Christmas morning in Bei Hai Park

Since moving to Asia we have started spending our Christmas and New Year holidays in (for us) unusual ways. No more snowboarding holidays in Poland (I can hear Husband complaining about it already). Instead, we’re trying to take advantage of being in Asia.

Christmas day 2010 was a long day that started with brunch at Wagyu Lounge and ended with cocktails at Azzure with Victoria, Simon and Joe.

This year, instead of staying in fairly warm Hong Kong (barely below 20C) or heading off to one of the great beaches within easy flying distance like Thailand, Bali or the Philippines (the queue for Manila flight at HK airport was huge!), we went to spend time with Maomao in cold Beijing. Today’s temperature was about -10C!

We spent Sunday morning at my favorite park in Beijing. Bei Hai (‘Northern Sea’) Park in Xichen District. It has been my favorite since my first visit in Beijing 4 years ago. The park is located close to the Forbidden City and was built in the 10th century. It’s a big park (69 hectares) with half of it covered by the lake. There were hundreds of people out and about on this cold morning. -10C didn’t seem to bother anyone; old or young.There was very loud and very different music coming from several groups of people. Thankfully they were spread out. There was classical music, army songs, traditional and of course Chinese pop.

First look at the frozen lake.

Trees with New Year wishes

Hundreds of wishes

The Bai Ta (White Dagoba) is a 40m high stupa placed on the highest point on Qinghu Island. It was destroyed a couple of times by earthquakes and rebuilt.

Staircase leading to the Bai Tai.

Beautiful tiled wall of the Bai Tai.

View from the Bai Tai.

View from the other side of the Bai Tai.

Several ladies and one man were dancing with ribbons.

Light and dark.

This smiling, young girl was very enthusiastically waving a big Chinese flag in rhythm with the very cheerful Chinese communistic style songs.

Army ladies singing and dancing.

Gentleman drawing ME! He was very nice. He saw me taking pictures of his water drawings, looked up and drew me.

Grandparents and grandchildren. There were many families just after 9am, on Sunday morning walking around, playing, dancing, practicing with swords and exercising. We enjoyed watching people despite the cold. I love the atmosphere there on Sunday mornings.

Frozen lake and winter sun.

No Christmas trees, no carols, no presents, no snow but it was a beautiful Christmas morning.

Admission Fee to the Bei Hai Park: 5RMB.

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