Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
The Tian'AnMen Square is known as the spiritual heart of China. Famous for its historical events, like demonstrations on May 4th, 1999, that inspired young Chinese to fight imperialists and warlords, and build a strong independent country. The Gate of Heavenly Peace is on the square's north end. And at the center of the square is the 40m-high Monument to the People's heroes and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. Also, the Great Hall of the People lies on the west along with the Museum of Chinese History.
Temple of Heaven Park
The Temple of Heaven Park is located in the Chongwen District, Beijing. It is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings. The Temple is divided by two encircling walls into an inner part and outer part. The main buildings lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings are the Circular Mound Altar (Huanqiutan), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian) from south to north.
Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian'an Men)
Most people visit Tian'anmen Square on their way to the Forbidden City. Both can be done together in a morning or afternoon. Tian'anmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It is arguably the most-visited site in Beijing. It lies on the historical central axis going through the Forbidden City.
Temple of Heaven
The next day after breakfast we went for sightseeing. Our first stop was the Temple of Heaven where Beijing’s seniors gather each morning to enjoy a variety of activities; from badminton and Tai Chi to street opera and ballroom dancing, This is a true taste of Chinese community life! Of course you also visit the magnificent temple itself.
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.
I started my journey from Qianmen Street which is south of Tianmen Square. It is a pedestrian street in the architectural style of old Beijing. The architecture therefore is impressive. Along the street is a water fountain that had been created by a 3D street artist. I started this trip by trying to capture myself believably in this 3D painting. 3D paintings are on a rise in streets where more tourists are expected and Qianmen Street is a good example of it. The area has some shops and restaurants. A quick meal and you will be set for the entire day.
Later we visited the renowned Forbidden City, for centuries the heart and soul of imperial China and one of the grandest historical treasures in the world. We then went across the city for a rickshaw tour in Beijing’s ‘Hutongs’, a maze of traditional old alleyways and courtyards. We even had tea with a local family and visited the impressive Drum Tower. We ended the day with drinks in the Legation Quarter, a collection of stunning historical buildings converted to restaurants and upscale lounges.
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.
5. BEIJING NATIONAL STADIUM: Another place that makes it to the to- do list is the Birdnest Olympic Stadium and the Olympic WaterPark. It was designed as the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. National Aquatics Center, and colloquially known as the Water Cube, is an aquatics center that was built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Despite its nickname, the building is not an actual cube, but a cuboid (a rectangular box).THINGS TO EAT IN CHINANow, China is a hard core non vegetarian country. Anything and everything you can think off is eaten here which might just amaze you throughout your trip. The place is a paradise for all the non- vegetarians, however, survival seems to be difficult for someone like me who happens to be a vegetarian. Here is a guide to some of the very well known sumptuous feasts in China:1. The Beijing Duck: Peking Duck or Beijing Duck is best-known for the thin and crispy skin, rich taste and long history. the popular opinion is conclude some ways and timing to eat Beijing duck. The duck is tasted palatable in spring, winter and autumn. The authentic versions of dish should be served with most skin and little meat. Generally it is eaten with pancakes, sweet bean sauce and scallion. The sweet bean sauce is smeared on the pancakes, then slices of meat is put between the pancakes. 2. DUMPLINGS: Dumplings have a delicate wheat-flour skin around warm, moist prawn or pork contents. They are similar to what we call Momos in India. The crescent-moon dumplings are served steamed, fried or in a soup, sold by the number of dumplings or weight. Use your chopsticks to share from the one platter–the Chinese way. On your table you’ll find black rice-vinegar and smoky chilli-oil to drizzle into your little dipping sauce dish. Be ready for the juicy dumpling contents to burst with flavour in your mouth. 3. FLATBREAD: Golden-toasted flatbreads and pastries come in many tasty forms in China’s capital and make a filling street food cooked on the spot or a shareable restaurant starter.They are similar to sweet pooris in India. 4. MOONCAKES: A Mid-Autumn Festival favourite, I did not have the chance to try them but it remains a very sought after thng. The classic yuè bĭng is a sweet biscuity cake with a dense filling of red bean- or lotus-paste around an egg yolk ‘moon’. No sweet snack looks as prosperous and self-contained as round moon cakes branded with Chinese symbols glazed in the tops. 5. BARBEQUE SKEWERS: Beijing has adopted the Chinese-Muslim lamb skewer from Xinjiang and evolved it. Anything that captures your imagination can be skewered and roasted at street hawker stands. The hawkers just stop to as if you'll like it Point to what you want spicy (là) or not (bùlà). as soon as the sun starts to set, these hawkers start putting there stalls on the pavements and you can see a group of men sitting on the small table chit-chatting. As you’re in Beijing and the buzz and dazzling lights of the market might just convince you to try spicy shark, snake, starfish, seahorses or sheep’s testicles. 6. BEIJING HOT POT: Now, this one is a must do.This bubbling copper pot of soup is cooked at your table by you and your friends, adding fresh meat and veg. It’s a warming Beijing favourite.The pot is shaped like a ying-yang. One side the broth is spicy equipped with the famous Chinese spices and the other side is just salt water. Choose what raw vegetables and lamb (or other meat, fish balls or mushrooms) you would like on your platter to cook for yourself in the pot. Then drop in ingredient-by-ingredient what you would like to cook and eat. Each person scoops out their goodies with a slotted spoon (or just chopsticks) and eats it with a dipping sauce, which can include sesame oil, savoury BBQ and fermented soybean. At the end, add the noodles to the soup to draw up the flavours.THINGS THAT MIGHT HELP1. Learn a few Phrases in Mandarin. Very few people are able to speak in English, so it was always great if are able to converse in their language. Like, I am a vegetarian so the words 'Sùshí zhǔyì zhě' were like my trump cards. Plus, you are able to impress them.2. The Beijing Subway is extraordinarily cheap- 2 yuan anywhere in the city. Make good use of it.3. The people in Beijing are relatively louder than the average. It might appear that these folks are fighting but instead they are just having a normal conversation.4. The men prefer to grow the last fingernail of their right hand as it is used to pick the ear and the left one won't do it as well as the right one. 5. Learn to master the art of using chopsticks. These folks eat rice with chopsticks and spoons are difficult to find.
