Geographic overview of the Region surrounding Beijing focussing on the Northern Half of Beijing City Province. Check the Map for better understanding of text.
This page was last updated on: June 10, 2017
The Six Outer Suburbs of the City of Beijing
Beijing Municipality Area Maps
A map of the Northern Half of Beijing Municipality
( Beijing is an autonomous City Province ) including the Summer Palace, Jundu Mountains and The Badaling Great Wall of China, Mutianyu Great Wall of China and more details. Same Map of the Northern Half of Beijing Municipality,
A Detailed Geographic Map overview of West and North-West Beijing City Province highlighting some of main monuments and scenic spots of the Mentugou District. Clearly visible - Mentugou District is an outlying district with few connections to the Inner City of Beijing.
Sixth and Last of the Outer Suburbs is Mentougou District, a place of remarkable beauty. Here lie the
famed Western Hills of Beijing, at the foot of which lies the Imperial Pleasure Garden of the Imperial Summer Palace (YiheYuan) itself. The Western Hills extend throughout both Mentougou and parts of Fangshan District as well as a section of Shijingshan District and were once the luxury Home of Sir Reginald Flemming Johnston better known as the Tutor to the Dragon Emperor. Another famous temporary inhabitant of the area
Starting with the foothills which are known as the Fragrant Hills, the Entire Western Hills area has long been a retreat for Chinese scholars, religious men, and members of the government and civil service and the Hilly Area is a treasure trove of cultural and historical Treasures. Not only that, the area is also abundant in greenery and wildlife, and Mentugou District supplies Beijing with fresh agricultural produce such as roses, wild jujubes, mushrooms, and Beijing white pears.
Among the most attractive highlights of the Western Hills are the Fragrant Hills Park, the Beijing Botanical Gardens and The Temple of the Azure Clouds - both near Fragrant Hills Park, the Temple of the
A rough Schematic Overview Map of the Fragrant Hills Area of Mentugou District in Beijing, marking the locations of the Wofo Temple, Biyun Temple, Fragrant Hills Park and both the Old and New Summer Palaces and their Parks.
Click and Follow the Links to more Information on each specific location !
Reclining Buddha (Wofo Si) as part of Beijing Botanical Gardens, Tanzhe Si, the Rose Valley and nearby Zhenzu lake and further out West, the Yanhe City remnants.
To the northwest of the Fragrant Hills Park are lie more scenic sights such as Jiufeng (Vulture Peak) Forest Park (鹫峰森林公园), Dajue Temple, and Fenghuanling (Phoenix Ridge) Scenic Area.
Fragrant Hills Park or better Incense Burning Peak Park (Xiang Shan Gongyuan) is a Public Park in Beijing which is not part of the Mentougou District, but lies just across its borders within Haidian District of Beijing. The 1.6 Square Kilometer (395 acres) Park consists mainly of a natural pine-cypress forest, hills with maple trees, smoke trees and persimmon trees, as well as landscaped areas. First constructed during the (Yurchen) Jin Dynasty (1115 AD - 1234 AD), who's Capital Yanjing was destroyed by the conquering Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1234 AD -1368 AD), the Park combines Jewels of traditional architecture with magnificent Chinese gardens. As a Historical Temple the Zhijong Monastery inside the Fragrant Hills Park houses a unique historic collection of cultural relics and has a unusually pointy 8 Storied Pagoda which can be recognized from afar. Among these Relics is the former Residence of Cao Xueyin (1715 AD - 1763 AD) renowned as the writer of Chinese Literary Classic "A Dream of Red Mansions".
The Chinese name of the Park derives from the park's highest peak, Xianglu Feng (Incense Burner Peak), a 557 meters (1827 ft) hill with two large stones resembling incense burners at the top.
The Story of Deng XiaoPing, legendary Leader of Communist China and survivor of the Long March.
