Tag Archives: Chinese

Best Places “not to miss” during your visit in Beijing

Places not to miss  

  1. Great Wall: They say that you are not a great man if you haven’t visited the great wall. A lot of celebrities and known personalities have visited this place. and is rumored to be seen in the moon. The Great Wall of China is one of the most awesome sights in the world, and also known in China as the Great Wall of 10,000. It is an ancient Chinese fortification built from the end of the 14th century until the beginning of the 17th century, during the Ming Dynasty, in order to protect China from raids by the Mongols and Turkic tribes.
  2. Forbidden City: Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, was where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties lived. It was off-limits to ordinary citizens and is the biggest and best-preserved cluster of ancient buildings in China.
  3. Summer Palace: The Summer Palace is one of the China’s largest and best-preserved imperial gardens. It is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design, integrating the natural landscape of hills and open water with man-made features into a harmonious and aesthetically exceptional whole
  4.  Temple of Heaven: Dating to the 15th century, the Temple of Heaven was where the emperor made an annual pilgrimage to pray for good harvests. Occupying an area of 273 hectares with four gates at the cardinal points, and walls to the north and east,it is China’s largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial buildings
  5. Tiananmen Square: The Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing is the biggest square in the world. It is 880 meters from north to south, and 500 meters from east to west, with total area of 440,000 square meters and can hold one million people.
  6. The Olympic Green: Here, you will find the Bird’s Nest and the watercube
  •  Bird Nest: Located in the Olympic Green, Bird Nest was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The design, which originated from the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel beams in order to hidesupports for the retractable roof; giving the stadium the appearance of a “Bird’s nest”.
  •  Water Cube: Beijing National Aquatics Center, nicknamed the Water Cube is an aquatics center that was built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Other description above are the  submitted information given to me by my tour guide.   Please press the link to see my posts for that particular place. As for the others that I haven’t given any post, I think I will post it some other time soon…

This is the tourist trail, so visiting these places is a must! You haven’t been to Beijing if you haven’t visited these places 🙂

Summer Palace: A Beautiful Rest House for a Powerful Queen

The Summer Palace was the rest house specifically restored for the powerful Empress Dowager Ci Xi — the first woman who ruled the empire. She made the last two emperors (during her reign) as her puppets that succumbed to her every desire.

In this place, Emperors and their consorts visits this place during the summer to relax and escape the heat in Beijing, hence, the name Summer Palace.

My Mom and Brother in the Summer Palace--sorry for the pics... my Mom and my brother are my models 🙂

The Summer Palace has already been there even before this dragon lady (Empress Ci Xi) came up to power, but, this was unfortunately destroyed and was burnt to ashes by foreign conquerors.

The Emperor, the Empress’ son, asked that this magnificent structure be rebuilt to its former glory. This will serve as a gift for his mother-Empress Dowager Ci Xi, who was before became very attached to this place when she was still a lowly concubine. And also this will serve as the Emperor’s political strategy to get the Empress off the main imperial palace and to get rid of her constant interference in political affairs. But, unfortunately, a lot of political issues came up…this pushed the finishing of this beautiful palace in a halt for years.

After a few years, even though the empire is still in chaos, and where the Chinese Navy just lost another war, the Empress Dowager Ci Xi ordered the restoration of this palace. She ignored the needs of her people and instead invested the big sum of money for the Summer Palace that is still standing there until today. We might say that the Empress is selfish, but without her insistence of creating this legacy, we, the people of today will not be able to see how grand and beautiful this place is.

In fact, this palace is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since December 1998 and named as one of the beautiful palace garden ever created. It shows the unique Chinese garden landscape design and its beautiful architectural concept.

The Palace has a big man-made lake sitting down the slope of the mountain; where the main halls of this palace is located. To get to the main halls, you need to walk the long corridors that is winding, passing through the side of the lake and some palace halls. While walking in this long corridors, you have the chance to feel that you are one of the royalties… Looking at your right is the stunning lake which makes your heart flutter in happiness. It makes you feel happy and relaxed at the same time.

The truth is, that this Summer Palace had also a lot of history embedded on its walls, much more history than the Great Wall (in Badaling). This was created during the Jin Dynasty (2 dynasties earlier than the Ming) but as I said before, was destroyed, but was restored by the 3rd to the last emperor of China. Which was unlike the Badaling Great Wall, it was only made during the Ming Dynasty.

My Family and I weren’t able to climb up to the beautiful three-storey old hall, because, once again, our tour guide doesn’t want us to go. Anyway, as we traversed the long corridors, I already had a glimpse of how beautiful this place is. One which is unforgettable and the history which surrounds it makes it more wonderful.

Inside the boat that rides passengers going to the main hall. Look at the roof and its details!

You have 2 ways to go and see this beautiful site. Either you ride the ferry boat, which is also designed like an old-style Boat with colors just like the ones seen in the palace — Green, blue and red. Or you can opt to walk down the long corridors–which I suggest since you will pass by a lot of halls with history embedded on it.

My Mom and my brother in one of the halls: I think this is where the Emperor (the niece of the Empress Dowager) was put into house arrest and wasn't given food or drink until he died.

Tips and Suggestions:

  1. It is better to visit this place, not in a tour group, since they will only give you a limited time to enjoy the place.
  2. Bring water. Although there are vendors inside this Palace, it is better if you have your own, since they might just pester you
  3. Make sure to use walking shoes or slippers, don’t use high heels, you will be walking a lot
  4. wear comfortable clothing
  5. bring your camera and take a lot of pictures

We used Sinohotelguide again for our tour, it costs $28USD per person (P1204.00) but I suggest going here with a private your guide or on your own.

