China: Beijing. Xiāngshān Gōngyuán (香山公园 – Fragrant Hills Park. )

It’s been a while since I last posted a travel post here. Actually, since I’ve been in Beijing, I haven’t gone on any trips outside of the city, so it was no surprise that I was quite eager to set out on my little adventure this morning. With Em away, and the whole day to myself, I decided to brave the Beijing transportation system (and my understand of it)  and head out of the city to one of the local parks, Xiāngshān Gōngyuán (香山公园), or in English, Fragrant Hills Park. I mentioned earlier in the week that I had already been to many of the attractions in Beijing during previous trips here, however the park was a little further than I had
been before, so I was excited about seeing a new part of Beijing.

Fragrant Hills Park is a public park at the foot of the Western Mountains in the Haidian District, in the northwestern part of Beijing, China. It covers 1.6 km² (395 acres) and consists of a natural pine-cypress forest, hills with maple trees, smoke trees and persimmon trees, as well as landscaped areas with traditional architecture and cultural relics. The name derives from the park’s highest peak, Xianglu Feng (Incense Burner Peak), a 557 meters (1827 ft) hill with two large stones resembling incense burners at the top.

Source: Wikipedia

I was glad to see that not many people were out and about today in the park. One of my biggest fears about travelling here in Beijing is being stuck with thousands of other people at a place that is meant for peace and quiet, but with only a handful of people scattered around the park, at times it felt like I was the only one there, a rare feat here in Beijing.

The park itself was stunning, and have been told it’s even more stunning in autumn when the leaves start changing colour to reds and browns. I’ll have to keep that as a side note and come back here in October/November to witness it (and no doubt along with half the population of Beijing).

Of course I took my camera with me and took lots of photos. I’ve attached quite a few to the post, so please feel free to have a look, although I’ve decided not to give them all commentary. Transportation information and prices can be found below the photos.

Please click here to see the photos (for China residents, please you hidefap.com to view the flickr images – copy and paste the address into the site).

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The North Gate into the Park.

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The long path to the temple area.

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Chinese lions (dogs?) guard all the entrances throughout the park.
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A bell hanging from the temple entrance.
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A stone bridge over a calm pond.
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A gift from the U.S.S.R. – a coffin for Dr. Sun Yatsen.
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The paving was so interesting that I had to take a picture of it.
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The temple with the incense burners at the top.
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After many steps, I finally reached the top. Burning off those couple of beers from last night no doubt!
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Hundred of carvings.
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A monument to Dr Sun Yatsen.
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This interesting tree is actually the site of three trees. The first tree died after a few centuries, and another one grew in the middle. That tree died after a few more centuries and a final tree now grows within that tree.
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On the base of the temple. Not the trees growing out of the walls.
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More trees growing out of walls.
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Another stone bridge.
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Going up the cable car to the top of the mountain.
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What a truly wonderful way to spend the first half of my day. Seeing as it was overcast, my photos came out well, and I didn’t have to deal with the heat one usually expects during the Beijing summer.

Transport; I took the subway to Beigongmen. Frome outside the subway station, I caught the 696 bus (from 北宫门) to Xiangshan (香山). You used to be able to catch the 634 bus, but it looks like it has been cancelled and joined with the 538 bus, which I took back to the subway station.

Rating: 7.5/10 A good, quiet place to go in Beijing. It took me about an hour and a half to get there from home, which wasn’t bad seeing as I live on the other side of the city. While there aren’t many activities, the hike to the mountain (which I didn’t do) is long, but not overly challenging.

4 Responses to “China: Beijing. Xiāngshān Gōngyuán (香山公园 – Fragrant Hills Park. )”

  1. Wow!!! No people! Cool pics!

  2. Marc: Yeah, came to a surprise to me as well. Seems like early morning on a weekday is the key.

  3. Such a great, attractive place. I wouldn’t have thought that they’d have a lot parks in China. You need to educate us foreigners.

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