5 Recommended Places to See the Sunrise in Beijing
The sights and sounds of Beijing are worth exploring at all hours of the day. There is something truly special about dawn, however, when select corners of the city have yet to come to life. If there is any time to capture a serene moment in the heart of Beijing — or in nearby parks or historic sites — it’s at sunrise, when the already beautiful scenery is amplified by swirling colors worthy of painting.
Not sure where to start? You’ll definitely want to check out these top sunrise spots in and around Beijing:
1.Wanchun Pavilion at Jingshan Park
If you’re on the hunt for a distinctively cosmopolitan sunrise view, hit up the Jingshan Park’s Wanchun Pavilion. Conveniently located in the center of Beijing, this famous park is easy to access. A sunrise visit will serve as the perfect precursor to a busy day in the city. This is your opportunity to enjoy a little peace and quiet before the liveliness of Beijing takes over.
Once you arrive at the park, climb up to the Wanchun Pavilion. From there, you can enjoy an expansive view of the Forbidden City, along with the vibrant colors of the sunrise. The earlier you arrive, the better — but keep in mind that, depending on the season, the park’s opening hours could prevent you from witnessing the first rays of light.
2. Incense Burner Peak at Fragrant Hills Park
Spanning over 400 acres, Fragrant Hills Park is best known as the home of Incense Burner Peak, which is named for its two large stones that resemble incense burners. While the summit has long been a top spot for viewing fall colors, it offers spectacular scenery all year long —, especially during sunrise. Of course, the sunrise view is that much more impressive when complemented by vibrant autumn leaves.
Many people visit Incense Burner Peak early in the morning in hopes of avoiding the crowds that tend to gather later in the day. If possible, plan to arrive slightly before sunrise to see the park covered in the mysteriously beautiful haze of dawn. This haze will slowly give way to gorgeous colors as they usher the sun to rise over the expansive park.
3. Jinshanling Great Wall
Sunrise viewing opportunities abound all along the Great Wall of China, but the best view is arguably available at the beautiful section known as Jinshanling. Situated in a mountainous region northeast of Beijing, this section takes a little effort to access — but you’ll quickly realize that the trip is worthwhile, given the serenity and indescribable beauty available at this peaceful enclave.
While virtually any spot on Jinshanling can offer a memorable sunrise experience, West Five Window Tower is arguably your best bet. A go-to among both local and visiting photographers, this spot offers a remarkable view. Other areas worth exploring at sunrise include West Six Window Tower and Gaojian Tower.
4. Tanzhe Temple
Head to Beijing’s Mentougou District to explore the famed Tanzhe Temple at sunrise. Once one of China’s most important temples, this attraction is now beloved for its beautiful architecture and its Western Hills scenery. On a clear morning, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city.
Stop by early to take in the scenery before you explore Mahavira Hall, Yigan Pavilion, and a large collection of pagodas. In addition to the sunrise and the architecture, you may also spot several Buddhist monks.
5. Lingshan Mountain
If you’re willing to travel away from Beijing for the day, you won’t find a better sunrise view than the stunning display available from the summit of Lingshan Mountain. This view takes some effort to achieve, but those who have had the pleasure of taking it all in would happily go through the trouble again. Plan ahead to ensure plenty of time to reach the peak in time for the sunrise.
With the Lingshan Mountain hike, the journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. While you’ll surely be impressed at the gorgeous vistas available from the peak of the Beijing area’s highest mountain, you’ll also love the mountain goats, yaks, and wild horses spotted along the way.
Nothing compares to the beauty of a sunrise over Beijing. Set aside at least one morning to wake up before dawn and explore the region’s most beautiful attractions — you won’t regret it.