Beihai and Jingshan Park are two of the most famous and beautiful parks of Beijing. For centuries these former imperial gardens were off limits to commoners. Today, they are important historic landmarks as well as a gathering place for Beijingers. This walk blends imperial architecture, history, and local life in one two-hour experience. We’ll explore these parks and talk about how the emperors and their families enjoyed these spaces. We’ll also encounter local folks engaging in all kinds of activities from dancing to singing to martial arts. We’ll climb up Jingshan (about a 5- to 10-minute walk) and get a 360-degree view of the old city and we will also visit Hortensia Island in Beihai Park to see some of the oldest existing artifacts in Beijing.