill is of the golden tiles and red walls of the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park with its five pavilions to the east and the graceful buildings of Tuancheng (the Round City) and the green waves of Zhongnanhai to the south. One can also have a panoramic view of the Great Hall of the People, the Museum of History and many high-rise buildings in Beijing. Beihai Park is really one of the most popular scenic spots in the capital, Beijing. Beihai was opened to the public in 1925 and in 1961 it was one of the first important cultural sites placed under protection by the State Council.

What to see in Beihai Park

Beihai Park Scenic Area is composed of Qiongdao Island, East Shore Area, North Shore Area, Dotanical Garden and Circular City. The main scenery of Beihai Park includes Beihai Lake, Jade Islet, Jinxinhai, Nine Dragon Screen, Round City, White Pagoda, Suhavati Garden, Yong'an Temple and many other interesting sites. 

White Pagoda Temple in Beihai Park

In the garden, pavilions and towers nestle amid the beautiful scenery of lakes and hills,grass and trees. Carrying on the traditions of garden landscaping of ancient China Beihai is a gem of garden art.

• Qiongdao Island
(Jade Island) is located in Taiye Pool inside Beihai. The layout of the buildings on the island is in accordance with the shape of the mountain. The layout is well-proportioned in height, nestled in the pines and cypresses. In the south of this island stands Yongan Temple, which was formerly known as White Pagoda Temple and consists of Fa Hall, Zhengjue Hall and other buildings. This temple was originally built in the beginning of 1651 and is 35.9 meters high. The base of it is a masonry Xumizuo with three round tables. There is a stone bridge connected with the shore in the southeast of the island, such as picturesque Jingshan Mountain.

• Five Dragon Pavilions
Five Dragon Pavilions were built in 1602 during the Ming Dynasty. In old days the emperor and his consorts came here to fish, watch fireworks or admire the moon. The five waterborne pavilions are connected by zigzagging bridges. The one in the middles is the largest.

• Circular City
Circular City is sited in the west of South Gate of Beihai Park. Circular City is said to be "a small city in Beijing city". Mission City is between the Forbidden City, Jingshan Mountain, Zhongnanhai and the North Sea, surrounded by picturesque scenery, pines and cypresses. Chengguang Hall stands in the center of the city. It is the main structure in the Circular City and has a square platform in front and a roof of several tiers of flying eaves. The roof is covered with yellow glazed tiles and edged with green glazed. During the Ming Dynasty the emperor liked to come here to watch fireworks. There is a shrine in the hall, dedicated to a white jade Buddha statute made from a single piece of jade, 1.5 meters high. The head and clothes of it are decorated with red and green jewels. There are pine trees in it. planted in Jin Dynasty, which has some 800 years of history. They are the oldest trees in Beijing.

• Nine Dragon Screen
Nine Dragon Screen in Beihai Park was made in 1756. The wall is five meters high, 1.2 meters thick and 27 meters long. The whole wall is built with glazed color bricks. On either side of it there are nine dragons, also made of glazed bricks. Each dragon plays with a pearl amidst waves of clouds.

Travel Guide

• Address: No.1 Wenjin Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100000, China
• Opening Hours: 
• 6:00 am to 8:30 pm in April, May, September, and October;
• 6:00 am to 10:00 pm in June, July, and August;
• 6:00 am to 8:00 pm in January, February, March, November and December
• How to get there:
• To get to the South Gateof the park, you should take Buses No.101, 103, 109, 812, 814, 846, Kangen Special Bus Line to get there;
• To get to the North Gate of the park, you should take Buses No. 107、111、118、701、823 to get there;
Or you can take Bus No.5 to get the to East Gate of the park
Tips: From the middle of July to the late August is the best time to appreciate lotuses

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