Fragrant Hills (Xiangshan Park)

Last weekend I took a trip to Xiangshan Park on the eastern side of the Western Hills, around 10km west of Beijing.


Also known as the “Fragrant Hills“, the park contains a number of landscaped areas and cultural relics as well as traditional architecture. Dating back to the Jin Dynasty (1115 to 1234) the park was also home to a certain Mao Zedong who planned the founding of the People’s Republic of China here in 1949.


The so-called “hill” is actually around 1800 ft high at its peak and whilst there is a cable car for the lazy it was out of action when I visited which was probably a good thing as it deterred the hoards of tourists you might usually expect. It took around two hours to climb to the top which rewarded some spectacular views (and a well deserved ice cream!!).


It would probably take more than a day to see everything in the park (especially if you climb to the top) so it’s worth reading a map before you set out to decide what you want to see. Be warned that Mao’s villa closes at 4 pm, a fact I discovered too late in the day so missed out on that little gem 😉


Using AutoStich I’ve merged together a panorama from the top of the “hill” – a pretty impressive view of west Beijing even though it was a hazy day!

Fragrant Hills Panorama

Check out the Large or Huge version for a closer look! More photos here.

David avatar

2 responses

  1. Sandy avatar

    such familiar place =)
    i guess i have the memories of xiangshan in each season.
    towards east 5km, is home…

  2. Definitely a great place to go and relax (or tire yourself out climbing!) 😉


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