Located in the city center of the Beijing city with its northwest near the Forbidden City, the Beihai Park covers an area of 71 hectares . It is once the emperor hall of the Liao Dynasty, King Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty and it is one of the completely-preserved emperor gardens with long history in China. It has been an AAAA level scenic area and listed as the key-protected relics unite in China.
Featuring a long history of more than 1,000 years, the Beihai Park is made up of four parts: Jionghua Islet, Northwestern Shore Scenic Area, Tuancheng (Circulate City), and Eastern Shore Scenic Area. Among which the Jionghua Islet is its center part which is connected with other parts by a stone bridge and ferry boats, and you’ll find the island covered with luxuriant trees and decorated with a lot of exquisite and elegant pavilions stew in random; besides, the white pagoda is the symbol of the Beihai Park which stands conspicuously there. The Beihai Park follows the Chinese traditional architectural ideas and artistry and feature its unique gardening art, which makes it the essence and the precious cultural heritage of the classical gardens in China. All kinds of the boating recreational activities and exhibitions in Beihai Park also makes it a best place for travelers from home and abroad to visit. You will surely enjoy yourself here.
Travel information: 1) Opening time: 6:30 a.m. to 20:00p.m. during November to March and 6:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m. in April, May, September and October; 6:00 a.m. to 22:00 p.m. from June to August; 8:30 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. for the Qionghua Island. 2) Ticket price: 20 Yuan/adult and 15 Yuan/ Child; 3) Best time to visit: Middle July to end of August as the lotus at that time is the most beautiful. 4) Ways to go there: Take the city bus No. 101, 103, 109, 685, 614 and 619 to the south gate of the Beihai Park; take the city bus line 107, 111, 118, 701 and 623 to the north gate of the Beihai Park or take the No. 5 bus to the its east gate. 5) For the Boat Tour on Houhai Lake: 1 hour duration.
The National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube, is located on Olympic park and it is one of the symbolic architectures covering a capacity of 17, 000 seats including 6,000 permanent and 11,000 temporary for the Olympics Games. Built at December 2003 and finished at January 2008, the Water Cube is the main natatorium for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 where the swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo sport events were held at that time and where Michael Phelps—the great champion of swimmer got eight medals then. It has been known as one of the Games’ iconic structures after the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games.
The competition hall of the Cubic Water is its key area with its length 116 meters, width 70 meters, height 30 meters and area 8,120 square meters. There are two swimming pool inside it, whose standard is 25 meters * 50 meters, depth of water 3 meters; jumpping pool 25 meters * 30 meters with about 4.5 meters to 5.5 meters water depth. The good-quality air, natural light, excellent sound effect together with the graceful architectural design make the atmosphere of the inner Cubic Water comfortable, enjoyable and excited. It is now a multi-functional center for sports, recreation and fitness. The amusement water park inside it is the one of the large-size water parks in China featuring world-standard facility, where you will surely enjoy yourself there.
Tips: 1) Opening time: Swimming Pool: 12:30 p.m. to 17:30 p.m. for the normal days and 9:00 a.m. to 20:30 p.m. For the weekends ; The Amusement Water Park: 10:00 a.m. to 22:00 p.m.; 2) Ticket price: 30 Yuan/ adult for the Water Cube visit only; 50 yuan/ adult for swimming only 200 yuan/ adult including water amusement park; 3) Ways to go there: type 1—subway: take Line 10 to Beitucheng Stop and then transfer to Line 8 to get off at Olympic Green Stop. Use Exit A and walk southwards for 5 to 8 minutes to the entrance of the Southeast Gate of Water Cube; type2—city public buses: take the No. 696, 689, 658, 753, 660, 839, 944, 983, 939, 407, 386, 611, 82, 538, 81, 86 to the Olympic Green Stop.
Located in the Haiding District with a distance about 15 kilometers away from the Beijing City center and an area of 290 hectares, the the Summer Palace is the biggest and the best-preserved imperial garden in China nowadays, and it is one of the four famous gardens in China also. It is a large-scale mountain and water garden and also a completely-preserved imperial palace garden which sets the Kunming Lake and the Longevity Hill as the base address, and uses the scenery of the West Lake in Hangzhou as the blueprint, and absorbs some design methods and atmosphere. It has been honored as the ” Royal Garden Museum.”
