Beihu (North Lake) Park
Beihu Park is a comprehensive park with beautiful natural landscape and rich human landscape. The park is pretty big and is right in the middle of Nanchong. It's a lake with small islands all connected by picturesque bridges.
Long before, Beihu Lake (North Lake) had been a big wild swamp, and people had seldom noticed it. With time passed by, the swamp became bigger and the water became clearer. In ancient time, the lake had helped people irrigate crops around it and made the surroundings more and more beautiful. People began to appreciate it since Han Dynasty when it was given the name of ‘Fish Pool’. In Ming Dynasty, people called it ‘BeiHu’, which means the north lake. Later, an official had an academy built close to the lake, and the academy was named ‘Jiahu Academy’. So at that time, ‘Beihu’ was also called ‘Jiahu’, meaning a fine lake. In 1984, government of People’s Republic of China built a park with an area of about 140 square kilometers round the lake, and the park is what we call ‘Beihu Park’ till now.
Beihu Lake correlates closely to Nanchong culture. Since Western Han Dynasty, Beihu Lake has been remarkable for its beautiful scenery. Citizens, especially the officials of Han Dynasty, had always strolled round the lake, playing, singing songs, talking about literature or something, composing poets or even just sitting and thinking. It is said that Chen Yiqin, a prime minister of Ming Dynasty had made his stylistic villa built next to a monastery near the northwest side of Beihu Lake. Chen attached much importance to education, so he had had an academy named Golden Spring Academy built in the west of the city near the Beihu Lake after he retired in his 60s. Chen Yubi, son of the prime minister, also admired the lake very much. He usually played and strolled round the lake when he was studying in Golden Spring Academy. As his father, Chen Yubi was gifted, learned and accomplished and he also became a prime minister later. Both the father and the son had been the prime minister, this is unique in Chinese history, and this fact adds more value to Beihu Lake, which had been admired by the two prime ministers.
Before the time when high buildings and large mansions were built many years ago, the images of green hills and beautiful landscape round the Beihu Lake can be clearly inverted. So, a marvelous scene of ‘Fancy Flower Tower’ with the inverted image of the white tower made in Song Dynasty had attracted millions of people. With the elegant lotus flowers blooming vividly, and the inverted image of the White Tower of Song Dynasty shining splendidly in the lake, Beihu Lake looked like an incredible picture. The government has made great effort to preserve the natural scenery of the lake and has made it more and more beautiful.
Now, walking in Beihu Park, you can enjoy the extremely fresh air, the lush grass and the brilliant flowers in spring; you may appreciate the luxuriant trees and shining lotus flowers in summer; you can admire the fragrant osmanthus and kinds of chrysanthemum flowers in autumn; and you can feel the flying snow and charming calyx canthus in winter.
Here is a brief introduction to the attractions of Beihu Park. Stepping in the gate, you can easily be attracted by the lovely small waterfall, delicate rockery and the small pool with green and gracile willow twigs swaying gently around. In the south of the park, you can dance crazily in the spacious outdoor dancing club, or, you may let your children have their fling in the amusement paradise. In the north of the park, there is the Crystal Dragon Palace which is admired by many local people. The Crystal Dragon Palace looks extremely like an imperatorial dragon in appearance. The dragon opens his mouth, when a wide gate appears. In the gate, the living Buddha ‘Ji Gong’ is greeting the tourists with his divine and broken fan. The palace hall is situated in the abdomen of the dragon. In the palace hall the king of sea is sitting in his throne graciously with his mouth opening as if he is telling the tourists that ‘I am the dragon king from the eastern sea to Nanchong, and here, I am going to make Beihu Lake my home.’ Seeing the tourists throwing coins into the cornucopia near him, the king would bless them with words like ‘Wish you be prosperous!’ and so on.
There are three small islands in the Beihu Lake, they are: ‘Oases’ in the east of the lake, ‘Floating Garden’ in the middle and ‘Birds Paradise’ in the west. It would be a journey of happiness if you boat on the lake and visit the three beautiful islands.