The history of Beihai Park
Beihai Park, one of the oldest and best-preserved imperial gardens, is located in the center of Beijing,and is very close to the famous Forbidden City. Beihai Park boasts a history dating back more than a millenium and existed throughout the dynasties of Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing. It was first opened to the public as a park in 1925.
Beihai Park covers an area of more than 68 hectares, more than half of which is covered by its lake. It is composed of Beihai Lake and Qionghua Island, and the White Dagoba was built on the top of Qionghua Island, the principle landmark of Beihai Park. In addition, Beihai Park is considered an ancient Chinese art form, with different features, such as artificial hills, bridges, pavilions, halls, temples and lakes.
An ancient legend concerning Beihai Park states that there were three magic mountains called " Pengla". "Yingzhou" and "Fangzhang" in the east of Bohai Bay, and that supernatural beings resided in those mountains and possessed a kind of medicine that would help human beings attain immortality. As a result, many emperors attempted to locate the three magic mountains-alas, without success. Qinshihuang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty also failed to find out the magic mountains, so he asked his soldiers to dig a large pool and piled up three hills in the pool, thus imitating the description of the magic mountains in the legend. From then on, almost every emperor during the succeeding dynasties would build a royal garden with , "one pool and three hills" near his palace. So Beihai Park was built with traditional style: the water of Beihai and Zhong Nan Hai is the Taiye Pool: Qionghua Island, the Island of the Circular City and Xishantai Island represent the three magic mountains.
After the foundation of People's Republic of China, the government has paid great attention to restoring the old buildings, arranging the lakes and paving the roads. Beihai Park provides visitors with a unique insight into Chinese culture and legend close to the heart of Beijing.
Beijing Botanical Garden
The Beijing Botanical Garden, lying at the foot of the West Hill of Beijing, has by tradition been engaged in the conservation of the native flora, especially plants from northern, northeastern and northwestern China. Its attention is also concentrated on research, public education and recreation. A large area is currently opened to the public, including living plant collections, historic sites and a nature reserve.Excellent displays are made monthly in the main conservatory penjing (bonsai) garden, the arboretum and 14 outdoor gardens which include: a peony garden, rose garden, ornamental peach garden ,lilac garden, crabapple garden, magnolia garden, fall color garden, perennial garden, bamboo garden and flower garden .There are more than 4 million visitors every year from domestic and overseas.
Beijing Wildland Snow Festival 2010
Beijing averages -7 degree C in the winter months. Snow falls in the city about once a month, usually a light snowfall. Skiing, skating and most forms of winter sports are enjoyed in the city and in the surrounding hills and mountains. 2010 Beijing Wildland Ice & Snow Festival began on December 28, 2010. As a resort of four seasons, it offers such tourist activities as skiing, gulf, karting and horse riding.
The Great Western Hills, the capital's green crown and Beijing's famous ecological conservation zone, includes such natural scenic spots as the Phoenix Ridge ,Yangtai Hill and Jiu Peak, the Cheerying, Qiwangfen,Xugezhuang and Guanjialing Villages and the 1000-year old temple of Dajue. With a profound history, rich culture and beautiful natural landscape, it has long been a good resort for having leisure and finding interests in Beijing's suburbs.
Central Television Tower
The Central Television Tower is the tallest tower in Beijing. It was completed in 1997 and opened in 1998, serving as a landmark building that can be seen throughout most of Beijing, and as the city's tallest television broadcast tower. The tower has a panoramic view of the city and visitors can enjoy this view from the world's largest observation deck outside, or from the 5 star rotating restaurant and television museum inside.