The Summer Palace
The Summer Palace, also called Yiheyuan and The Garden of Harmonious Unity, is an outstanding example of imperial parks and private gardens characteriezd by both northern and southern China and it is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design, where you can view the beautiful and natural landscape inluding hills, pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges with fantastic charm. Famous both for its general design and its individual structures, the Summer Palace shows its unique beauty and do not forget to view its official sector in its eastern part and its Long Corridor, which is one of the longest of its kind in Chinese history. The Palace Theatre and the Marble Boat should not be missed also during your visit to the Summer Palace.
The Summer Palace
Travel Tips: 1) Opening time and ticket price: 6:30 a.m. – 18:00 p.m. for the entrance in the peak season from 1st, April to 31st, October with the ticket price of 30 RMB/ adult; 7:00 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.for the entrance in the slack season from 1st November to 31st March with the ticket price of 20 RMB/ adult. 2)Best time to visit: summer is the best time to visit the Summer Palace as the weather is temperate at that time. Winter is not recommended time for you to visit there as the lake is frozen and the cruise is not available then. 3) How to get there: Take the no.4 subway line to the North Palace Gate or the West Garden and then walk in the west direction for 500 meters from the Tongqing Street to the East Palace Gate of the Summer Palace. 4) Do not forget wear those shoes which are suitable for long walk.
The Bird’s Nest
Being the main architecture of the China’s National Stadium, the Bird’s Nest is located in the south of the central area of the Beijing Olympic Park. It is the main stadium of the 29th Olympic Games in 2008. Covering a floor area of 21 hectares with the architecture area of 158,000 square meters, the Bird’s Nest offers a capacity of 91,000 seats for the audience inside and 11,000 seats for temporary
Audiences. The opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and the Paralympics, the track and field events and the Football final competition are all held here. It has been the large-scale professional site where Beijing citizens wildly take part in and enjoy Sports and Entertainment after the finish of the Olympic Games in 2008. Moreover, it has been the Olympics heritage and the Sports Architecture with the Landmarks character.
The Bird’s Nest
Being the world’s largest steel structure and the most complex stadium ever constructed, the construction of the Bird’s Nest began on December 24, 2003, and was completed in March, 2008, whose cost totals more than 423 million dollars, a tiny fraction of the 40 billion USD spent on Beijing in preparation for the Olympics. In order to make it much more magnificent and majestic, it’s built on the city’s north-south axis, which also includes the Forbidden City, Tian’an men Square and the Temple of Heaven.The main feature of the Bird’s Nest is that its eastern and western stands are higher than northern and southern stands in order to improve sightlines. Viewing in outside, you’ll find it unbelievable and unspeakable.
Then significance of the Bird’s Nest, most professors in the area of the architecture think is that is it not only set up a symbolic building with the unique history character for the Olympic games in 2008, it also has creative effect on the history of the world architecture, and provides great historical witness to the development of the architectures for both China and the whole world in 21 century.
Hutong, called as Mongolianese, is a small city lane featuring the unique Beijing customs and old Beijing living way. As the there was strike rule for the city building in ancient times, so the Hutong sets in the straight style in complicated distribution with more than 7,000 lanes named not only with person’s name such as prime minister Hutong, but with market or shop’s name such as goldfish Hutong, and with something certain Beijing dialect such as stuffy pot Hutong etc. Among which the west-eastern Jiaomin lane is the longest one with a total length 6.5 kilometers; the shortest Hutong just 1 inch wide and 10 meters more long, and the narrowest one is undoubtedly the Money Market Hutong in the front of the fence area with the width only 0.7 meter, where person of certain fat can go through there only with the breath controlled. There are hundreds of thousandths Hutong lanes in Beijing surrounded around the Forbidden City, and most of them were built in the Yuan dynasty, Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty in China’s history. There are the unique cultural building of the Beijing in China or even in the world.
Hutong is not only the pulse of the Beijing city, but also the living sites of the Beijing common people. The Beijing citizens have special emotion to the Hutong as there are not the passage for the common people go out and in home, but one and one customers museums which leaves lots of the vestige of the society and life in Beijing. Therefore, it means a lot of to the Beijing citizens. The Hutong is normally near the downtown, where it is convenient for people living there to go shopping. There are not so much crowed in Hutong when compared with the city centers, but you can sense the kind and close neighbour relationship. You will truly experience the Beijing old life in these friendly and well-preserved Hutong during your Beijing tour.
