Beijing's Parks, Beijing
Favorite thing: This is a fond memory of my trip to Beijing: people (mainly elderly) in Tiantan park/Temple of Heaven complex practising Tai Chi, walking backwards, playing ball games, exercising, singing, waltzing. It was just a different way of life to what we experience in the UK and it made a refreshing change to see people so full or energy and life.
Beijing has only one good thing to offer anybody in the springtime...and that's its gorgeous flowers and buds....that's if you can see them through the yellow sand storm making its way from Mongolia!
But you have to be quick with the camera or you WILL miss them!!! They are here and gone SO quickly its untrue!
Favorite thing: Climbing uphill towards the White Dagoba is a sweaty affair, but when you arrive at the top (or nearly the top) you get a good view of the area, encompassing the lake as well as Gugong (the Forbidden City). During our visit, the White Dagoba was closed for reconstruction, though it will probably be open by Beijing's 2008 Olympics.
Where there's a mountain, there's a cable car. Where there's a cable car, there are queues of people. There are 10,000 mountains in and around Beijing. 9,999 are empty at the weekends. This is the one that is not.
Despite the crowds, there is something special about the top of the Fragrant Hill: it seems like you are at the edge of civilisation as you look west over the bare hills receding into the distance. Behind is Beijing, in front....just bushes, trees and hills. No houses or signs of civilisation. It is almost reassuring to have all these fresh-faced, smiling fellow visitors for company, even if many are inclined to shout out "Helloooo" to you as if they are the first person to think of saying it. (But why, after shouting "Helloooo", does the person always dissolve into fits of giggles and nervous laughter? Is it because they have suddenly realised how utterly inane it is?)
Chinese people love peacocks, and the poor creatures can be found in every park across the land.
Of course, by becoming known to every man, child and beast, the mystique and allure of peacocks wears thin.
The peacock enclosure at Xiangshan is large and has a huge collection of birds.
Personally...I don't see what the fuss is all about...there are just so many other more engaging animals around, why get so worked up just because a bird can stick its feathers up in the air?
Xiangshan, or the Fragrant Hill, deserve so much more than just one visit. The whole park has beautiful old buildings, many ruined and slowly evaporating back into the ground. Some have been converted into tea-houses or restaurants, and one or two have museum displays in them.
Xiangshan can be visited at any time of the year, and there is always great views, beautiful landscapes and good walking.
I loved Beijing parks. Beihai parks, Temple of Heaven and Kunming Lakes (near the Summer Palace) are the best. They are wonderful combination of ancient architecture, beautiful nature and atmosphere of tranquility.
Fondest memory: Me and my beautiful girlfriend were sitting in a restaurant in Beihai park, looking at the ducks, sipping jasmine tea, talking, enjoying ourselves...
Favorite thing: Beihai Park is one of many parks in Beijing. It is located just northwest of the Forbidden City. Beihai Park is a fairly interesting park. A large part of it is made up of a lake, where you can take a boat ride or rent a boat. There is a peninsula that sticks out into the middle of the lake, and on it there is a white pagoda situated on a small hill. There are many other things in the park too, like the Nine Dragon Screen. The picture is a map of the park for your convenience.
Beijing currently has 160 parks and a further 800 are planned for the 2008 Olympic Games. The major parks - the Temple of Heaven Park, Jingshan Park, Beihai Park, among others - are visited by more than 100 million tourists every year. It's indeed very pleasant to relax in a park after a long day of sightseeing in the city.
Fondest memory: My favourite park is probably Beihai Park, though all are great and my funniest memory is related to the Temple of Heaven Park: we saw an old gentleman practicing t'ai chi, who bent down at the edge of the sidewalk (which was at least 10 cm high) and comfortably touched the road surface. It was an impressive proof of the effectiveness of t'ai chi. When he was gone, we tried to copy his movement, but failed miserably.
In Chinese traditional culture:
Nine is the maximum number.
Dragon means the king.
Thus, the Nine-Dragon Wall is a symbol of Chinese ancient dynast.
CHAOYANG GONG YUAN (Park) WITH THE GIRLS!
Fondest memory: We had such a blast chasing each other around with those inflatable hammers and bats! I miss Jennivine and Lana IMMENSELY! It was always giggles and laughter when we were together...
pop over to BEIHAI PARK, one of the best examples of a classical garden found in China.
Dominating Jade Islet on the lake is the White Pagoda (can you see it in the pic?), a 36-meter high monument shaped like a peppermint bottle! Incidentally this monument was built over 450 years ago...
check out one of the capital city's most beautiful gardens... DA GUAN YUAN.
This was the inspiring setting for the most popular Chinese (classic) novel ever penned - 'Dream of the Red Mansion'. I shan't spoil the fun and tell you the story. Go borrow the book - the English translation, that is (er, that is also the version that I read actually).
Fondest memory: Oh, and that's us (Katalina & moi), savoring every moment of our visit here! (P.S. The temperature that morning had dropped drastically to -5 degrees Celcius. Brrr....).
Favorite thing: Everyyear the Festival of Cherry blossom hold in Yuyuantan. The petal showy and colored is dancing with wind..
Fondest memory: Here's a view of Beijing atop a temple whose name I'll have to look up. But from here, one can get a panormaic view of Beijing and The Forbidden City!