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was Mao Zedong, who stayed in a Villa in the Fragrant Hills Park after the taking of Beijing in early 1949 AD (He later moved to Zhongnanhai). The Villa was the sight of the Early Headquarters of the Communist Party Headquarters in Beijing and is the historic location where most of the work on setting up the provisionary Government for the Future Peoples Republic of China (established Oct. 1, 1949 AD) was done. Especially among older revolutionaries it is known as the Fragrant Hills Hotel.
As his bodyguard recalls in the Book "Mao Zedong Man, Not God", shortly after the Central Committee and the Chairman occupied the Fragrant Villa, the soldiers and officers of the Guard took a liking to shooting their rifles at the many colorful birds enriching the beauty of the Hills. It became quite a common thing to kill the birds, who fell in flocks, until one day an incident occurred and the Chairman was confronted with the corrupted little corpses the Guards had brought in. The Chairman, in his sudden humanity, with the poetic spirit of a scholar and the simple nature of a peasant, took pity on the Birds. From that day on forward there were no more shootings and the birds were admired and enjoyed for the beauty and
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is located in the Western Hills at the southern foot of Jubao (also called Shou' an) Mountain, about 20 kilometers from Beijing City Center. Set as an integrated part of the Beijing Botanical Gardens, the rear of the temple is set beautifully against the mountain cliffs; at its front are open fields. Today's Reclining Buddha Temple was completed in the year 1724 AD, however, a temple was first built on this location during the Zhenguan period (627 AD - 249 AD) of the Tang Dynasty. During Yuan Dynasty Reign (1271 AD - 1368 AD) the Temple received a large-scale 250 Ton bronze image of the Buddha attaining Nirvana (which means he is in the reclining position), giving the Temple its name. Although hidden away in what seems to be a remote destination at some distance Travel from the City center, a visit to the Western Hills and Reclining Buddha Temple and Temple Gardens is possible traveling either by Bus, the Subway/Metro System and/or private cab.
An Outline Geographic Map o/t Southern Regions of Beijing City Province and parts of Hebei Province. Map includes parts of Daxing, Fansghan and Mentougou Districts
As can be deduced the above schematic Map of the Area, Biyun Si can be found immediately West of Fragrant Hills Park. It is easy to find. Simply find the Northern Gate of the Fragrant Hills Park, and head across the road outside of it. Next Stop: Temple o/t Azure Clouds !
Renowned for its many historical and cultural relics, the fine Biyun Si - Temple of the Azure Clouds counts as a landmark of Political Significance as well, as it is the Temple where the body of the founding Father of China's 1st Republic, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, was kept after his Death in 1925 AD. Visitors can find an exhibit and old photos from the episode at the Temple. For those more interested in scenery and architecture the Jewel in the Crown of their visit may well be the masterpiece Diamond Throne Pagoda (Jingang Baozuo Ta). Originally constructed in 1366 AD, the Pagoda is of an unusual Indian Design and stands among accompanying Stupa's. Climb the Pagoda to enjoy a smashing view of the surroundings and don't forget to find your way to the Hall of Arhats, and 18Th Century addition to the Temple which holds 512 statues of which 500 of the Buddha's Disciples known as the Arhats.
An Outline Geographic Map o/t Southern & Western Regions of Beijing City Province and parts of Hebei Province. Map includes parts of Mentougou District, the Western Hills and Hebei and Shanxi province beyond.
Beyond the Fragrant Hills lies the District of Mentougou of which the next main scenic spot to visit is the Tanzhe Si or Temple of the Pool and (the) Zhe Tree. (Chinese: 潭柘寺; pinyin: Tán Zhè Sì).
Although located in a remote section of the Western Hills, off highway 108 in the Mentougou District, as one of the oldest surviving Temples in Beijing entire, this structure receives quite a substantial amount of daily visitors. In fact, surprisingly it is one of the most well-known Temples in the City !
