China Trip: Beijing

Wow, that was quick! It was only a couple of days ago that I was heading for Beijing. 

Beijing, is the capital of China – for many years I wanted to visit Beijing,and finally I did. I did Beijing with a tour group based in the province of Guangdong. And taking a night flight there, we headed out to visit the amazing sites around Beijing.

Something that you have to be aware of when travelling to Beijing, is that places may or may not be open on any given day – it depends on many factors such as security, political events, weather, etc. So we were very lucky that we managed to visit all the sites.

Day 2: Tiananmen Square, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Forbidden City, Birds Nest (Olympic Village) 

When you ever talk about Beijing, the first thing that world pop into your mind would be Tiananmen Square. In Tiananmen Square, there are many cultural sites like Peoples Cultural Hall, the flagpole, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

We were very lucky that the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong was open. When inside you can’t carry anything, wear a hat (or beanie) or gloves. 

The preservation of many of the historic sites around Beijing is really amazing to see, especially the Forbidden City. Even we came on the light season, the amount of tourists and locals inside the Forbidden City was a lot. But the architectural design of the palace was amazing, the historical artefacts was definitely intriguing.

Forbidden Palace

Day 3: Great Wall of China & Summer Palace.

Badaling Great Wall

The Great Wall of China is the symbol of China, its really beautiful there is a saying: “
不到长城非好汉” or One who fails to reach the Great Wall is not a hero. Climbing the wall is hard and difficult. There are many walls around Beijing, the one we went to is the most famous, the one on Badaling Great Wall. 

There two sides of the wall when you first enter, the left side is more steeper and the right one is more popular. 

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace (Chinese: 頤和園; pinyin: Yíhéyuán), is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing. It was an imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty.

Day 4: Central Radio & TV Tower, Temple of Heaven

Central Radio & TV Tower

Temple of Heaven

Hall of Prayer

The Temple of Heaven (Chinese: 天壇; pinyin: Tiāntán) is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. Most of the complexes are circular because the old people of China believe in 

There are 3 main complexes in the Temple of Heaven:

  • The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿) is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests. 
  • The Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇) is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base. It is located south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and resembles it, but is smaller. It is surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall, that can transmit sounds over large distances. Legend it has it that one day that the Qianlong Emperor was alone in the Vault, when he heard voices. He looked around and saw no-one, he then discovered a few people talking on the other side of the vault – hence discovering that the wall has the echo property.
  • The Circular Mound Altar (圜丘坛) is the altar proper, located south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It is an empty circular platform on three levels of marble stones, each decorated by lavishly carved dragons. The numbers of various elements of the Altar, including its balusters and steps, are either the sacred number nine or its nonuples. The center of the altar is a round slate called the Heart of Heaven (天心石) or the Supreme Yang (太阳石), where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather

Prince Gong’s Mansion (Gongwangfu)

Gongwangfu (Prince Gong’s Mansion, Mandarin: 恭王府) is a huge mansion situated to the north east of the Forbidden Palace. It was originally built for the one of the most corrupt officials of ancient China –  He Shen (和珅). 

There are many sites within the Mansion itself, all of which was based of designs of Forbidden Palace and also based of the philosophy known as Fengshui. The amount of gifts given to him by the Emperor was stored in a large building within the mansion with a 4 metre thick wall.

One of the things that also exist in the site is a doorway arch that existed both in the Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan, 圆明园) and here, as the Old Summer Palace by the army of the 8 countries during the 2nd Opium War. So inside the mansion stands the last standing doorway arch of its design.

The doorway arch

China: Week 1

Coming to China from Japan, you can instantly see the cultural differences. This is my 3rd week away from home and I’m starting to miss it, alot. Even though I told myself 5 weeks isn’t a long time to be away from home. But without the company and friends, you sort of get really lonely and you want to go home. 

But, tonight I’ll be going to Beijing with a tour group – hopefully I won’t feel as much homesick as I do now. 

This week’s gone by really fast, I’ve visited many memorials and climbed Baiyun Mountain. Meaning that most of the things I wanted to do is now done. 

Next time, I’ll probably plan for a shorter holiday. Japan was amazing, and I really want to visit Japan again. 

Travelling to Japan and China 🎉

So after 3 years of working on various project(s): MARIE.js and MonPlan during my holidays and studying full time, I have finally decided to take a nice, long and well-deserved holiday.

So I am really excited to be going to Japan and China right after Uni exams. So keep an eye out on this blog especially the Travel and China 2018, Japan 2018 categories, where I will be blogging and uploading links to photos.