Red Leaf Festival at Fragrant Hill
- Celebrated: Oct. 15 to Nov. 7
- Location: Beijing
Charming scenery of Red Leaf in Fragrant Hill, one of the four best places to appreciate red leaf in China
Fragrant Hill Red Leaf Festival is usually held in the middle of October at Fragrant Hill. It is a grand festival. Many visitors gather here to enjoy the beauty of the red autumnal leaves. Between the middle of October and early November is the best season for enjoying the red leaves.
Recommended Tourist Lines
Red Leaves Special Line
The best place to enjoy the red leaves is at the South Mountain of Fragrant Hill. Tourists can start from the East Gate. After visiting Jingcui Lake, Shuangqing Villa, and Fragrant Hill Temple, tourists reach Daheshun Gate. Go along Heyu Road to get to the top of the mountain. Tourists can choose this line to reach the best place to view the red leaves. Usually, it takes around two hours to reach the top. Tourists should prepare well and bring some water and food.
Family Visit Line
Middle Road is the best choice for a family tour given the flat terrain. Tourists can start from the East Gate. Then, after visiting Yuhua Villa and Sweat Mist Cave, you can reach the top. Enjoy an overview of the beauty of the red autumnal leaves. It is a good choice for a family tour.
Enjoy an alternative view when taking the cableway line. Tourists can start from the north gate, and the cableway is to the south, which arrives at the top in about 18 minutes. Tourists can enjoy not only the beauty of the red leaves at Fragrant Hill but can also take in the entire view of Biyun Temple in the north. In addition, you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of all of Beijing. You’ll experience a totally different enjoyment of natural beauty.
In addition, tourists can also visit Jianxin Temple and Biyun Temple. Jianxin Temple is located west of Yanjing Lake. Built during the Ming Dynasty, it has a history of more than 500 years and is the only scenic spot on Fragrant Hill displaying south China characters.
Best Spots for watching
Enter Fragrant Hill Park through the east gate and walk south, and you will reach Jingcui Lake in just five minutes. The lake is the perfect, and nearest, place to view the red leaves.
Specialty: As the lake is nearest to the gate, tourists save time and energy by going there. Mountains and water surround the lake, and the red autumnal leaves stay around the longest here.
Capacity: 300 to 400 people
Best time for watching: around October 25 to November 9
Fragrant Hill Temple
Fragrant Hill Temple was first built during the prime of the Tang Dynasty, and has seen both times of prosperity and periods of decline. It is the birthplace of Fragrant Hill culture. In the late Qing Dynasty, it burned down and only relics remained. However, tall old trees, stones decorated with exquisite fresco, and stone tablets carved with neat calligraphy still tell us the history.
Specialty: Fragrant Hill Temple is rich in historic culture. Tourists can learn about its history while watching the red autumnal leaves.
Capacity: 500 to 800 people
Best time for watching: October 18 to November 2
Tips: Some parts of Fragrant Hill Temple have many footsteps. Tourists should be careful while walking.
Heshun Gate is located 300 meters to the south of Fragrant Hill. It is part of the south wall of the park. Early during the Qing Dynasty, emperors went through Heshun Gate when visiting the park and headed toward Badachu Park, thus giving the name “ancient royal road” to the road between Langfeng Pavilion and Heshun Gate. In recent years, the road was renovated by the managing organization of Fragrant Hill Park, which also reformed the entire scenic area. Now the road is covered by flourishing trees and, in particular, smoke trees. On the ancient royal road, tourists can get closer to the red autumnal leaves than in any other place, and the road also takes them directly into the smoke tree zone.
Specialty: Allows tourists to go deep into the smoke tree zone
Capacity: 3000 to 5000 people
Best time for watching: October 25 to November 9
Tips: As it is at a high altitude, tourists should be prepared to climb the mountain.
Yuhua Villa is located in the center of the park. It has the largest flat terrain in the park and is also the best place to get an overview of the entire park. It takes around 20 minutes to walk to Yuhua Villa along the middle road from the east gate of Fragrant Hill.
Specialty: Yuhua Villa has the best view of the entire park. Tourists can enjoy fragrant tea boiled with spring water while enjoying the beauty of red autumnal leaves.
Capacity: 800 to 1,000 people
Best time for watching: October 15 to November 4
Tips: The area is flat from the east gate to Yuhua Villa. This tourist line is the best choice for a family tour.
Sweat Mist Cave
Sweat Mist Cave is at the middle of Fragrant Hill. Given the flat terrain, some fitness equipment is placed here, providing a good place for tourists to take a break and exercise. Meanwhile, the major buildings of Sweat Mist Cave have been rebuilt, creating a classic imperial garden. While standing at Sweat Mist Cave, tourists get different views of the beauty of the red autumnal leaves, and fully experience their natural beauty and harmony.
Specialty: Tourists can experience the beauty of the imperial garden. It is a good place to rest and taste tea.
Capacity: 800 to 1,000 people
Best Time for watching: from October 15th to November 4th
Tips: It takes more than half an hour to get to the Sweat Mist Cave. Tourists should wear suitable sneakers.
see China Highlights' Beijing tours to Fragrant Hill to see red leaves.
During the Fragrant Hill Red Leaf Festival, hundreds of thousands of visitors come here. Tourists are advised to visit from Monday to Friday. On weekends, tourists should wake up earlier and avoid the rush hour. Of course, the best way to go is via public transportation. See Beijing transportation
Songlin Restaurant is located at the west side of the Zhisong scenic spot of Fragrant Hill Park. It is a large restaurant with a unique style, an elegant environment, and excellent food, mainly serving Beijing, Shandong, and imperial cuisine. It can accommodate more than 200 people at once in its 1,500 square meter area of operations. The highlight lies in the unique environment. Tourists can enjoy the natural beauty and delicious food at the same time. See Beijing food and restaurants
The best time to visit Beijing is in the autumn. When you visit Fragrant Hill, do not forget to taste the tea served at Shuangqing Villa and Sweat Mist Cave. In addition, having the tea at Healthy Garden, Yuhua Villa, and Yunzhou Tea House is also recommended.
Fragrant Hill Villa is in the middle of a major road in Fragrant Hill Park. It is a two-star, foreign-oriented tourist hotel integrating accommodations, catering, and entertainment. It was rebuilt on the formerly famous Fragrant Hill Hospital (from 1920 to 1949), and now offers 103 standard rooms and 206 residential beds. Tourists booking rooms here can visit Fragrant Hill Park for free. Meanwhile, staff at Fragrant Hill Villa help visitors book tickets to Biyun Temple, the cableway, and the surrounding entertainment. For overseas friends, the best choice is to stay at Fragrant Hill.
Planning a tour to see red leaves in Fragrant Hill? see China Highlights' Beijing tours.
I updated this article on February 28, 2014
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Questions and Answers About Red Leaf Festival at Fragrant Hill
Yes, you may not see the red leaves then,the best time to visit the Frarant hill park is Oct, all the leaves will fall in Nov.
there is no direct bus from Wanshoushi to the Frangrant hill park, it is better that you take taxi there.Lily Guo replied on 2013-11-02