Beijing top wetlands for bird watching and sightseeing
Often compared to the “Kidney of the Earth”, wetlands are one of the three equally important ecological systems on earth with the other two being forests and the sea. One of the functions of wetlands are to provide a habitat for birds. Birds use wetlands for breeding, nesting, resting, shelter, and social interactions.
If you visit Beijing as a bird watcher or birder, or just want to rewind yourself in a beautiful natural environment, you may come to visit one of the beautiful wetlands in Beijing.
It is recorded that there are about 350 kinds of birds in Beijing with 80% of the them being migrant birds. Usually spring (Feb -Mar) and autumn ( Oct -Nov) are the best times to watch the birds in Beijing.
To watch these birds, you need to go to the parks, lakes, reservoirs and wetlands. We’ve summed up a list of Top 10 Wetlands in Beijing where you can have better opportunities for your Beijing bird watching or sightseeing.
1. Yeyahu Lake Wetland Natural Reserve 北京延庆野鸭湖湿地
Yeyahu Lake is located on the northwest of Yanqing County, about 100km northwest of Beijing city center. Its protected area covers 6,873 hectares with wetlands area of 3,939 hectares, one of the favorite wetland birds nature reserves in Beijing.
Tel: 010-69131458; 010-69131226
Entrance Fee: 50 yuan (including wetland Museum, children under 1.2m free)
Open time 08:30-17:00 (January 1 – December 31, Monday – Sunday)
Address: Kanye Road, Kangzhuang Town, Yanqing District, Beijing
Bus: Deshengmen → Bus 919 → Yanqing Station → Transfer to Y46 → Yanyahu Station
Self-drive: Badaling Expressway exit at Kangzhuang along the road sign and for a 10 minutes’ drive to get there.
2. Beijing Sahe Reservoir Wetland 北京沙河水库湿地
Sahe Reservoir Wetland is officially known as Wenyu River and Shahe Reservoir Wetland, about 40 km to the northwest of Beijing city center, one of the nearest wetlands in Beijing.
The reservoir is nicknamed by bird watchers as “Zuihu”, which literally means ” Drunk Lake”, a beautiful lake that makes people drunk. The Drunk Lake is a haven for bird watchers and leisure travel.
It is recorded that there are 189 kinds of birds in the Sahe reservoir area. The main birds include Common Pheasant, Whooper Swan and many more.
Address: the confluence of Wenyu River and Shahe Reservoir, Changping District, Beijing 昌平区温榆河与沙河水库交汇处
3. Cuihu National Urban Wetland Park 翠湖湿地公园
Cuihu National Urban Wetland Park is located on the north of Shangzhuang Reservoir in Shangzhaung Town, Haidian District, Beijing. The wetland park occupies an area of 157 hectares, 1,9 km long from east to west and 1.2 km wide from north to south, with a surface area of 90 hectares.
The wetland park consists of enclosed protected area, transit area and experimental area open to the public.
There are 178 kinds of birds in the wetland park including Great bustard, golden eagle, Larus relictus, red-crowned cranes and black-crowned cranes.
There have been built lotus pond, reed pond, waterfowl reserve and several other scenic spots for visitors to enjoy in Cuihu Wetland Park. In addition to fishing here for leisure, you can also go to Naran Garden to feel the charm of the first poet of the Qing Dynasty.
Address: Cuihu Water town, Shangzhuang Town, Haidian District, Beijing
Bus: 1) Metro Line 4 → Beigongmen Station → Transfer to 303 Road → Shangzhuang Health Center → take a taxi → Cuihu Wetland; 2) Metro Line 4 → North of Anheqiao Terminal → Transfer to 512 and 575 Roads → Shangzhuang Health Center → Take a taxi → Cuihu Wetland; 3) Subway Line 4 → Xiyuan Station → Subway Line 16 → Daoxianghu Station → Take a taxi → Cuihu Wetland
Self-drive: Along the Beijing-Tibet Expressway → The Exit of Beian River → auxiliary road to the west of Xinzhuang Bridge → 10 km along Beiqing Road → Shangzhuang Road to the north → via Shangzhuang Bridge → Shangzhuang Hospital intersection → 3 km along Cuihu North Road to the west → Cuihu Wetland
4. Daxing Nanhaizi Park 北京南海子郊野公园
Daxing Nanhaizi Park is one of the four largest wild suburban parks in Beijing. It is located on the northeast of Daxing District, about 15km south of Beijing city center. It is also known as the largest wetland park in Beijing.
It is built on the former imperial Pere David’s Deer garden in Qing Dynasty. Beside the Pere David’s Deer Garden which has been restored and opened to the public, people have the opportunity to see birds here. It is recorded that there are 81 kinds of birds in the wetland park.
