Amazing Beijing tour

just one of the 8,700 rooms inside the Forbidden City.

It was my first time to visit Beijing last April. I was on a tour with friends, finally got a chance for few days off from work.  I was amazed how big the city was.

Once in the Capital, you must immediately get a map to avoid being literally “lost in Beijing”.

First in our itinerary was the Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the city, which was so vast that it takes several minutes for one to get to the other side where the Forbidden City or the Palace Museum is located. (mind you, it takes about a day to cover all areas inside the Palace)

The Emperor's Chair in gold emblems

Forbidden City is called such because no ordinary person can enter without the permission of the emperor.

Home for the royalty during the past dynasties, it is a huge area with 8,700 rooms.  It is also home for decades-old artifacts and art works.

Just in one of the side of the Forbidden City, one cannot help by admire the flower gardens and decades-old trees at the Zhongsan Park.

Here is a photo of the yellow tulips.  Yellow is the color of royalty in China.

Zhongshan Park in Beijing. The are many Zhongshan parks in the Capital to honor Sun Yat-sen, known to be the Father of Modern China.
No tour is complete without shopping at the thrift market. Here is an alley where they trade everything from Mao-inspired bull caps to Mao-shirts, key chains to ref magnets, post cards to lucky charms.

Chinese dolls & figurines

You must learn to haggle for about 50 percent or 75 percent the price for an item, especially if you are getting more than one piece of the same. The more items you buy, the more you can get them at lower prices.

At the other end of the market are various food stalls where you can enjoy exotic foods such as scorpions…then there are Peking ducks, and  rice toppings.

scorpions & seahorse on sticks. they are still alive.

But I found out that the food is quite expensive in this alley than the restaurant  in Donghuamen Snack Bar where my friends and I had a late supper after our arrival.

The Bird's Nest

Then, there is the Bird’s Nest, also known as National Stadium.  It was designed for use during the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

Don’t forget to get your souvenir photos at the Water Cube just across the stadium. It is good to also come here late afternoon and early evening where you can enjoy the lights in both structures.

Nearby is a commercial area where tour guides usually bring their guests. While it is educating to know how silk is woven into cloth or a pillow or a comforter, it is quite expensive to buy one for your self.

It’s all business. I learned that there is no such thing as free lunch since a group tried to sell as herbal medicines — which are very expensive — after we got a brief foot massage for free.

It’s all nice sipping that various flavors of tea also when our tour guide led us to a tea house where they taught us how to prepare tea.  But then the sales persons will also persuade you to buy the quite expensive tea leaves in their store after the free taste test.  (note: tea leaves by the kilos can be bought at much affordable prices in other stores, not in those areas where your tour guides bring you).

Nice tea cups, also for sale.

And to enjoy the breeze and relax a bit for the rest of the evening, you and your friends can enjoy a dinner and maybe a few drinks and good music  at the restaurants and bars lined up at the Houhai Lake area.

By the Houhai Lake. You can also rent bikes to go around the area. (photo by Toti Navales)

Next stop…Great Wall Mutianyu.  


About tinamen

I am news reporter, trying to veer away from the daily grind of news. I am trying to make good of the experiences and opportunities that life bring me, and enjoy them. I will try to share in this blog some of my travels, hobbies, and the daily lessons that life would bring. I don't intend to brag, I intend to amuse, inform and touch your lives in my own little way.
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2 Responses to Amazing Beijing tour

  1. i laaavvv it!! pupunta din ako dyan. one day , isang araw… 😛

  2. tinamen says:

    thanks for dropping by hannah! 🙂 am sure you can visit beijing. the soonest the better.

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