Not only was Tanzhe Si first built a staggering 1600 years ago (Jin Dynasty (265 AD–420 AD), it was once one of the most important Temples in the Nation.
Today the Buddhist Temple remains active and its 6.8 hectares of grounds offer a multitude of spiritual attractions and natural bliss. Over time more structures were added and most of the existing buildings in the temple are from the Ming
As the Fragrant Hills lie at some distance from the Central City, it is usually impossible or simply too tiring to visit all four Main Sites - the Botanical Gardens, The Fragrant Hills Park and Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wofo Si), as well as the Temple of the Azure Clouds (Biyun Si). Usually, a return visit is well advised.
For those who insist on going this far, beyond and Qingshujian the Village of Xiaweidian lies the Rose Valley. To travel there, either a Car or a planned trip by railway from Beijing Southern Station is needed.
The Rose Valley lies in the far West on the Border of Mentougou District and Hebei Province. Nourished by the waters of nearby Zhuwo Fresh Water Reservoir (constructed in 1958 AD during the over-optimistic year of the launching of ’The Great Leap Forward’, a modernization drive of agriculture and industry that was to lead to ’The Great Famine’ and up to 70 million civilian deaths from starvation throughout the nation. More died from exposure, exhaustion and lack of proper medical care, as officially declared political enemies lost all rights within the communist social system. The Lake and dam were larged created by manual labor, flooding the site day and night with ’volunteer workers’ from the City of Beijing and/or its nearby forced labor camps and farms. Everyone
participated, working with shovels and bag-poles to dig out the earth of the reservoir, then transporting it to a railway which carried the dirt to the dam, where it was then processed. Not to participate could have led to terrible social consequences, and even to denouncement and punishment by hard labor, ending up doing this same job for years often under horrible circumstances.
The Zhuwo lake reservoir is now euphemistically renamed Pearl Lake) the Rose Valley is locally renowned as the main growing area of Roses in the Region and most roses found in Beijing have been grown here.
In the immediate vicinity lie the obscure Zhenzu lake and further out West, the Yanhe City historic remnants.
This Area is Part of Yanchi Township, nearly rural and knows wide open spaces, natural sceneries and increasingly steep and high mountains. Among things, dare devils can get to work on climbingVulture Peak - Jui Shan and explore its Forest Park (鹫峰森林公园), go explore Dajue Temple, and Fenghuanling (Phoenix Ridge) Scenic Area.
For a Bus Trip use Bus-Lines Numbers 333 (via Summer Palace) and Bus 318 from nearby PingguoYuan Station of the Red Subway Line 1, 360 (from Beijing Zoo), 904, or use the special tour buses from Qianmen Bus Station located off the South End of TiananMen Square in the City Center. The westward bound trains of the Subway/Metro Line 4 - the RED LINE, will take you to its end station at PingguoYuan, from where one can explore both the Temple and the wider Area.
All three of the above highlights, Beijing Botanical Gardens, Fragrant Hills Park and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha can be visited in combination for a great day. And even then there is more. A Fourth Monument stands just nearby and is the Biyun Si,better known as the Temple of the Azure Clouds.
comfort they brought to the luxurious Party Home on the western outskirts of their age old Capital. Each single one could do and move about as it pleased and twitter its lively tune.
According to sources, exactly 40 years later during the hot summer of 1989 AD, the Politburo of the Communist Party of China retreated briefly to the cooling heights of the Western Hills and the Hotel, only that time it was strictly a crisis-meeting in order to deal appropriately with the unrest in the Central City. After the Party elders - among whom Deng Xiaoping - had been forced to "go back to their roots" (if you will), the Peoples Liberation Army had to be called in to restore order to an entire Nation in turmoil. Once more the Fragrant Hills played a short but important role in the Governance of the Chinese Nation.
