Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
It was around 3 by the time we reached back to city. Now was the time for visiting other landmarks - Tiananmen Square, Temple of heaven and Forbidden city. We spent some time at Tiananmen Square. Forbidden city is just opposite to it. But we missed the other two places by some wrong time estimation as Forbidden city last entry closes early and you can visit only limited portions in Temple of Heaven if you are reaching post 5.30 pm. Although this miscalculation cost me the experience to see those other creations, but I guess the visit to Great Wall itself was itself good enough an experience to cherish. We were to take afternoon flight next day for our onward journey. But guess the Beijing experience was not just over for us. Next day early morning when I woke up, there was this beautiful snowfall. The road, the cars, the roof, the trees all were covered with snow flakes.
Temple of Heaven Park
I bought the entrance ticket for CNY15. The entrance ticket only gets you into the park. If you want to visit the building, you would need to pay another CNY20. You could purchase the combo ticket for CNY35. The interesting point about the Temple of Heaven is the architecture. There are 3 Main areas: Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Imperial Vaults of Heaven Circular Mound Altar The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a round building on a square platform. The Imperial Vaults of Heaven is surrounded by round walls. The Circular Mound Altar is of course a circle, on top of a square platform. The entire place is in a semi circle. The interesting point in this place is the Echo Wall. It is said that if 1 person whispers at one end of the wall, the other would hear it on the other end.
Forbidden City Music Hall
1. The Forbidden CityThe Forbidden City is in Beijing and is actually an ancient palace city. It is called so because the ordinary folk were not allowed entry into this palace. It was the grand palace known to the Ming as well as Qing dynasties about 560 years. Over 24 Chinese emperors are said to have lived here. Presently it is one of the top 5 places in the world recognized. It is a great demonstration of the Chinese architecture with its grand golden rooks painted in the colors of yellow and red. The museum inside the palace has the ancient relics.
Beijing Zoo was planned as a "side dish" rather than a "main dish". The main reason we went to Beijing Zoo was the Panda House. The entrance to Beijing Zoo + Panda House + Boat trip = CNY40 If you want to visit the aquarium, you can add some money. Young bamboo shoots were planted surrounding the area. Whereas the pandas were locked in their cages and play area. The part that excites me was the boat trip. There are 2 boat trips: Round Trip to Purple Bamboo Garden (returning to the Zoo) Single Trip to Summer Palace (not returning to the Zoo) Went into the boat. A guide were explaining the history of the waterways. The waterways that were using were also used by the Empress Dowager Cixi. The bridge on top were low in height. During rainy days, the boat would not be able to pass through.It was interesting.At the end she announced that we have arrived at the Purple Bamboo Garden. Excited. I was ready to get off the boat.
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the center of Beijing, China. Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 7,800,000 sq ft. Its worth seeing the Forbidden City.
My last sightseeing stop in Beijing had to be the 2008 Olympics venue that put the city back on world map. That iconic arena shaped as bird’s nest and a giant water cube are sheer architectural wonders. Line 8 on the subway network connects to the venues. You have to stay till night when both the venues are lit to witness them in their full glory. The day I visited the stadium it hosted a football match between AC Milan and Inter Milan, seeing the supporters gathered to cheer their respective team buzzed the place with phenomenal live energy. No wonder ManU is evaluating options to get listed on Singapore stock exchange seeing growing fan base in the Asian subcontinent. After all the walking around my feet were aching like anything. What better reason to get a Chinese foot massage? They use a special cupping technique which is soothing in a funny way. I had to leave next morning early by train to Shanghai and didn’t want to spend my last night sleeping in the hostel room. When in Beijing you can party, party hard and party all night long just head to bar street in Sanlitun area. I was on my own and randomly entered this place that was playing international pop music. Set on a table that was shared by many people. A young guy sitting next to me ordered a Hookah (water pipe) and it came with two pipes. He offered the other pipe to me and there we go. Later he told me he was from North of Italy studying in Beijing and has traveled to India couple of times! Goa was his favorite holiday destination and he had a tattoo with India on it. He and the bar owner dragged me to elevated dance platform when the DJ played “I Just Came To Say Hello” by Martin Solveig. Time to hop. Next stop an English sort of pub serving Guiness! Am I really in Beijing? What next, Chinese hip-hop at an underground sort of place with a huge dance floor with dancing poles in the middle. And the clubbers having great time swinging around it, who really need the specialists ;)? Change of mood again and I stop at next place playing retro music at 3.00 AM. When I walked into the place seemed like party had just started. Next time I look at the watch and its already 4:30 AM and I was hungry. You just step out of the club and street food is waiting for you.Day 09: Fast Train Home
798 Art Zone
This is one of the most famous places that has successfully attracted many artists, poets and painters over the years whether Chinese or from other parts of the world. It is also known as Dashanzi Art District and is 18 km away from the first stop. It is one of the biggest and celebrated art area in Beijing. The area has its roots in the abandoned factory buildings. The art area of 798 can trace back to 2003, when an abandoned factory was rented to a freelance painter, who opened his own art gallery. 798 refer to the name of the factory. The spacious site is a welcome for art galleries and ambitious projects. It goes without saying that 798 has become a hub of contemporary art in modern Beijing. It is a well suited area for art galleries. A walk down the area will help you see the preserved appearance of old factories, rusty steel construction or abandoned site. It is like reliving the past of 798 factory in the old city of Beijing. Today this place holds top quality exhibitions, quaint museums, cafes, cinema screening films most days. It is perfect example of upholding traditions in a modern city. The rustic charm that it endorses truly made it one of my favourite places in the city.
