Besides the lake, the main things to see in
Beihai are the Round City, which contains a jade vase from the time of
Kublai Khan; the Temple of Eternal Peace, the Nine Dragon Screen, which is
really a 5-meter-high, 27-meter-long wall covered with glazed tiles carved
into nine intertwining dragons; and the White Pagoda on Gem Island in the
center of the lake.
In summer, Beihai is an ideal place to go
to escape from the blazing summer heat. You can paddle around in a bizarre
assortment of boats. There are odd, duck-shaped paddle boats, and two
types of motor boats; three-seater regular and one-person UFOs (you have
to see it to understand). In the winter, the lake freezes over and Beihai
turns into a huge skating rink.
Within Beihai is also the famous Fangshan Restaurant, the best known of
the Imperial Court style restaurants where you can eat Qing Dynasty type
food, for a pretty penny.
No.1 Wenjinjie, Beijing
Tel: 010-6403 3225 (Chinese language only)
Ticket Price: 5.00 Yuan/person