Achieving ignition of ICF (inertial confinement fusion) has been the great dream that scientists all over the world pursue. As a grand challenge, this aim requires energetic and high quality lasers. High power laser facilities, for this purpose, have therefore flourished over the past several decades. Meanwhile high power laser facilities, also essential for high-energy-density (HED) scientific research and astrophysics, drive rapid progress of material science, electronics, precision machinery and so on. Many countries have successfully established a succession of facilities to study ICF and HED physics, such as National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the United States and the Laser Megajoule (LMJ) in France. China, conducted such research activities early, as one of the few countries having the capability of developing high power facilities independently. As the major pioneer dedicated to high power laser technology and ICF research in China, the National Laboratory on High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP) and its precursor have established a succession of facilities since 1973. In 1986 NLHPLP was formally established at Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics; this opened up a new era of laser fusion research in China. Since then the facilities at NLHPLP entered into ‘Shen Guang’ families. Since the SG-I facility dismantled in 1994, NLHPLP has successively constructed SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5PW facility. These operational facilities constitute a multifunctional experimental platform, which provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond and femtosecond scales. SG-II facility, greatly promoting Chinese ICF research, has had a stable and excellent operation for approximately 20 years. A newly built SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt picosecond system with kJ-class output and eight-beam nanosecond capability with multi-pass amplifier configuration, has achieved the required outputs. This facility marks a major step of increasing capability of designing and constructing high power facilities. In addition, SG-II 5 PW facility is already operational for physical experiments. Construction of these facilities has driven the fabrication and processing of large optical components. Furthermore, many advanced technologies have been developed that ensured good performance of these systems. Apparently with operations spanning 30 years, NLHPLP is an important scientific research base on high power laser scientific research in China.