Beijing Journals

Visiting Outer Beijing

Best of IgoUgo

A March 2005 trip to Beijing by MichaelJM

Beijing Zoo Photo, Beijing, China More Photos
Quote: A taxi drive away and, using Beijing as a base, you can visit The Great Wall, Ding Ling Tombs, Lama Temple, and Beijing Zoo.

Beijing Zoo

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Beijing Zoo Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
I’m not a great fan of zoos, but we felt that no visit to Beijing would be complete without a bit of panda spotting. We took a 50RMB metered taxi ride to the zoo and paid our reduced entrance fee (we did not intend to visit the new aquarium) and then followed our noses (something we’d have preferred not to do in the elephant enclosure!) The small cages and animal enclosures were 50s in appearance and not really conducive to good animal health. Indeed, we were surprised how unkempt much of the zoo seemed. The monkey enclosure was run down, and the captives looked unhealthy and unstimulated – a concrete pit with the odd suspended tyre was their home. Lesser pandas were restricted to a small, barre...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 3, 2005

Beijing Zoo
131 Xi Zhi Men Wai Avenue
Beijing, China 100044
+86 (0)10 6831 4411

Great Wall (万里长城)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Great Wall of China: Badaling"

Great Wall (万里长城) Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
We decided to take the more expensive option for this trip and travel by taxi, rather than a packed, boneshaker tour bus. We negotiated a day’s fare down to 500RMB and then sat back to enjoy the journey. Our driver spoke little English, but we managed to get by with gesticulation – the important thing was that he was a very careful driver, taking no risks and pointing out points of interest. We chose to go to Badaling because this part of the wall had a cable car to and from its summit and has been well-restored. The down side is that this part of the wall is one of the most commercialised, and we would be guaranteed some heavy sells. It was an absolutely superb day visibility would be good. We...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 6, 2005

Great Wall (万里长城)
North Of Beijing City
Beijing, China
+86 (0)10 6912 1235

Ding Ling Tomb

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Ding Ling Tomb Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Ding Ling is perhaps the most popular of the 13 Ming emperor’s tombs, and although the approach is not great (a massive concrete car park), it did provide us with some interesting insights into the emperors’ obsession with preparing for the afterlife. A museum outlining the geography of the tombs and some of the artifacts recovered from Ding Ling was our first point of call. A scale model helped us orientate ourselves, but we had more enthusiasm for some of the fantastic jewellery and headwear that was on show. Another small museum, more like a hall of fame, photographically showed visiting statesmen to the tomb – interesting, but it didn’t really grab my attention. Whereas on the op...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 8, 2005

Ding Ling Tomb
Northwest of Beijing
Beijing, China

Summer Palace

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Summer Palace"

Summer Palace Photo, Chengde, China
Quote:
The Summer Palace is a good taxi drive (around 60 RMB on the meter) from the centre of Beijing, but better than attempting the journey by public transport. We spent the whole day at The Summer Palace, and every turn or climb into the hills presents you with a cornucopia of fresh sights. It has been developed over the centuries, being enlarged by Emperor Quinling in the 1700s, rebuilt in the late 1800s, and restored after partial destruction in 1900 by invaders from 1949 to the present day. The entrance seems fairly straightforward, with a dragon or two, a temple, and incense burners, but we took a right fork in the path and ended up in an enchanting and secluded park. A lake surroun...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 11, 2005

Summer Palace
Kunming Lake
Haidian, Beijing, China
010-6288 1144

Tibetan Buddhist Temple

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Visit to a Tibetan Buddhist Temple"

Tibetan Buddhist Temple Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
The Lama Temple is a massive site and requires determination to view all the buildings and a strong olfactory. Initially this was the residence of an influential official who became Emperor in 1723. In 1744 Yonghe Gong became a lamasery and is now the finest Tibetan Buddist Temple outside of Tibet. This is a working temple and the amount of incense in use is absolutely phenomenal. It is important that you respect the worshippers as they approach the different temples and give them "right of way". As we entered the complex, the drum tower and bell tower have pride of place, and there are three temples on the other compass points. There’s an interesting picture gallery of the Lama with a descript...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 12, 2005

Tibetan Buddhist Temple
Yonghe Gong
Beijing, China