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Beihai Park

Listed under Parks in Beijing, China.

Photo of Beihai Park
Photo by flickr user cb007
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A beeline to Beihai Park (open 'til 9), rewarded with all the things the guide books say it will, including a vista of lotus leaves and flowers, a smattering of temples and pagodas, a restaurant opened by the Forbidden City's chefs after they became unemployed in the revolution, and potentially, true when I was there in the evening, a man using a huge water brush to write calligraphy on the pavement. There are also some caves in the man made hill and a beautiful traditional teahouse.

Come in via the north entrance for a perfect view: lotus covered lake, white marble bridge, lush green hill and brightly coloured temple. You can catch a boat over to the other side, not that you really need to - it's not a long walk, from in front of the restaurant, then walk around to the south exit.

An active local senior inspired me to plans of my own retirement, she comes in every day and feeds the park cats, which are lovely silky things, not at all manky strays – could be because she's keeping them well fed. I got the impression she just takes it upon herself to do it, and what a relaxing way to spend an evening - the park is really lovely, all graceful willows and perfect views. These parks and public spaces are purely lovely for lovelies sake – like the lotus flowers and the orange fish – purely for ornamental purposes because isn't it nice to have nice surroundings.

Across the road from the south exit is another lake, this time lined with restaurants and small shops – it's a bit on the commercial side but prefect for sitting outside for an evening meal and bound to be popular with the backpacker set for its party atmosphere and the way the coloured lights reflect off the water, its very Peking in the films but with more electricity and different outfits.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Other expert and press reviews

“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 center of Beijing. Read more...

Written by press. Travel China Guide

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