This map shows a part of central Beijing. The Forbidden City is inside the blue rectangle which is the moat. The Beihai (Northern Sea) Park locates outside the northwest corner, with an islet in the middle. It is a classical imperial garden that opens to the public. The combination of “Middle Sea” and “Southern Sea” areas is the home of China’s paramount leaders and remains a mystery to the general populace.
I visited the park three times. The first time was with my dad when I was 6 years old. No photos came out of it as we didn’t have a camera back then. The second time I was with my mom at 15. It was winter time and the frozen “sea” was all covered by snow, quite pretty. The third time was in 2009 when I went back to Beijing for a visit. By then I had a digital camera and was able to capture the beauties of the park.
This was in late fall. The park is far more beautiful in summer when those water lilies are more alive. The 118-foot-tall white pagoda is made of white stone and sits on the highest point of the Islet. You can reach its base after climbing many steps.
In addition to this focal point of the park, I really enjoyed strolling the rest of the park as well. In fact, I got so tired from all the walking that I wasn’t able to get to the famous “Nine Dragon Wall” since it is quite out of the way. I did see it during both of my previous visits so no regrets there, but still, it gives me a good reason to return in the near future.