Jingshan: The Park on the Hill

On May 9, 2012, in Beijing, Nature Scenery, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

At nearly 50 meters, climbing to the top of Jingshan Park (also called ‘Coal Hill’) may be quite a mission; but once there, the views are astounding. Justification for walking up the steep steps to the top, (and perhaps in booking your Beijing flights), is that you will be able to gaze in awe at […]

At nearly 50 meters, climbing to the top of Jingshan Park (also called ‘Coal Hill’) may be quite a mission; but once there, the views are astounding. Justification for walking up the steep steps to the top, (and perhaps in booking your Beijing flights), is that you will be able to gaze in awe at the majestic Forbidden City. Listed as an AAAA scenery spot in Beijing and approximately covering 230,000 square meters the park is unquestionably a China travel must-see attraction. It is remarkable to think that the hill itself was created from the material dug to build the Forbidden City’s moat giving it a deep-rooted connection with the nation’s past.

The Wanchun (Everlasting Spring) Pavilion is the highest point in Beijing, most centrally located and in my opinion the most impressive of the five pavilions. Around this pavilion, merchandise is sold for tourists and there is the opportunity to dress like the Emperor (or Empress depending). Personally, I gave this a miss as the Emperor’s robes looked a bit too much on such a hot day. In light of this, the views are the best bird-eye you will ever get of the Forbidden City on the land. On a clear day, due to the pavilion’s centrality and height, you can peer over the length and breadth of the city from the greenery of Bei Hai to CCTV Tower.

Littered with evergreen foliage, the park is a scenic throughout the year. In the spring, for example, the park host a peony show whilst there is a lotus show in the summer and displays or fruit in the autumn. This park is certainly a national treasure at the very heart of the capital and which is cherished across the generations. It is therefore understandable that there is a small entrance fee to help with the upkeep of this beautiful spot and the Emperors would use the park as a place for recreational pursuits and escape. For those who may have difficulty walking to the top, the parkland surrounding the hill is a hive of activity with people, young and old playing games and singing which is great fun to watch or join in!

Getting to the park can be slight tricky. One option is to take the subway to Dongsi station on line 5 and then either walk or take the 101 bus to the Forbidden City Station. Another option is to take a bus, such as the 111 to the South Gate of Jingshan Park. Note that, if you travel to Beijing, visiting the park in the afternoon might be useful after visiting the Forbidden City in the morning. This is primarily because the exit from the Forbidden City lies on the bus route to the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Natural Beauty in the Center of Town

On October 31, 2011, in Beijing, Nature Scenery, Temples, by Jack Li

If you like to walk through parks and see nature at its best. Then on your next Beijing Tour plan on visiting Jingshan Park. It was once a royal garden now it’s a stunning landscape garden. When you travel to Beijing plan on seeing the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park in the same day since […]

If you like to walk through parks and see nature at its best. Then on your next Beijing Tour plan on visiting Jingshan Park. It was once a royal garden now it’s a stunning landscape garden. When you travel to Beijing plan on seeing the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park in the same day since they are right by each other.

Jingshan Park is located in the center of Beijing on the south-north axis. It is right behind the Forbidden City. So your day can start by visiting the Forbidden City then you can leave the city through the north gate go across the street and walk around Jingshan Park. On a clear day the visitor will be able to see a clear view of the Forbidden City. Jingshan Hill is the highest point in Beijing. From here you can see the Bell and Drum Towers, Beihai Park and the White Dagoba Temple.

Jingshan Park can date back to the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (1271-1911). Jingshan hill served as an imperial garden. There were fruit trees planted in the Ming dynasty. Pavilions were built around the park so that the emperor could make sacrifices to his ancestors. The royal family would also enjoy hunting around the park.

Jingshan Park was open to the public in 1928 and in 1949 the park was rebuilt. The paths were paved and the buildings were renovated. The park covers 57 acres. While you are visiting make sure you see -first Qinwang Pavilion, second five summits, third hall of Imperial Longevity and forth Yongsi Hall or Missing Hall.

Qinwang Pavilion has two stories and is surrounded by white marble. The emperors would worship the tables of Confucius here. The second thing to see is the Five Summits they are located around Jingshan hill at each summit is a pavilion. These pavilions used to have a copper Buddha stature that represented the five tastes which were sour, bitter, sweet, acrid and salt. In 1900 all of the Buddha’s statues were lost during the warfare.