After lunch, we will drive to the famous Badaling Great Wall. Badaling was built in 1505 during the Ming Dynasty. This section of the Great Wall is the best preserved and most visited one. It is 7600 meters long and 1000 meters above sea level, commanding a strategic position in ancient times.
Great Wall of Badaling
I took the 877 bus to Badaling wall. The 877 bus stop is next to it. You pay when you get onto the bus. CNY 12 per person. Quite a comfortable trip. On the bus, there was a kind guide who provided information about the Great Wall of China. Honestly, I never thought there would be a guide to tell us all these information in the first place for a public bus and at this considerably cheap price. He would tell you the do and don`ts; where to get the best view; the time to come back for the last bus; etc. It was an unexpected good service. Some of the walkway could be quite steep. And the steps are knee high. It was quite tough. Firstly, I thought of going to the highest point. Gave up when I reached the 5th station. (9th being the highest).Nevertheless, despite the hardship of climbing it. It was still an adventure. After returning from the North Side. I had some sausages before I went to the South Side. Sausage are the the staple snack food for the Chinese. You will see it everywhere.
Ritan Park （North Gate）
In Beijing, we stayed at the Fairmont Hotel, just a short walk from the vibrant Jianguomen district. From there we visited in Beijing was Ritan Park, one of Beijing’s most authentic and peaceful parks. Afterwards we went to Lao She Teahouse for a taste of true Chinese tea culture and entertainment.
Be picked up from your hotel by an English-speaking tour guide and private vehicle at 08:30 am. Drive 1.5 hours to Ming Tombs. The Ming Tombs are the final resting place of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors, along with 23 empresses and a number of concubines. It has a history of over 600 years. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the Ming Tombs feature splendid landscape. Chang Ling (the Tomb of Chang) was built by the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty in 1409 AD. Chang Ling is the largest tomb in architectural scale. The hall of Chang Ling is the largest structure of nanmu wood in China.
After a much long walk around 798 Art Zone, I decided to catch a quick break at a former imperial garden of Beihai Park which is barely 16 km away. Don't miss this place as it contains numerous historically-important structures, palaces, and temples. First built in the 11th century, it is among the largest of all Chinese gardens. But what excited me the most was the captivating 3D artwork in the park known as "Broken Bridge". The artist couldn't have been more literal. Situated in the northwest of the Forbidden City, this place is beautiful and qualifies for the most relaxing hikes in the city.
It is the most talked about street in Beijing among foreigners. Well, I guess that`s why I see a lot of foreigners here. Wangfujing is famous for its food street. Along this street you will find many stall selling all kinds of food. Even some weird weird food items you don't usually find. Tips: It gets cheaper as you walk further.
The historic significance of the Forbidden City lies in the Chinese imperial palace, dating back to the Ming Dynasty till the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the center of Beijing, China, and currently houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
National Art Museum of China
Just 6 km further is the National Art Museum of China and is located on the Wu Si Street. It is focused on displaying, collecting and researching the works of the artists in China modern times. The museum is massive covering an area of 30,000 square meters. There are totally 13 exhibition halls in the museum. The collection is interesting with the old-meets-new concept reflected in the art form. The political and cultural dimensions are well balanced which came as a surprise. The display varieties include excellent works with different time features and different art styles like Chinese paintings, canvases, prints, sculptures, picture posters, pencil sketches, iconography, watercolor paintings and more. It also includes the traditional art works like puppets, shadow play works, kites, mud toys, embroideries and so on. It is not the most beautiful museums you will see but definitely worth a visit. Travel Tip- Make sure to carry your passport for entry.
Museum of Beijing Stone Inscription Art
It is located in the grounds of Five-Pagoda Temple. The museum is arranged on all four sides of the pagoda. It is divided into six sections: comprehensive stone inscription, tablets of merits and virtues, epitaph, calligraphy, temples and guildhalls, and stone carvings. From applauding famous officials for their good deeds on the tablets to 300 inscriptions on tombstones all from different dynasties, made this an highlight of my imperial trip. The guildhalls has collection of inscriptions from provincial and commercial associations while the stone carving section showcase the Yuan Dynasty dragon and phoenix slab stones, and other statues from the Ming and Qing dynasties. This place successfully preserves the history of the many great dynasties.
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.
The Opposite House
The 22-metre stainless steel swimming pool at The Opposite House (a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts) is swoon-worthy. This indoor pool is a magical experience as the sprinkle of tinkering lights on the ceiling dance on the pool’s surface. www.preferredhotels.com10. The Leela Palace, New Delhi