A recent find of a 10.000 year old skeleton has thrust Mentougou into the limelight as a location of rare archeological finds, alike the now nearly forgotten Peking Man Site (Zhoukoudianzhen) and the Wanfujing Paleolithic Site in the basements of the Oriental Plaza Malls. This location, about half a mile west of Donghulin Village in Zaitang County, had already yielded some incomplete skeletons and artifacts during earlier explorations in 1966 AD, and later another was found in 1995. The latest and 5th found skeleton has been determined to belong to a so called upper cave man, and represents a significant moment in time, somewhere between 30.000 and 10.000 years ago, when the Cave Dwelling hominids finally moved into what today is the North China Plain.
Find the excavation location known as Donghulin Relics site or Grave Slope at some 80 kilometers to the West of downtown Beijing. Mind you, that is a considerable traveling distance in Beijing City Province. On display at the site are explanations of the significance of the new pre-historic find along with some items found inside the grave, buried along with the skeleton. Among these are stone and bone artifacts, primitive pottery and some shells. A piece of light green jade was found laid between the bodies upper lip and nose. Also found with the body a stone stick and a stone plate, tools of grain harvesting. Near the body were several enclosed firing places containing ash, suggesting a fiery last ritual for the deceased.
Altogether, the new archeological find at Donghulin in Mentougou District is a very rare and unique event. But a few significant new stone age finds have been made in North China so far. The find of a seemingly complete burial sites yields extraordinary new insights into the life of hominids in the Beijing Region in that long past era. For enthusiast and buffs of new stone age finds, it is an absolute must visit. For others the lengthy trip may not be worthwhile.
Blessed with hundreds of hills and peaks the Western Hills can be seen from downtown Beijing's Bell-Tower on a clear day, but in fact lie at quite a distance travel from the City.
1000 years old. Set between rolling hills, sometimes said to resemble a sleeping lion, Dajue Temple stands at the foot of Yangtai Hill. Among its greatest attractions are its near rural setting and a little river spring flowing through the Temple from the highest Hall and Courtyard.
The Yanchi Township knows two ancient Caves - Sanxian and Gaibuyan Caves, as well as -mind you- the oldest surviving bridge in Asia entire !
To get to Dajue Temple (and Miaoling Villa), take the Badaling Highway to the north and get off at the Beianhe Exit. Then take Beiqing Road to a T-junction. Turn left for the villa and turn right for the temple. Check your road signs along the way to make sure.
To Get there to Pearl Lake Scenic Area: try taking Bus Line 336 from Pingguoyuan Subway/Metro Station to Hetan; take Mid-size bus to Zhaitang and then transfer to a small public bus to Zhenzhu Lake. Take your Time since it is quite a trip. An overnight stay could well be considered in order to further explore this area. Blue sky, white clouds, small rivers, mountains and steep gorges provide a stunning
landscape excellent for pleasure hiking and perhaps fishing. A most worthwhile Canyon to visit is Yongding River Gorge. Also known as Yanjing’s three small gorges of the north or Small Lijiang.
Chinese Propaganda Poster calling on Citizens, Workers and Soldiers to unite and expediate the drive into communism and well-being for all. Reality however was much different.
Note the clear rank of importance in the dpecited image: at the time China was a highly militarized society. Workers came second, then city dwellers. Peasants, although officially the core and backbone of the communist party, did not really matter that much to those at the top. Peasants were the most expendable of all.
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Overview Map of the Yiheyuan Summer Palace Park, Old Summer Palace ruins (Yuanmingyuan), Jade Spring Hill (Yuquanshan), Fragrant Hills Park and Beijing Botanical Gardens in North-West Haidian District.
features much more. Rare and unique attractions include a traditional Chinese medical herb garden, Greenhouses, exhibition halls, wild fruits,an endangered plants section, there is vineyard and testing
station and them some. Latest additions include studies into environmental protection and water resourcing and an exhibition greenhouses for tropical and subtropical plants. Last but not least there are several Buddhist temples located within the grounds of the botanical garden, most notably the Wofo Si or Temple of the Reclining Buddha.