While Jim worked, Barb and the boys decided to check out Beihai Park. It is just west of the Forbidden City.
Beihai Park is a masterpiece of imperial garden design. Originally designed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) on the ruins of a Yuan Dynasty Imperial Garden at Beijing, China. The current park has a history of over 800 years. It was built in what is known as a "one pool and three hills"design. The design comes from a Taoist legend that says that somewhere in the East Sea there are three islands which were home to the immortals. The emperors wanted to be immortal so they built gardens in this fashion in the hopes of becoming immortals.
Beihai Park is the most intact ancient royal garden in China. Beihai Park seamlessly integrates architecture and nature. It is filled with temples, pavilions, and carvings and each are made of the highest quality. This was the private garden of the emperor and being such, money was no object. Beihai Park, once the sole property of the emperor now thousands of tourists to Beijing visit it every day. There are dozens of amazing sites in this beautiful park, make it an irresistible place for any one taking a tour to Beijing.