Tag Archives: Beihai Park

Beihai Park — Part 2


Five-Dragon Pavilions

Five-Dragon Pavilions

So, just how cold was it this fine winter day in Beijing?  This cold:

Skating on thin ice

Actually, by afternoon it wasn’t too bad.  While the morning cold stung the exposed skin on our faces, by afternoon we were actually approaching freezing.  Still, I highly recommend going to Beijing in the off season for two reasons — few crowds, no stifling heat with humidity.

Nine-Dragon Wall

Nine-Dragon Wall

Our guide Jim Mao told us that Beihai Park is considered a romantic area by the residents of Beijing.  In the summer they even enjoy cruising the lake in the contraptions shown below.

Waiting for the Thaw

Awaiting the Thaw

As one would expect there are a lot of Buddhist temples on the ground of Beijai Park.  The Heavenly King Temple contains depictions of all four Buddhist “Heavenly Kings”.

Beihai Park 06

Temple of Heavenly Kings — West King and North King

Near the Five-Dragon Pavilions was the Temple of Extreme Happiness, which was built by Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) for his mother.

Temple of Extreme Happiness

Temple of Extreme Happiness

And here are a few more photographs to tide you over until Fun Photo Friday:

Temple of Bliss Interpretation

Temple of Bliss Interpretation

Five-Dragon Pavilions; White Dagoba in background

Five-Dragon Pavilions; White Dagoba in background

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Beihai Park — Part 1


Beihai Park 16

Beihai Park 16

Northwest of the Forbidden City lies an imperial garden dating back to the 11th Century.  This is the 171-acre/68-hectar Beihai Park, our China Spree destination after the Forbidden City and our rickshaw ride to lunch.  As always our guide Jim Mao was ever helpful in pointing out the sights and areas of interest.

Beihai Kitty

Beihai Kitty

Nearly half Beihai Park is taken up by a large lake.  In the center of that lake is Qionghua Island, atop of which sits the famous White Dagoba, a Buddhist stupa built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Five-Dragon Pavilion on left; Qionghua Island and the White Dagoba on right

Five-Dragon Pavilion on left; Qionghua Island and the White Dagoba on right

One of the first sights upon entering the park from the north is the colorful and impressive Nine-Dragon Wall built in 1756.  This wall is made of bricks glazed in seven different color.  It measures nearly 88 feet (27 meters) in length and stands nearly 16 feet (5 meters) high.

88 feet of dragons — Nine-Dragon Wall

88 feet of dragons — Nine-Dragon Wall

Each of the nine playful dragons is depicted cavorting in the clouds while playing with a pearl.  It appears that the mythical dragon has quite a place in Chinese culture.

Nine-Dragons closeup

Nine-Dragons closeup

Most of our time in Beihai Park was spent along the north shore of the lake.  As you travel around this portion of the lake you’ll stumble across some really great photo opportunities.

Five-Dragon Pavilions; White Dagoba in the background

Five-Dragon Pavilions; White Dagoba in the background

One of the more colorful sights in this area is the Five-Dragon Pavilions — a set of five pavilions interconnected by a series of stone zigzag bridges.   The bridges form a V-shape, so two are hidden from view in the photograph below.  The largest of the five pavilions is the middle one (on the right side of the photo), and it’s the only one with a round roof peak.

Five-Dragon Pavilions

Five-Dragon Pavilions

Photographically Beihai Park is definitely worth the stop.  I’ll have more on this imperial garden on Wednesday, and it’ll also be the subject of Fun Photo Friday.

Beihai Park 12

Beihai Park 12

Beihai Park 05

Beihai Park 05

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