Thirdly you need to see the Hall of Imperial Longevity-the emperors paid their respects to the ancestors here. Some emperors had their portraits placed in there so that they could be worshiped. Lastly you need to see the Yongsi Hall or Missing Hall this is placed were the past emperors and queens bodies where placed after they past away.

If you are looking for something to do that is close to your Beijing hotel then Jingshan is right for you. Since it is in the Center of town it will only be a subway ride away. It is a great place to spend your day. It is opened from six A.M. to nine P.M. During the colder months remember to wear warm clothes.

The Best Aerial Views Over Beijing..

On September 14, 2011, in Accomodation, Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Nightlife, by Jack Li

You may be interested to learn the best spots around Beijing for catching an interesting view of the city. When you travel to Beijing, although it is not quite as mesmerizing as Hong Kong’s skyline the views are still well worth the trip. The trickiest part is timing your visit with a clear sky for […]

You may be interested to learn the best spots around Beijing for catching an interesting view of the city. When you travel to Beijing, although it is not quite as mesmerizing as Hong Kong’s skyline the views are still well worth the trip. The trickiest part is timing your visit with a clear sky for good visibility. China hotels generally are some of the best spots for good viewing opportunities, particularly the high floor bars and lounges typical of the more upmarket establishments.

One such place is the Atmosphere Bar. This is a relatively new high end bar with drinks prices to match (cocktails starting at 65RMB), however on a clear day or night it easily takes the title for best views across Beijing. It is located on the 80th floor of the China World Tower 3, officially known as ‘China World Summit Wing’, which can be found on the Beijing east 3rd ring road. It is also easily accessed via the metro, simply catch Line 1 to Guomao.

Atmosphere is open from 12 noon until 2am, and specifies a ‘smart casual’ dress code. There are both smoking and non-smoking areas, and the bar offers views of the CBD, Sanlitun and the Tian’anmen area.

Another recommended bar is ‘China Bar’ located on the 65th floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel, this previously held the title for Beijing’s highest bar before the China World Summit Wing was built. Being another luxury hotel the drink prices are steep starting at 70RMB for cocktails and 60RMB upwards for beer, however the views are great across the Central Business Disctrict taking in the CCTV headquarters (known as the ‘pants building’) and the Bird’s Nest Stadium on a clear night. Opening times are 5pm until 1am, and it is accessed from the same metro as the Atmosphere Bar so you could visit both in an evening.

The Park Hyatt also has a restaurant called China Grill on the floor above which is Beijing’s highest restaurant. The panoramic 360 degree views are stunning, and they serve a range of Western food alongside Chinese and Japanese.

For unmissable views over the Tian’anmen and Forbidden City area, head for Jingshan Park (admission 2RMB). The park is located just north of the Forbidden City and on a clear day has fabulous views across Beijing, including Lake Beihai to the west and the Bell and Drum towers in the north. Whilst here you can visit some traditional Chinese temples and also the spot where emperor Chong Zhen hung himself in 1644, after the Imperial Palace was broken into by rebel troops.

Other good views across the city can be found at the Drum Tower and CCTV Tower (not to be confused with the CCTV Headquarters), and many Beijing Hotels also have great views of the city, particularly toward the higher floors.

Jingshan Park Travel Tips

On August 22, 2011, in Beijing, More Places of Interest, Parks & Gardens, Travel Info, by Jack Li

Covering an area of 32.3 hectares, Jingshan Park is the best observation point in all of Beijing. It was originally the imperial garden of the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Feudal monarchs often came here to enjoy beautiful of flowers, practice archery, and host banquets. The five pavilions on Jingshan Mountain were built during Qing […]

Covering an area of 32.3 hectares, Jingshan Park is the best observation point in all of Beijing. It was originally the imperial garden of the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Feudal monarchs often came here to enjoy beautiful of flowers, practice archery, and host banquets. The five pavilions on Jingshan Mountain were built during Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign.

Best time to visit Jingshan Park

The climate during spring and autumn is favorable for travel in Beijing. In autumn, the city is known as Golden Beijing by tourists from China and abroad. In other words, April, May, September and October see the largest numbers of visitors. The annual average temperature is 11.8° C with the lowest being -4.6° C in January and the highest being 26.1° C in July. Each year records approximately 644 mm of precipitation and a frost-free period of about 180 days. Beijing’s spring and autumn last for relatively short periods of time while the winter is long. Never fear, the indoor heating system in Beijing is excellent! Nonetheless, visitors should bring sweaters and heavy coats with them in the wintertime. They should also pay attention to daily weather forecasts or call line 859, which provides bilingual (Chinese and English) information about the weather for that day and the following day.

