Fragrant Hills Park ,Fragrant Hills Park Beijing China
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Fragrant Hills Park

Fragrant Hills Park, which covers an area of 160 hectares, is rich in natural sceneries and cultural relics, and the perfect place to enjoy the red smoke tree in the later autumn. Fragrant Hills Park situates in the east side of West Hill, 28 kilometers northwest of the Beijing City.

Fragrant Hills Park was firstly built in 1186 by Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), and extended to a large scale in the following Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. However, most of the structures and items were damaged by the foreign troops in 1860 and 1900 alongside Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace. With a half-century’s restoration led by RPC since 1949, now the Fragrant Hills Park has been recognized as the one of the ten most famous parks in Beijing.

The valuable wealth in the park must be the smoke tree. When the later autumn comes, fiery red leaves blanket the entire mountain, the most spectacular natural scenery in the Fragrant Hills Park, which attracts thousands of tourists come to this park every year.

 

Two Main Lines to Enjoy the Smoke Tree

The first one is to go along the north route, where has Spectacles Lake (Yanjing Lake), Study of Reading Heart (Jianxin Zhai), Bright Temple (Zhao Miao), etc.

Bright Temple, which was the residence of the Sixth Panchen Lama during his visits to Emperor Qianlong, is a large Tibetan style lamasery complex built in 1780.

Study of Reading Heart, which is regarded as the park inside Fragrant Hills Park, was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). However, this building complex was unfortunately burned down by foreign troops, only survived majestic glazed-tiled archway in front of the complex a Tibetan style terrace and a glazed-tiled pagoda.

The second one is to go along the south area of the park, where has Tranquility Green Lake (Jingcui Lake), Shuangqing Villa, Fragrant Temple, Incense Burner Peak, etc. one of the must see points of interest must be the Shuangqiang Villa, which has once been the residence of Chairman Mao Zedong.

 

Best places to see red leaves in the park:

 

Tranquility Green Lake (Jingcui Lake)
5 minutes walking distance from the east gate, this lake is surrounded by hills in three directions
Best time to see red leaves: circa October 25 - November 9

Fragrant Hills Temple (Xiangshan Temple)
Located at the foot of south hill close to Shuangqing Villa, This temple was originally built in Tang Dynasty.
Best time to see red leaves: circa October 18 - November 2

Heshun Gate
on the hillside of the south slope, 300 meters above the ground, close to the red leave trees.
Best time to see red leaves: circa October 25 - November 9

Yuhua Xiu
20 minutes walking distance from the east gate along the middle road, there is a broad field of watching the red leaves.
Best Time to see red leaves: October 18 - November 4

Xiangwu Ku (literally Fragrant Mist Cave)
About 30 minutes walking distances from the foot of the hill, it offers a classical garden environment on the hillside for visitors to see the red leaves.
Best time to see red leaves: October 15 - November 4

Fragrant Hills Park Notes

Tickets:   
Park Admission Fee: CNY 5 (Nov.16 to Mar.31); CNY 10 (Apr.1 to Nov.15)
Biyun Temple: CNY10

Cable Car: CNY 50 for single trip (CNY 60 in weekends and holidays, CNY 20 for children)

Opening Hours:
April 1 - June 30: 06:00 to 18:30
June 1 - August 31: 06:00 to 19:00
September 1 - November 15: 06:00 to 18:30
November 16 - March 31: 06:00 to 18:00

Transportation:   
Take Subway Line 4 to Beigongmen Station and get off from Exit A. Then transfer to bus 331 or 696 to Xiangshan Station.

Take bus 318, 331, 360, 714, 696, 698 and get off at Xiang Shan Station.

 

Fragrant Hills Park Remark

Recommended red leaves watching routes:

Route 1: East gate of Fragrant Hill Park - Jingcui Lake - Shuangqing Villa - Xiangshan Temple - Heshun Gate - hill top
Tips: The route takes about two hours. Need to climb up the hill.

Route 2: East gate of Fragrant Hill Park - Yuhua Xiu - Xiangwu Ku - hill top
Tips: This is a meek route and suitable for family going together.

Route 3: North gate of the Fragrant Hill Park - cable car station - hill top
5 minutes walking distance from the north gate to the southward cable car, 20 minute cable car time. Nice bird-eye view.