Beside Xiangshan Park, another must visit park in Beijing is Beihai Park. This park is located at Xicheng district and you can take bus number 5, 101, 103, 109, 124, 202, 211, 685, 814, 846 to Beihai.
Beihai Park was built up through five dynasties, the Liao (916-1125), the Jin (1115 - 1234), the Yuan (1271-1368), the Ming (1368- 1644) and the Qing (1644 - 1911). This park covers an area of 69 hectares with over a half covered by water. The whole park can be devided into four scenic areas: Qionghua Islet, Circular City, the eastern bank area and the northern bank area.
My first destination is The Qionghua Islet which is densely distributed with halls, rockeries and pavilions stands at the centre of the park. Yong'an Temple is the largest building complex which is composed of several halls,a bell tower and a drum tower. The Temple used to be a place of worship for the emperors and their empresses and a white pagoda stands out on the top of the islet is the symbol of the park. On the west of the temple, there are halls and pavilions where emperors of the Qing Dynasty had a rest, discussed official bussiness or amused themselves. In the north, there's a two storey corridor that offers an extensive view.
Moving on to the southeast, you can find the Circular City which is surrounded by a wall and is in fact an exquisite garden. Since Qing dynasty, it has been converted into a Buddhist chapel. There's a Buddha Statue that is carved out with huge wine vessel laid out. the urn is engaraved with a dragon in cloud and a sea horse on waves which was once used to store the wine by Kublai Khan, he was the first and brave emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. Both of the pine and cypress tree are aound 700 - 800 years old.
At the bank areas, you can enjoy tranquility while the northern bank is very crowded with artificial structures. Otherwise, on the northern bank area, you can find Five Dragon Pavilion connected by a sigmate bridge, which resembles a swimming dragon when seen from distance. People said that this place where the emperors went fishing and enjoyed the bright moon.
Anyway, after you explore this beautiful park, you can try a meal and rest in 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 te food there is very authentic imperial flavor. Moreover, there are plenty of exhibitions to see. These include the yearly exhibition of water lilies and other eater plants in the Botanical Garden, 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.
Video by China Travel Guide