Beijing Capital International Airport
We flew out of Beijing Capital International Airport on Air Koryo. For the "worst ranked airline in the world" it was a hell of a lot better than United! Yes, even the food was better. And the beer was free. This is not as much of a compliment to Air Koryo, North Koreas national airline, but an affront to United. Get your shit together guys.
Qianmen is another interesting place at the far end of Tiananmen Plaza. Before you go to the Qianmen Shopping Street, you might want to visit the China Railway Museum which is more of a Victorian style building. I never thought Qianmen could this beautiful. I thought it was just another street like the Wangfujing Street. But no, it was so different from Wangfujing Street. I liked the blend of modern stores and the grey bricks of Chinese houses. I also liked the fusion of Western & Eastern brand side by side on the same street. If you are looking for a good bargain. Get off the main street and go to the back street. You can get some silk scarf for as low as CNY10 per piece. I bought 3 and I am pretty satisfied. They are smooth and nice enough for me.
Olympic Sports Center
After getting back to Beijing from Badaling, we drive to visit the Olympic Park. As the major venue of the 2008 Olympic Games, the Olympic Park contains three areas including the Forest Park in the north, a major venue and supporting facilities area in the center and the completed stadiums and the reserved area. The completed stadiums are the National Stadium (Bird's Nest), National Swimming Center (Water Cube) and the National Indoor Stadium (Folding Fans). We will have an outside view of the Olympic Park. Transfer back to your hotel after the day tour.
Hello Everyone......Finally I am writing my next blog after a long gap.Currently I am in Beijing,China. Really a good city, over crowded, over polluted , with good peoples (till now). Started to explore Beijing in free time...like weekends..Previous week I went to HouHai Bar street which is really a great place and must visit if you are in Beijing or Planning to be here soon in future.This place is well connected with Subway line. Nearest subway is Shichahai which is line 8. Exit from subway walk just 5 mins and you will able to see a lake which is known as Houhai Lake.If you are in group then take a boat ride. Deposit 400 RMB for pedal boat or 600 for battery boat. Take some beer, drinks go into the lake and enjoy the show.There are few pole dance club, so if you like then can enjoy there too..As well known ,drink is not that costly. in 100-120 RMB you can get 12 shots of drink... so be there to bottom up.Overall place is must go either you are in group or with some one special..I went with friends and enjoyed alot.Estimated Time to Explore :- If you are living in Beijing then you can go and explore this place, otherwise go to night near by 9-10 PM and enjoy the night life,Estimated Money :- Depends on your drink... nay way 500 RMB will be a good amount to explore that place...So enjoy this place. In case of any query ,you can reach me at my mail id which I mentioned into my profile and also don't forget to like my facebook page..https://www.facebook.com/MyVisionTravelogue/?ref=bookmarksHave a good life,,, Take care...
Hutong, an ancient Beijing city, is located in the city center, with about 700 years history. The word "hutong" originated from the word "hottog" which meant "well" in Mongolian. Legends have it that villagers dug out a well and inhabited the area. Those old natives are till date constituting the local families there. In fact the passage formed by lines of Siheyuan (a compound with houses around a courtyard) where old Beijing residents live is laid down in this ancient face of Beijing city. You're sure to get lost in those winding lanes and alleys!
Songzhuang Art Community
I then went to Songzhuang art colony which is I have a complete bias for. It is located in Tongzhou District and is the most famous and biggest artist community in Beijing. Painters, sculptors, performing artists, musicians, composers, writers, photographers, name it and you will meet them all in this single colony. It is in true sense home to about thousand artists. It used to be a laid back quite town but has today managed to emerge as the most sought after centre in China’s contemporary art scene. A tranquil place where all dreamers live next to each other! If you are looking for an environment blessed for deep inner contemplation then Songzhuang is what you are looking for. It is the best place to meet the artists, learn some of their struggles and stories of great achievements. You can begin your trip with a visit to the Artists Reception Center on Xiaopu Jie at the village square or to the Songzhuang Art Museum off Xiaopu Jie in northern Songzhuang.
Nan Xin Cang Hua Lang
Nan Xin Cang was one of the royal granaries for storing grains and rice in the city during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. With 600 years of history, the streets have been carefully recreated to maintain the historical culture of the original Nan Xin Cang. This place depicts a perfect harmony between commercial gains and cultural charm. The old granary is now a popular restaurant and hosts three art galleries, an audio book shop, a tea-house, several bars and restaurants. The place resonates culture through its intricate architecture which originally dates back to 1409. There are ancient grain houses, other replicated traditionally-styled buildings and a 15 storey commercial and office building. With this characteristic charm, this pedestrian street is bestowed with growing love from its visitors. It reflects the simple but elegant architectural style of the Ming.