Beijing Journals

The Bustle of Central Beijing

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A March 2005 trip to Beijing by MichaelJM

Beijing Photo, Beijing, China More Photos
Quote: Beijing is a great city for tourists, and in this journal I describe the sights we explored within easy reach of the City Centre.

The Bustle of Central Beijing

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Overview

Beijing Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
As we walked towards Tiananmen on our first day, we were guided through the streets by numerous armed guards. This is how we’d been told China operates, so we were none too phased by it. There were patrols of guards into the square, and I was kind of surprised that no-one was allowed into it – but I accepted it as China. The next day was totally different – no guards and no formality – it turns out that the high security was for visiting celebrities, and China is now much more relaxed. Guess we got the feeling of how things used to be! I’ll never forget our visit to Tiananmen Square. It was a bitterly cold day, the wind was ferocious, and the red flags were vigorously flapping, but the square wa...Read More

Wang Fu Jing Shopping Area

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Attraction | "Shopping around Wangfujing"

Wang Fu Jing Shopping Area Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
There’s a range of shopping opportunities in this busy city, all of them very different but each having their own charm. For those of you who’ve read any of my other journals, you’ll know that I favour the market environment, and my take on Beijing shopping will not, therefore, offer too many surprises. The modern shopping malls are vast and generally uninspiring. I cannot be enthusiastic about the architecture, but they are very roomy and bright. The shops were fairly characterless, typical of a huge shopping mall. In contrast, the small boutiques on Wangfujing are intimate and often crammed with quality clothes at often bargain prices. I don’t know if we fell lucky, but there seemed to be sale...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2005

Wang Fu Jing Shopping Area
Wang Fu Jing Avenue, Dong Dan Bei Avenue and Dong si Nan Avenue
Beijing, China

Jing Shan Park

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Attraction

Jing Shan Park Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
Having left the Forbidden City by the north gate, the entrance to Jing Shan Gongyuan is directly opposite, across a busy road. We, having shaken off the rickshaw drivers and the postcard-selling touts, made a safe crossing and considered our next step. We pondered too long and were set upon by the distant cousins of those from across the road, who offered to take us to the top of the park "to save our weary legs." Decision made, we would enter the park without further delay and pick our way through the mobile tradesmen determined to sell us something. Once in the park, we were struck instantaneously by its serenity. Restful music was gently playing and the hassle of the street traders was gone. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 25, 2005

Jing Shan Park
Jing Shan East Street, North of the Forbidden City
Beijing, China
+86 (0)10 6404 4071

Forbidden City

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Attraction

Forbidden City Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
What person would come to Beijing and not visit the Forbidden City? Certainly not me! Set aside a few hours to cover the ground, because if you’re like us, you will not want to rush. We entered from the Tianamen Square entrance, looked down on by the benign and highly revered face of Chairman Mao. Admission is a mere HK$40 and well worth the money. I’d suggest you avoid the self-appointed guides, who will try to convince you that the trip will not be understandable unless you employ them, and enjoy a straightforward wander through this vast palace. You can do no other than follow your nose, and all the buildings and scenic areas have comprehensive explanatory plaques in both Chinese and English. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 28, 2005

Forbidden City
North Of Tiananmen Square Dong Cheng District
Beijing, China 100009
+86 (0)10 6512 2255

Temple of Heaven

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Attraction | "Temple of Heaven Park"

Temple of Heaven Photo, Beijing, China
Quote:
The are four entrances to Tiāntán Gōngyuán, south of Tiānānmén Square, on the points of the compass, and when first built, in the 15th century, its prime function was provide a solemn place for praying to the gods for a decent harvest. The emperor was a key player in this process, and so several of the buildings were functional for the emperor: the building in which he changed robes, and another as a resting place (more, I suspect, for his weary servants who would have carried him for miles). We entered from the north entrance, but it would have been better if we’d have used the south gate, as this way you get the vision of the rise up to heaven. The architects had built in a steady incline from the e...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 28, 2005

Temple of Heaven
Tian Tan North Rd.
Beijing, China 100050
+86 (0)10 6702 2242