Then again, Beijing’s tourism is concentrated on historical sites that are not easily influenced by the weather, so visitors can come here year-round and have a wonderful experience no matter the season. Spending costs can be reduced by travelling to Beijing in the winter due to the fact that the travel agencies and hotels all offer off-season prices for tourists.

Jingshan Park Best Routes: Not available

Jingshan Park Ticket:

Tel: 010-64044071

Adult: 2 yuan    Child: 1 yuan

Note:

  1. Free tickets are available for senior citizens above 65 with preferential cards (not including gardens in the park and during big events).
  2. Free tickets are available for the disabled.

How to get to Jingshan Park

By Bus:

Take No. 5 or No. 810 to the West Slab Bridge (Xiban Qiao);

Take No. 111, No. 819 or No. 124 to Jingshan East Street;

Take No. 103 or No. 109 to ]the Forbidden City station, than walk to the scenic spot.

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Qi Wang Hall

Facing south and located inside Jingshan Gate of Beijing, Qi Wang Hall is at the base of the sunny face of Jingshan Mountain. This building was built in 1750, the 15th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign during the Qing Dynasty. With yellow glazed roof tiling and multiple eaves, Qi Wang Hall is five rooms wide […]

Facing south and located inside Jingshan Gate of Beijing, Qi Wang Hall is at the base of the sunny face of Jingshan Mountain. This building was built in 1750, the 15th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign during the Qing Dynasty. With yellow glazed roof tiling and multiple eaves, Qi Wang Hall is five rooms wide and three rooms deep. The uppermost eave, built in Tou Kung structure, overhangs a plaque with three Chinese characters (Qi Wang Hall) written in Manchu and Han writing style. A porch with a pattern of overlapping circles adds to the design aesthetics, and a white marble guardrail wraps around the building. Confucius memorial tablet, placed within the hall, commemorates the fact that students at Jingshan School once worshipped Confucius. During the Republic of China transition period, exhibitions were held here. For example, on February 25th, 1937, the Palace Museum displayed over 600 photos of Chinese antiques that were plundered by the Great British Empire. There is also a Qi Wang Hall in Emperor Kangxi’s Summer Mountain Resort in Chengde. The inscription on the plaque was written by Qing Emperor Qianlong himself!

Jingshan Park

Wan Chun Pavilion

On August 22, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

Located atop the 45.7-meter middle peak of Jingshan Mountain, Wan Chun Pavilion offers visitors the best observation point on the north-south axis of Beijing. The pavilion boasts beautiful triple eaves with yellow and green glazed roof tiles. Two rounds of pillars stand there, the outside round containing 20 pillars and the inner containing 12, each […]

Located atop the 45.7-meter middle peak of Jingshan Mountain, Wan Chun Pavilion offers visitors the best observation point on the north-south axis of Beijing. The pavilion boasts beautiful triple eaves with yellow and green glazed roof tiles. Two rounds of pillars stand there, the outside round containing 20 pillars and the inner containing 12, each round with four pillars on either side. On August 9th, 1938, Wan Chun Pavilion was struck by lightning, causing the roof, four pillars, four casement windows, and the four Chinese characters inscribed on the plaque hanging in the pavilion to be destroyed. The Chinese government spent 340,000 yuan on restoring the pavilion in 1958 and again in 1973.

Vairocana Buddha is enshrined and worshiped here. The original, golden lacquer statue of Vairocana Buddha sustained a gash to the arm in 1900 and was completely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in China. The current statue of the Buddha was built in 1998. Standing in Wan Chun Pavilion, visitors can enjoy a splendid view of the Forbidden City to the south, the Bell and Drum Towers to the north and the White Pagoda of Beihai Park to the west.

Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park

On August 22, 2011, in Beijing, More Places of Interest, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

Jingshan Park, east of Beihai Park, lies at the center of Old Beijing facing the north gate of the Forbidden City. At the top of Jingshan, visitors can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Forbidden City and its surroundings. The park draws its name (meaning: “scenic site”) from its fruit trees and vibrant cypresses. It […]

Jingshan Park, east of Beihai Park, lies at the center of Old Beijing facing the north gate of the Forbidden City. At the top of Jingshan, visitors can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Forbidden City and its surroundings. The park draws its name (meaning: “scenic site”) from its fruit trees and vibrant cypresses. It served as an imperial garden in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

In the south of the park is Qiwang Hall, housing a statue of Confucius. On the north side of the hill are the Yong’en and Guande Chambers, housing the bodies of the past emperors. The lotus tree on the east side of the hill marks the place where Emperor Chongzhen hanged himself. Unfortunately, the site was destroyed during warfare. Wanchun Pavilion sits on the hill’s central point and is the highest point in Beijing. Here, visitors can marvel at a full, clear view of Old Beijing: in the north is Di’an Gate Street with the Bell and Drum Towers on the far end of the street; in the east are Yonghegong Lama Temple and the Imperial Academy; in the west is Beihai Park with the White Pagoda rising against the sky; and in the south is the magnificent Forbidden City. The park also has the biggest peony rose garden in Beijing, blooming in full in May each year.

Jingshan Park Attractions

Qiwang Hall

Wangchun Pavilion

Jingshan Park Stories

1. The Plan View of the Park Assembles a Sitting Man
In March 1987, Beijing Remote Sensing Achievement Exhibition reported that the plan view of the park looks like a seated man. Since then, it has been nicknamed “Jingshan Seated.” Jingshan Hill, a simple mound named Qingshan hill in the Yuan Dynasty, sits right across from the south gate of the Forbidden City. In 1416 when Ming Emperor Yongle built the Forbidden City, he ordered bricks of old city walls and mud from the city moat to be carried to Qingshan Hill, and it was renamed Wansui Hill (Imperial Longevity). Because it was also intended suppress the royalty of the former dynasties, it was known as Zhenshan Hill (Suppress). In the Qing Dynasty, royals stored coal and wood for heating in this area, earning the hill the nickname “Coal Hill.” In 1655 under Emperor Shunzhi’s rule, the name was given its final name: Jingshan Hill (Prospect).

The secret of the plan view was discovered by Kui Zhongyu, a famous geographer. When he was developing the film of the plan view photograph, Kui was shocked to notice that the Park looked like a man sitting cross-legged. The Shouhuang Chamber building group is the head of the man—the major hall and gate are his eyes, nose and mouth. The eyebrows are the trees in the yard. The triangular grove on each end of the yard resembles a beard. The frame of the photo is made up of the walls of the park covering 0.23 km2. If this truly is a portrait, it is unquestionably the largest in the world, painted only with buildings and streets.

Visit to Jingshan Park

On December 27, 2010, in Cool Places, Featured China Stories, Shanghai, by Jack Li

Whenever you Travel to Beijing, don’t forget to check out some of Beijing’s most famous and beautiful Parks. Just choose from any of your China Tours and have an amazing trip to any of the parks around. Last week, I went and visited Jingshan Park with my friends and it was a great day to […]

Whenever you Travel to Beijing, don’t forget to check out some of Beijing’s most famous and beautiful Parks. Just choose from any of your China Tours and have an amazing trip to any of the parks around.

Last week, I went and visited Jingshan Park with my friends and it was a great day to visit the park as the weather was not that cold and the tour groups was just about to leave when we reach so the park was not that crowded. The park is very big so it is best to wear comfortable shoes as there are few hills to climb up. The park is just near the Houhai Park so you can either take a bus there or go by taxi from Houhai Park and the fare will only cost you about 10 yuan.

One of the Peaks in Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park is situated north of the Palace museum. From the Yuan Dynasty onwards, this area was a “forbidden garden”. It was opened to the public in 1928, it then formally became a park after 1949.  It has a 45.7 metre high artificial hill that was constructed on the Yongle era of the Ming Dynasty. The park is situated just north of the Forbidden City on the central axis of Beijing and the park consists of five individual peaks. On the top of each peak lies an elaborate pavilion and it was used by officials for gathering and leisure purposes. These five peaks also draw the approximate historical axis of the central Beijing so the views from all the five peaks are very beautiful

The Park is especially popular for the elderly people and they would socialise and gather amongst their friends. They would also do some exercise and Tai Chi in the park during the day. One can also often find elderly folks dancing and singing opera. During the weekends, you can also find groups of middle-aged and elderly people performing kuai ban on the south side of the hill and you can also join in the fun with them. Kuai ban is an oral storytelling performance that is popular in the northern China.

View of the Forbidden City from one of the Peak

Address: Jingshan Qianjie, Xicheng District.

Entry Ticket: 2 Yuan.

So whenever you want to relax and go for a hike or walk during your Beijing Tours, come and visit Jingshan Park and be blown away by the beautiful sceneries around the park.

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