Beihai Park is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved of all the ancient imperial gardens in China
Information on this page last updated:2016-11-23 17:20:49
|Admission:||5 RMB (Nov. - March); 10 RMB (April - Oct.)|
|Opening Hours:||Peak Season: 6:00-21:00
|Phone:||+86 10 64031102|
|Best Time to Visit:||April to October|
|Recommended Time for a Visit:||2 Hours|
West of the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park is Beihai Park. Beihai Park is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved of all the ancient imperial gardens in China and it is conveniently located in the very center of Beijing. Beihai literally means the "Northern Sea." There are also corresponding "Central" and "Southern Seas" — both are located in an area called Zhongnanhai. This region is also quite famous because it houses China's paramount leaders. Beihai’s ancient gardens, over 1,000 years old, reflect not only a classic combination of the grandiosity of Chinese northern gardens and the refinement of the southern gardens of China, but also perfectly integrate magnificent imperial palaces with solemn religious construction. Towering over the central islet is the 36-meter high White Dagoba, which was built to honor the visit of the fifth Dalai Lama in 1651 and is one of the more impressive sights in the skyline. Local residents can be seen using the space for Tai Chi and water calligraphy, using large brushes and water on the stone cobble. Featured Attractions: 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 the 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 at 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. White Dagoba On top of the Jade Flowery Islet, the White Dagoba was built in 1651 on the former site of the Palace in the Moon where Kublai Khan received Marco Polo. At the suggestion of a famous Tibetan lama, Emperor Shunzhi, the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty agreed to build such a Tibetan Dagoba to show his belief in Buddhism and his desire for the unification among various Chinese ethnic groups. The White Dagoba was destroyed in an earthquake and reconstructed twice. Now, resting on a huge stone base, it stands 35.9 meters (about 118 feet) high and is capped by two bronze umbrella-like canopies, with 14 bronze bells hanging around them. Inside, the Dagoba holds the Buddhist Scriptures, the monk's mantle and alms bowl and two pieces of Sarira. Since the White Dagoba is the highest point in it, it served as a vantage point with a beautiful view of the whole scenic spot. In front of the White Dagoba is the White Dagoba Temple. There are several other buildings and halls you could visit if you have enough time. These include Zhengjue Hall, the Bell and Drum Towers, the Stone Tablets of 'Qiongdao Chunyin' (means the beautiful scenery of the Jade Flowery Islet in spring; inscribed by Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty) etc, all scattered on the slope of the Qionghua Islet.
Address: No. 1 Wenjin Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Take Subway Line 4 and get off at Ping'anli Station. Leave from the Southeast Exit and walk along Dianmen Xi Dajie to the east for 20 minutes to the north gate.
Take Bus No. 5, Zhuan 1, Zhuan 2, 109, 124, 202, 211, 614, 619, 685 or Trolley Bus 101, 103, to Beihai Park Station.
Take Bus No. 13, 42, 90 Inner Line, 90 Outer Line, 612, 623, 609, 701, or Trolley Bus 107, 111, 118, 204 Inner Line and 204 Outer Line to Beihai Beimen Station.