Valaree Conwell

Valaree Conwell

Published: 22 Sep 2023


Beihai Lake, located in the heart of China, is not just your ordinary lake. It is an enchanting natural wonder that holds numerous surprises and hidden treasures. This breathtaking lake, encompassing an area of 39 square kilometers, has captivated travelers and locals alike with its beauty and Mystery.

But what sets Beihai Lake apart from other lakes? What fascinating secrets lie beneath its tranquil surface? In this article, we will delve into the remarkable world of Beihai Lake and uncover 16 surprising facts that will leave you in awe. From its rich history and cultural significance to its unique ecosystem and stunning landmarks, Beihai Lake is a destination that promises to amaze and inspire. So, let’s embark on this journey and discover the wonders of Beihai Lake!

Table of Contents

A Royal Oasis

Beihai Lake was originally built as a royal garden during the Liao Dynasty, making it over a thousand years old. It served as a retreat for emperors of the past, offering them a serene environment surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes. Today, it continues to captivate visitors with its tranquil ambiance.

The Celestial Connection

Legend has it that Beihai Lake is a direct reflection of the celestial world. It is believed that the Jade Emperor, the supreme ruler of Chinese mythology, used to hold divine banquets here, with the lake mirroring the heavenly realm he presided over.

A Feast for the Eyes

Beihai Lake is renowned for its picturesque scenery, which inspired countless artists and poets throughout history. The lake’s crystal-clear water, intertwined with beautiful pavilions and lush gardens, creates a mesmerizing vista that enchants all who lay eyes upon it.

The Five Dragon Pavilions

At the heart of Beihai Lake lies the Five Dragon Pavilions, a majestic structure that stands as a symbol of the lake. Each pavilion represents a mythical dragon, with their tails extending into the water. It is said that the dragons protect the lake from evil spirits and ensure its harmony.

The White Dagoba

Rising proudly on Qionghua Island within Beihai Lake is the White Dagoba, a striking Tibetan-style monument. Built during the Ming Dynasty, this exquisite structure stands tall and offers panoramic views of the lake and surrounding cityscape.

A Winter Wonderland

During the winter months, Beihai Lake transforms into a magical wonderland as it freezes over. Visitors can enjoy ice skating and other winter activities on the frozen lake while admiring the ethereal beauty of the snow-covered scenery.

Wisdom in the Design

The layout of Beihai Lake is deeply rooted in Chinese philosophy and symbolism. The lake represents the earth, while the Jade Islet in its center signifies the sun. The surrounding structures and gardens are meticulously crafted to embody the balance and harmony of yin and yang.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 2011, Beihai Lake was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, further cementing its cultural and historical significance. This prestigious status ensures the preservation of its unique heritage for generations to come.

Aquatic Symphony

Beihai Lake is home to numerous species of fish and other aquatic life, creating a thriving ecosystem within its waters. Visitors can witness this biodiversity up close by taking a boat tour or simply strolling along the lake’s shores.

The Nine-Dragon Screen

Located on the eastern side of Beihai Lake is the famous Nine-Dragon Screen, an intricately designed ceramic wall depicting nine mythical dragons playing amidst swirling clouds. This impressive screen stands as one of the finest examples of ancient Chinese craftsmanship.

A Cultural Haven

Beihai Park, which surrounds the lake, is a treasure trove of cultural relics. Within its grounds, you can find ancient temples, pagodas, and even a museum dedicated to traditional Chinese arts and crafts. It’s a haven for those seeking to immerse themselves in the country’s rich cultural heritage.

The Circular City

On the northeastern side of Beihai Lake lies the Circular City, an architectural marvel that served as a Yuan Dynasty imperial palace. This historical site is a testament to the enduring legacy of ancient Chinese architecture and urban planning.

A Floating Island

Beihai Lake is home to an enchanting floating island known as Jade Flower Island. This man-made island appears to float on the surface of the lake, featuring lush gardens, pavilions, and even a teahouse where visitors can relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

The Pomelo Connection

Beihai Lake is famous for its pomelo trees, which bear delicious fruits known for their sweet and tangy flavor. Each year, during the pomelo harvest season, the lake becomes a haven for fruit enthusiasts who come to sample this delectable treat.

A Symbol of Unity

Beihai Lake is known as the “Northern Sea” in Chinese, symbolizing unity and harmony. It has long been viewed as a unifying force, bringing people from all walks of life together to appreciate the beauty of nature and create lasting memories.

A Source of Inspiration

Beihai Lake has served as a source of inspiration for countless writers, poets, and artists throughout history. Its ethereal beauty and serene atmosphere have been immortalized in numerous works of art, becoming a symbol of the enduring bond between humanity and nature.

In conclusion, Beihai Lake truly embodies the splendor and mystique of ancient Chinese culture. With its rich history, stunning scenery, and hidden treasures, it continues to captivate the hearts of all who visit. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Beihai Lake is a destination that should not be missed.


Beihai Lake is truly a spectacular natural wonder that captivates visitors with its beauty and fascinating history. From its stunning size and depth to its unique ecosystem and cultural significance, there are many surprising facts about Beihai Lake that make it a must-visit destination. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply looking for a tranquil getaway, Beihai Lake offers a truly remarkable experience. Explore the lake’s crystal-clear waters, admire the ancient architecture of nearby attractions, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the area. So, plan your trip to Beihai Lake today and discover the magic that this enchanting place holds.


Q: What is the size of Beihai Lake?

A: Beihai Lake covers an area of approximately 583 square kilometers, making it the largest freshwater lake in China.

Q: Are there any islands in Beihai Lake?

A: Yes, Beihai Lake is home to several islands, the most famous one being Jade Flower Island, which is a popular tourist destination.

Q: Is Beihai Lake a natural or man-made lake?

A: Beihai Lake is a natural lake formed by tectonic forces millions of years ago. However, it has undergone some modifications over the years for flood control and irrigation purposes.

Q: Can I participate in water activities at Beihai Lake?

A: Yes, Beihai Lake offers a range of water activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. There are rental services available for boats and fishing equipment.

Q: Are there any cultural attractions near Beihai Lake?

A: Yes, Beihai Lake is surrounded by many cultural attractions, including the iconic White Pagoda on the Silver Island and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Potala Palace.

Q: Is Beihai Lake accessible for tourists with disabilities?

A: Efforts have been made to make Beihai Lake accessible for tourists with disabilities. There are ramps and designated accessible areas to ensure that everyone can enjoy the beauty of the lake.

Q: Can I go camping near Beihai Lake?

A: Camping is not allowed within the immediate vicinity of Beihai Lake. However, there are designated camping areas nearby where you can enjoy an outdoor experience.