Address: Luyuan Road, Daxing District, Beijing
Bus: Take Express No.1 to Demaozhuang and change to 453 to Nanhaizi Park Station
5. Hanshiqiao Wetland in Shunyi District, Beijing 顺义汉石桥湿地
Hanshiqiao Wetland Nature Reserve ( also known as Health Bridge Wetland ) is located about 50 km to the northeast of Beijing city center.
The wetland is the only large reed marsh wetland on the plain area in Beijing with an area of 19,000 hectares including the core zone and experimental zone.
It is recorded that there are about 153 species of birds ever discovered in the reserve, a habitat and transit area for many endangered migrant birds.
Hanshiqiao ( or Health Bridge ) Wetland Reserve was established in April, 2005 aimed at effectively protecting the typical reed marsh wetland ecological system and wild animals and plants.
Address: Muyan Road, Hanshiqiao Village, Shunyi District, Beijing
Bus: Metro Line 15 → Fengbo Station → Transfer to bus Shun 18→ Shaying yangzhen
Self-drive: Sanyuan Bridge → Airport Expressway → Airport South Line → Jingping Expressway → Muyan Road exit → 8 km straight north direction;
6. The Wetland in the Olympic Green Park
Beijing Olympic Green Park consists of lawns, forests, wetlands, lakes and Gravel banks, a large and complicated ecological system.
The wetland features a three-layered terrace with cascading water, forming a small beautiful waterfall. The wetland is teemed with reeds, bulrush, calamus and canna, making people feel as they were in a water town.
The quiet wetland with green trees and blooming flowers attract resident and migrant birds coming here for a rest and nesting. It is recorded that there are over 200 species of birds ever discovered on the wetland and the Olympic Park as a whole, becoming a best bird watching spot in the city of Beijing.
Address: Anli Road, Chaoyang District (north of bird’s Nest)
South Gate of Nanyuan: Get off at Forest Park station of Subway Olympic Extension (Line 8);
East gate of Nanyuan: You will arrive at Yangshan Bridge South Station of Line 3 Express;
East gate of Beiyuan: Yangshanqiao North Station of Bus line 3 Express
7. Changgou National Wetlan Park 长沟国家泉水湿地公园
Changgou wetland is a newly built national-level wetland park. It is located in Changgou Town, Fangshan District, about 75km to the southwest of Beijing city center.
The wetland park has the planned area of 249 hectares with one marsh land, one lake, two belts and 10 sites. The most important part of the park is the wetland area, where a birding area is the highlight of the wetland park.
Address: Yancun, Changgou Town, Fangshan District, Beijing
Bus: Metro Line 9 → East Liuliqiao Station → Transfer to bus 917 express interval → Erlonggang Station → transfer to Fang 12 → follow the village
8. Liuli Temple Wetland Park 琉璃庙湿地公园
Liulimiao ( or Liuli Temple) Wetland Park is located in Liulimiao Town, Huairou District, Beijing. Liuli Temple Wetland Park is a vast area connecting the beautiful scenery along the Baihe and Liuli rivers.
This wetland park is rich with water resources, natural resources and beautiful landscape.
In addition, there are black storks and egrets, mandarin ducks and other wild birds under the national first-class protection. Liulimiao Wetland park is a paradise for the growth and reproduction of these wild birds.
Address: Liulimiao Town, Huairou District, Beijing
Bus: Metro Line 14 (east section) → Wangjing → Transfer to Metro Line 15 → Houshayu Station →916 Road → Yangjiayuan Station → Yujiayuan District Station → H11 Road → Liuli Temple （Liulimiao）
9. Yanchi Jiuhe Wetland Park 雁翅九河湿地公园
Yanchi Jiuhe Wetland Park is located in Yanchi town, Mentougou District. Yanwing Jiuhe Wetland Park extends from Zhuwo Village in Yanwing Town to Xiamaling Village, 20 kilometers long and narrow, occupying a total of 356 hectares of land, the widest water up to 120 meters.
Yanchi Jiuhe Wetland Park mainly displays the functions of wetland water storage and flood regulation and science popularization and education. The vegetation mainly includes dry willow, reed, cattope and xerophytes.
Address: West of Feng Village, Yongding Town, Mentougou District, Beijing
Bus: Bus No. 890, 931, 959, 981 at Fengcun Station
10. Miyun Gubeikou Wetland Park 密云古北口镇湿地公园
Gubeikou was once a strategically important passage linking Inner Mongolia and Beijing. The passage is sandwiched by the two mountains which faces each other – Wohushan (Crouching Tiger Mountain ) and Panlongshan ( Coiled Dragon Mountain ).
On the both of the mountains built with the Gubeikou Great Wall, which has two sections: namely Wohushan Great Wall and Panlongshan Great Wall.
Chaohe River passes through the passage of the two mountains from the north to the south. The Chaohe River area at Gubeikou is also a paradise for bird watchers in Beijing.
Address: Tang River basin, Gubeikou Town, Miyun County
Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Beijing guided tours:
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites
Any questions, just drop a line.