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Beijing Beihai Park

Beijing Beihai Park

Beihai Park is located in the central part of Beijing. With an area of approximately 71 hectares, and with a lake covering almost half of the Park, it is an imperial garden that is the oldest, most integrated and common in the region. Beihai Park has been open to the outside world since 1925. Because of the many historical palaces, temples, and unique structures, Beihai Park has been listed as a precious cultural artifact under state protection.

Legend has it that in the east of Pohai, there were 3 Islands from Heaven, that were called, "Penglai," "Yingzhou," and "Fangzhang." Also, among the 3 islands, there was an immortal that had an elixir of life. In 221 B.C., after Qin Shi Huang united China, he ordered some people to sail there to find these 3 islands from Heaven and get the elixir. Without any results, he built a pool in Lanchi Palace and constructed an artificial "Penglai" Island. In the Han Dynasty, Emperor Wudi followed the mistake of Qin Shi Huang and also gave the order to find these 3 islands. Still without a result, he dug "Taiye Pool" in Jianzhang Palace and formed 3 artificial islands symbolizing those 3 Islands from Heaven. Since then, Emperors have imitated the style of "one pool, three islands" to build imperial palaces. Beihai Park has also mimicked this style as: Beihai symbolizes Taiye Pool, and Qionghua Island symbolizes "Penglai" Island. Tuancheng (the Circular Wall) and Xishantai together symbolize "Yingzhou" Island and "Fangzhang" Island.

Beihai Park is a peaceful place to wander about. It is enjoyable to walk around the various scenic areas in Beihai Park. There are many places to visit, including the Bai Ta, Five-Dragon Pavilions, Nine-Dragon Wall, Jingxin Room (Quieting Heart Room) Yong'an Temple and so on. There is also a classy restaurant called, Fangshan Restaurant where the Empress Cixi once dined.