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You are here: Home >> Beijing Attractions >> Beihai Park

Beihai Park

With the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park to its east, Zhong Nan Hai (Central and South Seas) to its south, Beihai (North Sea) Park is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved ancient imperial gardens in China located in the city center. This ancient garden, with over 1,000 years' history, is not only a classic combination of the grandiosity of the northern gardens and the refinement of the southern gardens in China, but also a perfect integration of magnificent imperial palaces and solemn religious constructions.

Beihai Park   Beihai Park

Beihai Park   Winter of Beihai Park

The White Tower
The White Tower is the main part in the whole composition of Beihai Park, lying at the top of the Jade Isle. It is 35.9 metres high, shaped like an awl, and pedestal like a bell, while the colour of its peak is grey melting with a little white, therefore the Jade Isle could also be named the White Tower Hill. The constructions on this isle are very exquisite and wonderful, decorated by towering old trees and a lot of grotesque stones, and most of these stones are carved into precipitous rocks.

Beihai Park   Beihai Park

The Jade Isle
The Jade Isle, the center of the park, features luxuriant trees and a host of temple halls. Atop the isle is the 35.9-meter-high White Dagoba. The dagoba together with a painting depicting Emperor Shunzhi (the first emperor of the Qing) meeting with the Fifth Dalai is the witness of the Central Government-Tibet alliance at that time. The top is a gold-gilded copper lid decorated with dozens of bells which jingle in the wind. In front of the Dagoba stand the Temple of Eternal Peace (Yong'an si) and Hall of Universal Peace. At the back of the island is the Hall of Rippling Water.

Jade Isle View from Sky, Beihai Park   Beihai Park

Quiet Heart (Jingxin) Studio
After visiting the Eastern Shore Area, stepping westward, you will be at the Northern Shore Area. Lying to the east of this area, the Quiet Heart Studio is the most famous independent garden within it. It was initially built in Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and enlarged in Qing Dynasty. Inside the studio, there are many magnificent palaces, halls, pavilions, towers, corridors and artificial hills, numerous odd-shaped porous rocks and stones, all artistically arranged. During Qing Dynasty, some of the royal members used to rest or study here.

Hao Pu Creek (Haopujian) Garden
After visiting the Qionghua Islet, you can cross the Zhishan Bridge to the Eastern Shore Scenic Area which has many independent gardens within it such as the Painted Boat (Huafang) Studio and the Hao Pu Creek Garden.

Created in 1757, the Hao Pu Creek Garden is one of the best gardens-within-gardens of the existing imperial gardens in China. 'Hao' and 'Pu' were the ancient names of two rivers in Anhui Province. There is a story that goes like this: in the Warring States Period (475 - 221 B.C.), Zhuangzi and Huizi (two famous philosophers of ancient China) argued with each other on the bridge over the Hao River. Zhuangzi said: 'How happy are the fish in the river!' Huizi responded: 'You are not a fish. Then how can you know whether the fish are happy or not?' Zhuangzi answered: 'You are not me. Then how can you know that I don't know the happiness of the fish?' This story inspired Emperor Qianlong to build the Hao Pu Creek Garden to seek happiness and relaxation as free as fish in the river. So the garden is designed for tranquility and happiness, featuring a special mountain-water structure to give the impression of a deep valley which gives seclusion from society.

The Nine-Dragon Screen
The Nine-Dragon Screen was established in A.D 1756. It is situated to the south of Beihai Stadium, which is also a historic relic remaining from Ming Dynasty. It is made of coloured glaze bricks, 6.65 metres high, 27 metres long and 1.42 metres deep. It is engraved with nine bright-coloured vivid dragons, flying and dancing in the billows of the clouds. The nine-dragon screen has been the most precious works among the craft constructions by the coloured glaze in China.

Nine Dragon Screen, Beihai Park   Nine Dragon Screen, Beihai Park

Circular City
Finally you can visit the Circular City right at the southwestern corner. The city wall stands about 4.6 meters (about 15 feet) high and has a circumference of 276 meters (about 906 feet). Among the various places to visit in the Circular City including halls, towers and pavilions, the most important construction is the Chengguang Hall which holds the extremely precious white jade statue of Buddha introduced from Burma at the end of Qing Dynasty. In front of the hall is a grand urn made of variegated dark jade. With a diameter of 1.5 meters (about 4.9 feet), a circumference of 5 meters (about 16.4 feet), a height of 0.7 meters (about 2.3 feet) and a weighing 3.5 tons, the urn used to be the vessel of Kublai Khan for storing wine.

While visiting these famous and interesting places in it, you could have a meal and rest in Fangshan Restaurant located at the northern shore of the lake. This restaurant was started in 1925 by a cook who formerly worked in the Qing court, so the food there is said to be of delicious imperial flavor.

Besides these places of interest, there are plenty of exhibitions to see. These include the yearly exhibition of water lilies and other water plants in the Botanical Garden, the exhibition of peonies, and varied picture shows, making it not only the center of history and culture in Beijing, but also the center of ecological and natural beauty. Now, an ancient but modern park welcomes you from all over the world.

Useful Information For Visiting Beihai Park
Admission Fee RMB 10 (Apr.1 to Oct. 31); RMB 5 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31)
Through Ticket: RMB20(Apr.1 to Oct. 31); RMB15 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31)
Note: The Through Ticket includes Qionghua Islet and Circular City, excluding Qionghua Cave and Shanyin Hall)
Opening Hours 06:30 - 20:00 (January, February, March, November, December)
06:30 - 21:00 (April, May, September, October)
06:30 - 22:00 (June, July, August)
08:30 - 17:00 (scenic spot operating hours; open later and close earlier in low season)
09:00 - 18:00 (wharf operating hours)
Distance from city center 3.6km (2 miles)

Take Bus No. 5、101、103、109、124、685、614、619 or Bus Kang'en special line to the south gate of Beihai; bus No. 13、42、107、111、118、609、701、623 to the north gate.
Take Subway Line 4 and get off at Ping'anli Station. Leave from Southeast Exit and walk along Dianmen Xi Dajie to the east for 20 minutes to the north gate. 

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