Xiang Shan Park and the Azure Clouds Temple

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Beijing, China
Xiang Shan Park and the Azure Clouds Temple - Fragrant Hill is famous for its red leaves. Every Autumn, red leaves cover the whole mountain like it's on fire.
Xiang Shan Park and the Azure Clouds Temple - From mid-October to early November is the best time to visit Fragrant Hill each year. The color of the leaves usually lasts for a month.
Xiang Shan Park and the Azure Clouds Temple - Another lake and bi-colored peach tree in the Xiang Shan Park
Xiang Shan Park and the Azure Clouds Temple - The 'glasses' lake in the Xiang Shan park
Xiang Shan Park and the Azure Clouds Temple - The bottoms of the stupas at the very top level of the Azure Clouds Temple

Xiang Shan Park and the Azure Clouds Temple Beijing Reviews

crystalevans crystale…
24 reviews
Beautiful Fragrant Hill Park Dec 03, 2009
The large scale imperial garden - the Xiangshan Park from the Qing Dynasty, in which the most spectacular natural scenery is the red smoke tree leaves over the mountains in autumn.

Situated in the east part of western hills, 28 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of the Beijing City, Fragrant Hills Park is a large park of hills and forest covering 160 hectares (395.4 acres). Both its natural sceneries and cultural relics are abundant. Xianglu Peak (Incense Burner Peak), 557 meters (1827.4 feet) high, is its highest peak.

The name of the park derives not from the fresh air or aroma in the area, but in the shape of the hills themselves. 2 big stones lie on its peak and from a distance, on a mist-shrouded day, it looks much like a three-legged incense burner. The groves of apricots, peaches, pears and lilacs may also be reason for the name Fragrant Hills. Visitors to the park can reach the peak by trekking up the hill or by taking a cable car.

Being richly endowed by nature, the park has 280,000 various trees in it. Among them there are more than 5800 ancient as well as rare trees, which take up 1/4 of Beijing area. With a 98% forest coverage, the park is examined to an area with highest negative oxygen ion in recent years. In the park, birds sing, streams flow, squirrels play with each other in green gaps, and all the things enjoy a harmony with nature. In late autumn, when hundreds of thousands of common smoke trees turn red, the boundless scene is the most distinguished autumn scenery.

The most spectacular natural scenery in the Fragrant Hills Park is the red smoke tree leaves over the mountains. When autumn arrives, fiery red leaves blanket the entire mountain. Every year, thousands of tourists come to the park. The cable cars are a great way to take in the beautiful scenes.

From the peak of Fragrant Hill, the winding Yongding River like a white silk belt fluttering among the western valleys, the Marco Polo Bridge on the river, Shijing Mountain, the Summer Palace and Jade Spring Mountain can all be seen from here, and on a clear day one can even make out the skyline of Beijing.
From mid-October to early November…
Fragrant Hill is famous for its re…
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portia portia
216 reviews
May 24, 2006
Xiang Shan (fragrance hill) park is on the western surburb of Beijing, established in 1186 as a summer resort and hunging grounds for the emporers. Emporer Qianlong (in 1745) had built many pagodas, palaces there, and there was a Xiang Shan temple there too. However, most of these buildings were destroyed by the Britsh-French army in 1860 and again by the eight nations of allied forces (including the US!) in 1900. So a lot of history, but the place has been well restored (not all buildings), and is a real nice park to visit. It has a peak called the Incense-burning Peak, at 557 meters high, a good hike up there, or you can take the cable car if you are lazy or not so fit. In the fall, the red leaves in the park is a famous sight for Beijingers, in the spring time, there are many blooming flowers and it was really fragrant when I visited in April! Amazingly relaxing if you just sit under the trees in many parts of the park. I spent about 4 hours in the park, walking a bit slowly and took many photos, and I did not even go to more than half of the park! Shan means hill or mountain in Chinese, so this park is not on level ground, and there is a lot of up and down hiking.

Next to the park is the Azure Clouds Temple, established in 1331, and is a desginated historic treasure in China. The temple covers about 40000 square meters, and had 6 courtyards built along hill. The buddha and various statues in this temple are very beautiful and the building with 500 arhats is also very special, each is different and lifelike (and life-size too). Men and women are supposed to count on the left (men) or right (women) hand side as they walk, starting randomly, but stopping at the year of your age. And that arhat is supposed to be your (guardian angel or something like it), and you can get a card describing what that arhat means to you. Very interesting and fun.
The "glasses" lake in the Xiang Sh…
Another lake and bi-colored peach …
The bottoms of the stupas at the v…
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rideouts says:
I agree that the fragrant hills were very nice for a relaxing walk, with some very photogenic architecture. Be warned that it is a bit of a cab ride from Beijing city! You shouldn't have any trouble getting a cab to take you back to the city though, even if it does seem to be a ways out of town, there were plenty of cabs around to take people back into the city.
Posted on: May 27, 2006

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