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Retreats for Boating in Beijing's Lixia


Lixia, the 7th solar term according to the traditional East Asian calendars, marks the beginning of summer. When summer begins, the temperature gets higher, and the best time for boating comes. Below are some parks in Beijing which are perfect for boating. 

Beihai Park

Beihai Park is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved ancient imperial gardens in China located in the heart of Beijing. It is an art masterpiece of Chinese gardens in history since it drew from a wide range of garden designs, such as the generous style of northern gardens and the exquisite beauty of Jiangnan private gardens. There are many weeping willows on the lakeside. With the white pagoda reflecting in the water and the full-blown lotus blossoms, boating in the lake is an ideal way to feel the colorful scenery and cool breeze in summer days.

Address: No. 1 Wenjin Street, Xicheng District

Houhai Scenic Area

Houhai Scenic Area boasts exquisite natural landscapes, unique sceneries and blue ripples. With boats swinging in the lake, groves stand on the lakeside, enhancing the beauty in the scenic area. The natural surroundings are perfectly combined with artificial features, such as the Yandaixie, Drum Tower, Beihai Park, Jingshan Park, Prince Gong Mansion, Nanluoguxiang, and the Soong Ching Ling’s Former Residence, forming a harmonious ensemble of modern and ancient. Rafting in Houhai will feast you with breathtaking scenery and the best season for visiting is summer.

Address: No. 23 YangfangHutong, Xicheng District

Yuyuantan Park

In the early summer, on the expansive lake of Yuyuantan Park, colorful lotus flowers will be in full bloom. It is the perfect summer resort to rent a small boat on the lake in such a beautiful season, enjoying the lotus and overlooking the Central Radio & TV Tower. Yuyuantan Park boasts clear water and lush trees, and nearly half of its total area is covered by water. Main featured attractions in the park include the Cherry Garden in the west, Yinshui Lake Scenic Area (under construction) in the north, the Zhongshan Island in the south, and the Liuchun Garden in the east.

Thanks to the vast water and long stretching mountains, and the unique environment and fewer large-scale modern constructions, the park features mountain-water landscape and natural wildness, with poplar and locust trees growing on the mountain, willows weeping on the water bank, and the exuberant wild plants living by the lakeside.

Address: No. 10 West Third Ring Middle Road, Haidian District

Old Summer Palace

Adjacent to the Summer Palace, the Old Summer Palace, originally called the Imperial Gardens, was the main imperial residence in the Qing Dynasty. In every blooming season from June to August for lotus in the Old Summer Palace, the Garden of Eternal Spring and the Elegant Spring Garden as the main viewing areas will show the prettiest scenery. Around the island where the Sea Magnanimity is located, a sightseeing waterway has been opened to enjoy lotus. The winding waterway divides the existing large-scale planting area into smaller, scattered areas, where ships can float into, providing visitors with a closer look of the charm of lotus.

Address: No. 28 Qinghua West Road, Haidian District

Zizhuyuan Park (Purple Bamboo Park)

Like a kingdom of bamboo, Zizhuyuan Park is located at the Xizhimen Outer Street of Beijing. It is a natural landscape garden known for its liberal use of verdant bamboos in beautification, such as the houses, kiosks, tables, chairs, and even bridges regardless of the size are all dressed up in bamboo. One third of the expanse of the park is water, with Nanchang River and Shuangzi Canal flowing through. Pursuing the natural features of landscape layout, hillstones and pebbles are scattered in the park, with flowers, trees and bamboos interspersed. The lotus in the park is also renowned for a long time. Oaring a boat on the lake, water ripples when the bamboo sticks across the water surface, forming an exquisite beauty of Jiangnan Watertown.

Address: No. 35 Zhongguancun South Street, Haidian District

Zhongshan Park

The Zhongshan Park in the heart of Beijing is a former Altar of Earth and Harvests in Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was named as Zhongshan Park in 1928 in memory of Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese physician, writer, philosopher, calligrapher and revolutionary, the first president and founding father of the Republic of China. It covers an area of 23.8 hectares and is considered as a memorial classical altar garden. At the northernmost of the Park and behind a part of the walls of the Forbidden City, a section of a tranquil river is available for boating in the spring and summer.

Address: No. 4 Zhonghua Road, Dongcheng District (west to the Tian’anmen Square)


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