For you, who are still thinking whether to tick this off from your itinerary, please, remember what I said above. This is a beautiful place and worth every cent of your hard-earned money.

This is a 1 hour drive from Beijing City Center.

HOW TO GO HERE–DIY? (From TravelChinaGuide)

By subway Subway Line 4: get off at Beigongmen Station (Beigongmen means the North Palace Gate of the Summer Palace); or get off at Xiyuan Station, get out of the station from Exit C2 (southwest exit) and walk west.
By bus Take bus 209, 330, 331, 332, 346, 394, 683, 690, 696, 718, 801, 808, or 826 and get off at Yiheyuan Station.

Take bus 469 or 539 and get off at Yiheyuan West Palace Gate Station.

Take bus 209, 319, 320, 331, 332, 333(内), 333(外), 394, 432, 438, 498, 628, 664, 718, 801, 826, 特6, Yuntong 106, Yuntong 114, or Yuntong 118 and get off at Yiheyuanlu Dongkou Station (The Eastern End of Yiheyuan Road).

Take bus 303, 331, 346, 375, 384, 393, 498, 634, 683, 696, 697, 718, 801, 808, 特5 or 特10 and get off at Yiheyuan North Palace Gate Station.

Take bus 74, 374, 437 or 952 and get off at Xin Jian Gong Men (Yiheyuan New Palace Gate) Station.

Ticket Fees and Prices: (Price quoted in Chinese Yuan, Philippine Peso and US Dollars)

Entrance Fees:                              Nov.1 – Mar.31, 2012                                     April 1- Oct. 31

  • Entrance Fee                      20 CNY (P140.00) ($3.25)                   30CNY (P210.00, $5)
  • Combination Ticket
  • Dehe Garden,
  • Wenchang Hall,                     50 CNY (P350.00) ($8.13)                  60CNY (P420.00,$10)
  •  Tower of Buddhist Incense,
  •  Suzhou Street and Danning Hall)
Opening Hours 7:00 am -5:00pm    6:30am- 6:00pm

note: I apologize for the photos. I don’t have photos without my mom or my brother in it, since we are traveling in a group tour so we opted to maximize our time by taking photos with a person in it for souvenir.. 🙂 I promise that for my next travels, I will always take photos of the landscapes only.

The Mighty and Great Wall of China: A Jaw Dropping Experience!

Mutianyu Great Wall

First, I want to inform each and everyone of you that I went to Mutianyu Great wall which is farther than the well-known Badaling Section. So, here is my experience and some tips from my tripadvisor account (My Stay 2009), Enjoy!

This Wall is said to have a 1400 year old history. and while I was searching for some information to put here in my blog, I learned from Wikipedia, that this part of the great wall is much older than the one in Badaling since it was made during the Northern Qi dynasty which is unlike the Badaling section, it was made only during the Ming dynasty.  Basically, the wall is made to secure the city center during the Qi and Ming Dynasty. It is definitely a BIG Wall to wade off enemies (since it was especially designed to “not be climbable”)  the imperial army also throws arrows from the wall  to defeat their enemies. It was said to be GREAT since this fortress was a success, it wade off enemies for some decades, and only until Genghis Khan became the leader of the nomads that the Great Wall failed to protect its city.

The Mutianyu section, according to BeijingTrip, is  2,500 meters (2,734 yards) long which is rimmed with mountains, which makes it forms like a snake amidst the ever-sloping mountains.

My Reaction when I saw this is that my jaw literally dropped, (It is really a dream came true) It is really long, huge, and steep. Well, I chose this wall since it is quieter and there are less people visiting this place than the Great Wall in Badaling. There is only a few pesky vendors in the wall itself. And we took pictures without any other person in it. We have parts of the wall by ourselves. Mutianyu is such a great part of the wall since hikers can do their job there, since the walls have sections that are too steep, some of its section are kind of rugged. The wall seems to be less-renovated than its counterpart in Badaling, since you can see that trees are growing in the wall itself.

Moreover, you have 2 choices to go up to this great wall, it is either through the cable car or you can hike. We have chosen the cable car, which is like the cable car used in ski escapades. It is quite scary because you are going really high. And when you go down, you also have 3 choices, either to walk down, take the cable car or ride the toboggan. Well, everything is quite fun but I suggest you try both (toboggan and cable car) for a more fun-filled experience since the toboggan ride is really scary yet it seems safe. It goes down really fast but it is all under your control


I suggest going to this part of this wall because there is less people, more time for photo-ops


1. Don’t try buying to the vendors there or even ask about the price since they will pester you by walking with you side by side until you give up and buy something from them

2. Don’t mind the vendors

3. Bring Water and wear comfortable clothes during summer months

4. Bring your camera and enjoy

5. You can either book a tourguide (sinohotelguide is one, it is cheap or you can take the train or bus going to this great wall)

How to DIY your trip to the Mutianyu Great Wall?

Take this Bus Route: (Source: BeijingTrip)

  • Take tourist bus No. 867 (936) from Dongzhimen to Mutianyu Great Wall.
  • Bus No. 916 from Dongzhimen to Huairou Conference Center (东直门 – 怀柔会议中心), and then take a mini bus to the Mutianyu Great Wall.
  • Take a tourist bus from the Arrow Tower of Qiamen (前门箭楼) or Xuanwumen (宣武门) to the Mutianyu Great Wall (available on weekends and Chinese legal holidays from April to October).

Entrance Fee:

  • for Children: 25 CNY  (P175.00) ($4.00USD)
  • For Adults:    45 CNY (P315.00) ($7.33 USD)
Cable Car Ride or Toboggan Fee
  • One way trip: 35 CNY  (P245.00) ($6.00USD)
  • Roundtrip :      50 CNY (P350.00) ($8.13USD)