The Circular City in Beihai Park

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"The Circular City is like a miniature Imperial City"

Or rather it's an exquisitely built "city of cities" in Beijing.

It's regarded as the smallest city in the world.

At least by the Chinese and the Emperors of the time

The wall that surrounds the outside of the city gives a good sample of its size.

It's 11 meters high, 5 meters wide and only 190 meters in circumference.

It looks like an egg.

But there is much history, Chinese dates back to the days of the Manchurian. This is Imperial history chock full of everything the Emperor of China deemed suitable for the palate of an Emperor of the time.

Beihai Park is and was not only the center of history and culture in Beijing, but also the center of ecological and natural beauty. Now, an ancient but modern Beihai Park welcomes tourists and we suggest you take the time to see it.

Where is The Circular City?

Circular City Temple

You'll find the Circular City Just after you enter Beihai Park via the South Gate (Main) Entrance.

Check out the page on Beihai Park for good directions to the Park and the South Gate entrance.

It is a short walk from the Forbidden City because the Park and the Circular City were once enclosed within the walls of the Forbidden City.

Yup, this was once Emperor territory and no one but the Emperor, members of his inner circle and the elite of the Manchurian Army ever set eyes on Beihai Park and the round city within.

It almost offers a more intimate look at the Emperor and his life than the Forbidden City does. This was where he came to walk and plan and relax and read books and write his journals.

I think they even have a pair of his spectacles on show in one of the glass cases somewhere in the Park.

What is There to See?

Among the Halls, Towers And Pavilions to visit in the Circular City is one very important Hall. It's called Chengguang Hall and holds the extremely precious white jade statue of Buddha brought over from Burma at the end of Qing Dynasty.

At the front of Chengguang Hall is a huge that is made entirely of dark jade. It's 4.9 feet across with a total circumference of 16.4 feet and a height of 2.3 feet.

This hunk of Precious Jade weighs in at 3.5 tons and was once used to store wine for the great Kublai Khan. I wonder what wine glasses looked like back then.

I was actually surprised to learn that wine at one time was very popular in China.

There is also a fantastic, 800-year-old pine tree standing Inside the Circular City and even a 1.6-meter-tall benign looking Buddha carved smoothly of snow-white jade.

Admission Fee:

CNY 10 (Apr.1 to Oct. 31); CNY 5 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31 the next year)

Opening Hours:  

06:30-20:00 (January, February, March, November, December)
06:00-21:00 (April, May, September, October)
06:00 to 22:00 (June, July, August)

Bus Route:

From the South Gate: 101?103?109?812?814?846
From the North Gate: 107?111?118?701?823
From the East Gate: 5

Best Budget Tour

If you don't have the time to visit Baihai Park or the Circle city then at least hit all the Must-see places like the Great Wall at Badaling, Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square.

If you are really in a hurry then get a Great Budget Tour to whisk you to the sites.

You never know if you'll be back to Beijing and it is packed with some of the world's most incredible sites.

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