Beijing 北京 is the capital of the People's Republic of China and is the most populous city in the world! Being one of the oldest city in the world, you know you are in for some historical sightseeings. It has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, and parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.
Beside the historical background, we all know how well and fast China is developing now. So we were expecting modern architecture, great retail therapy and good chinese food! So did Beijing live up to its expectations?
Well, I have not been to all the UNESCO sites, but because Beijing is a big city, most attraction destinations we went to are really huge.. I mean you usually need to walk a long way from the entrance to the actual historical site. Maybe we didn't go in the right month where we can enjoy the stroll in a cooler weather. Beijing's modern architecture is nice and impressive, retail experience is good specifically at the flea/antique market, food is acceptable..
And a point to note, Beijing air pollution is pretty bad. On same days, we can physically see ash floating mid air, its like snowing in summer.
Photography gear used - Sony NEX5R with Sony 16-50mm.
We opt to stay at the traditional si he yuan(courtyard houses) to experience the local living condition. It was quite an experience than staying at a hotel.
Our cutey housemate.
Daily breakfast place near our home stay.
The Forbidden City, one of the UNESCO sites.
While everyone crowds at the entrance of Hall of Supreme Harmony, we decided to walk around the square.
Early visit to guan yin si street.
Starbucks along Qian Men Street. Its an unique sight of western branding on eastern architecture.
Archery Tower overlooking Qian Men Street.
Wangfujing Food Market. There are so much to see, eat or buy here. Its quite a big night market with sheltered and open air stores. See the next few pictures below. Its conveniently located near Wangfujing station right in the middle of a shopping district.
Lama Temple Beijing.
Wudaoying Hutong is an interesting find. It is lined with chic shops and eateries with nicely done up interiors.
Opps.. Starbucks again. But yes, Starbucks is readily available in Beijing.
Nice little or rather tiny shop selling old school snacks. Definitely brought back a lot of memories looking through the stuffs. Wish I have a photo of the interior but it was so crowded and the shop is really pretty tiny...
Houhai Bar Street is a popular street by the lake for tourist and locals. There are many bars along the perimeter of the lake.
Daily walk to the train station.
Street vendors on overhead bridge.
As mentioned earlier in the post, you usually need to take a long walk to the attraction from the ticketing counter.. So prepare a good walking shoes.
So the long walk leaded us to the Temple of Heaven.
Panjiayuan Antique Market is probably one of my best destinations in Beijing. Its lively and interesting. There are so many things to see. I'm no way an antique guy but being there, makes you want to know more about the things you see. And its not just antique, there are accessories, artworks, decors, etc.
Shuang'an night market is near Wangfujing Food Market. We came here almost every day for our supper. Its a pretty short food street.
When in Beijing there is a place that probably no one will miss. That is the Great Wall of China. There are many entry points or part of the Great Wall that you can access but we chose going via Mu Tian Yu. It's consider one of the most interesting or easiest ways to climb the Great Wall as you will be brought up by the skyride and down on the luge..
As I mentioned earlier in the post, the air in Beijing is pretty bad. Most of my background are blurred out due to the pollution.
On the way to 798 Art Zone.
798 Art Zone is a pretty interesting place. Its pretty much self explanatory. Its quite an big area, the shops are space out generously. There are art decors everywhere. Its a good place for photos and window shopping.
Im not sure if pai huang gua(beaten cucumber) is originated from china, but its the best food I had in Beijing!
Tea breaks are common.. to rest and recharge..
One of the best dinner we had in Beijing. It was a small family own restaurant near our home stay. We chanced upon when walking to the train station.
Its time to leave..