Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beijing, part 8: Beihai Park

Beihai Park is around Beihai, "North Lake." The "bei" is the same character as in Beijing and the "hai" is the same character as in Shanghai. The "hai" in Shanghai refers to the sea, though, and not a lake.

Before we entered the park, we climbed a fortification known as the Round City.
r84 - Chunlin Climbing the Round City

Atop the fort is the last known remnant from Kublai Khan's capital, a jade jar.
r85 - Kublai Khan's Dragon
Somehow only it was preserved over the centuries. Now it is housed in a small glass box in a courtyard.

We then arrived at the lake, Beihai.
r86 - Yǒng'ān Bridge at Běihǎi Park

Willow trees around the lake. Chunlin had a couple very nice photos of her by this lake 25 years ago. Here's one from this year.
r87 - Chunlin on Yǒng'ān Bridge

We crossed the bridge to the Jade Isle and climbed through the Yong'an Temple to the White Dagoba (Bai Ta).

r89 - Mark and His Pet Dragon Turtle - Ch

r91 - Red and Green at Yǒng'ān Temple

r92 - Climbing the Jade Isle

r93 - White Dagoba

Good view from up top.
r95 - Jǐng Shān and China World Trade Center

We then descended the other side of the hill.
r98 - Down the Stairs to Nowhere
This spiral staircase ended at a blank wall. We had to climb over the guardrail to continue downward. Very odd.

The Ancient Caves of the Jade Islet didn't sound interesting enough to justify the three yuan entrance fee, so we passed them by.

Back at the lake, sweating in the humidity, we waited in the shade of the Long Corridor and caught a boat.
r100 - Jade Island Long Corridor

r108 - White Dagoba from Five Dragon Pavilions

At the north end of the lake are the Five Dragon Pavilions.
r106 - Five Dragon Pavilions
That's five pavilions with dragons, by the way. It was at the center of these pavilions that Chunlin had her photo taken 25 years ago. During our visit, elderly folks danced in the center pavilion, so we couldn't spend much time there.

We took a brief look at the closed Xiao Xi Tian ... temple? pavilion? then over to the double-sided Nine Dragon Screen, which actually thus has eighteen big dragons -- and over 300 total dragons, or so they say.
r110 - Nine Dragon Screen

Food time. Tired.

We left the park and hunted. Some small food from local-type restaurants. Kung pao chicken and spicy eggplant.

Bus to subway line 7, to line 1, to line Batong, to get picked up by Chunyu. Standing in the dark under a streetlight by a freeway offramp of sorts. An hour to get home and I couldn't see how it could be quicker.

'Twas Mount St. Helens Day. Big bada boom.

My feet finally started hurting at 6 p.m. Chunlin's feet hurt all day. Vacationing is hard work. Wo bu xi huang gong zuo. Good night.

I've posted twice as many photos from Beihai Park on flickr.

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