A June 2005 trip
to Beijing by ToddieD
Quote: Our trip to Beijing was the first leg leading to the adoption of our baby daughter. We were in a travel group of eight couples/individuals and stayed only for 2 days. But during those days, we packed in the Great Wall of China, Temple of Heaven, and the Forbidden City!
When shopping from stalls, it is expected for you to haggle. A good rule of thumb is to offer about a third of what is asked, then mutter "too expensive" when the vendor counters and start to walk away. This will bring the price down, and vendors seem to enjoy the interplay.
Hotel | "Holiday Inn Downtown"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 13, 2005
Holiday Inn Downtown Beijing
98 BEILISHILU RD
Attraction | "Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Park)"
Aside from wandering through the temples, be sure to walk through the parks and watch everyone. You will see people painting water calligraphy, dancing, playing folk music, and enjoying life to the fullest in general. It is a surefire way to fall in love with China and its people.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 13, 2005
Temple of Heaven
Tian Tan North Rd.
Beijing, China 100050
+86 (0)10 6702 2242
Attraction | "The Great Wall of China: Ba Da Ling"
Fast facts about the Wall: construction began in the 5th century BC and continued to the 16th century. It covers over 6,000km across China. We were on the Badaling Pass, where most of the tourists go. Even on a day when it is not that crowded, it's pretty crowded with people. But the view is unparalleled and the thought that you are walking on a piece of history is pretty awe-inspiring. And what a workout: there are stretches where you're walking up 40-degree slopes. It was glorious. The weather was perfect, about 80°F with a nice breeze.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 15, 2005
Great Wall at Ba Da Ling
Yan Qing County
+86 (0)10 6912 1235
Attraction | "The Friendship Store"
One disconcerting habit that takes a little getting used to is that an employee will literally follow you around with a basket as you browse through the store and, if you even just pause to look at a piece, tell you the culture and history of items, often with much more detail than you may have initially wanted. But I truly believe it's more well-intentioned than simply high-pressure sales, so try to be good-natured about it.
There is a wide variety of items to be found at the Friendship Store. A good rule of thumb is that if you find something you love, buy it, because you may or may not find it elsewhere. The globes made of different colored polished stones, like lapis lazuli and quartz are particularly beautiful but very heavy. There are cloisonne vases from a couple inches high to several feet high, and if vases aren't your thing, there are cloisonne wall hangings that are vibrantly colorful and quite lovely.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 16, 2005
17 Jian Guo Men Wai Avenue
Beijing, China 100020
+86 (0)10 6500 3311