A bit of respite in the pollution wrapped Beijing

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April 30th 2016
Published: April 30th 2016
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Arriving in Beijing is really chaotic, as a first time. When I first got to the city, it was one of those days where the level of PM 2.5 was extremely high and I could not see much of the surroundings. After having dropped all my bags and stuff, I had a quick look of the area around me and, considering the heaviness of the air, I decided to have a bit of respite and better air quality heading to Beihai park which is among the biggest park in China.

A bit of history: being one of the biggest in China, this park was built in the 11th century with an area of over 170 acres, comprising the enormous lake. Beihai means the "Northern sea".

It is absolutely amazing strolling around it and there are a lot of important and magnificent places to check out. One site that struck me was this immense white tower called "Stupa" ( a place where people often go there to meditate and where the bones of monks and nuns are kept) which is about 40 meters tall.

The area surrounding this tower is just gorgeous with a lot of green, long alleyways and beautiful pavillons, that in such a hot day was only perfect to rest a bit and feeling all the breeze running along your body and gave you that typical sensation of pleasure.

Everywhere I walked I could see marvellous structures like: the Five Dragon pavillions which are five connected pavillions with the typical pointed structure characteristic of Asian culture and also super crowded which took away a lot of its mystical ambiance,though.

Another masterpiece of this beautiful place is the "Nine Dragon wall" which shows reliefs of nine different Chinese dragons and used in the emperial dynasties as a sort of ritual spot.

This park is also a great mix of past dynasties from the Song, Jin, Ming to the last emperial dynasty which is the Qing. The Chinese gardens are one of my favourite sights to visit and also to breath some fresh air while staying in the big cities. Innumerable people, especially, the elder ones practising "Tai chi" (a sort of martial art that was invented, in the 12th century, by a Taoist monk looking at a snake that was dodging the attacks of a bird). It is curious to look at them practising this art in such a scrupulous manner.

I definitely recommed a nice walk around this fantastic park full of peple, hystory, culture and green. It is very easy to reach by subway (stop is just within walking distance).

A visit to Beijing is not complete if you do not visit Beihai park, it is a true gem in the middle of this huge metropolis of Asia.

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