Hutong, ancient but unique in Beijing, has been the bridge of the Beijing culture showing and transferring its unique culture to the other area of Beijing and other countries in the world. The living phenomenon of the old Beijing is set and showed in the corner of these Hutong, within every brick and tile of these Siheyuan and the neighbour relationship among the Beijing citizens there. People who have never gone there cannot really experience the special meaning and feelings there. Just have a visit there in person during your Beijing tour by hiring the rickshaw, and you’ll have a true taste of Beijing!
Tian’an Men Square, the heartland of the Beijing city, is the biggest city central plaza in the world. It covers an area of 44 hectares with its width from the west to east 500meters and its length from north to south 800 meters. Its ground surface is decorated with the light color granite stones which have been dealt with special workmanship technology. It is the most solemn ceremony when the national flag rises in the morning and drops down in sunset. You will raise endless infuriation and move when seeing the bright-color national flag of the People’s Republic of China shinning in the morning glow. It is the happening place for numerous important politic events and historical events, moreover, it has witnessed the up and down, the decay and development. It has been listed as one of the sixteen famous attractions in Beijing.
The Tian’an Men Square is a majestic and must-see attraction in Beijing, with whose north is to Tian’an Men Hall, south to Zhengyang Gate, north to Historical Museum and west to People’s Hall. It is a largest square with a capacity of 1 million holding functions here. The Monument of the People’s Heroes and the solemn Memorial Hall of the Chairman Mao are standing in the middle of the Square and both sides lies Working People’s Cultural Palace and Zhongshan Park. All of these architectures make the Tian’an Men Square grand, distribution symmetrical and magnificent to be a great and spectacular attraction in Beijing.
Having witness numerous times of the Chinese people fighting for democracy and freedom and fighting with reactionary rule and the foreign invasion, the Tian’an Men Square is an virtual and holy place for important celebrations, assemblies and welcoming guests of foreign fairs. It has been the symbol of the coagulative power and the prosperity of the People’s Republic of China. When you are walking around the Tian’anmen Square, viewing the magnificent distribution, feeling the majestic momentum, appreciating the vast and profound landscape, you will upsurge a burst passion and honor.
The Forbidden City, also called the Imperial Palace or the Palace Museum, is located in the center of Beijing. Covering an area of 72 hectares, the Forbidden City is the best-preserved imperial palace in China, and also the essence and culmination of traditional Chinese architectural accomplishment and even the largest ancient palatial structure in the world. It is a great ancient architecture works where 24 emperors had been living here during the period of the Ming and Qing Dynasty and it has been listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987. It is a famous AAAAAA attraction in China without which any of your Beijing tour would be incomplete.
The Forbidden City is divided into two parts: the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation in the south and the Inner Court where he lived with his royal family in the north. When you are walking inside the Forbidden City, you will find that its roofs are built with yellow glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process—Yes, you may guess it, this is because yellow is the symbol of the royal family in China. You will first reach its main entrance— Meridian Gate, then to the outer court where you can see three main buildings—the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony, finally to the inner court to view the Palace of Heavenly Peace, the Palace of Union and Peace and the Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility. All of these majestic architectures will make shock you and make you unbelievable and unspeakable.
Tips: 1) Ticket price: 60 RMB/ adult (not include the Pearl Hall and the Hall of Clock and Watches) for the peak tourist season from 1st April to 31st October; 40 RMB/ adult (not include the Pearl Hall and the Hall of Clock and Watches) for the slack tourist season from 1st November to 31st March; 2) Open time: 8:30 a.m.to19 p.m. for the peak season and 8:30 a.m. to 15: 40 p.m. for the slack season. 3) Best time to visit: late April to early June and late August to the end of the November. Late April to early June will be the best time of the best when the colorful flowers are blossoming. 4) Ways to go there: Take the No. 1, 2, 5, 8, 10, 20, 52, 22, 120, 728 and 802 city buses to Tiananmen Square west stop or Tiananmen Square east stop and then get off.
Covering an area of 273 hectare, the Temple of Heaven is one of the famous attractions in China located in the southeastern of the Forbidden City with 4 times bigger than the Forbidden City. It is a place to offer a sacrifice to supreme Ruler of Heaven in winter solstice for the emperors of the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. The distribution of the Temple of Haven shows “back” glyp and the altar wall is made with two sections: the inner altar and the outside altar, with the outside altar’s length totaling 6,416 meters and the inside altar 3,292 meters.
the Temple of Heaven
Travelling here, you will find that the Temple of Heaven is enclosed with a long wall, whose south part is square which symbolize the earth and the north semicircular symbolizing the heaven. The northern wall is higher than that of the southern part, which shows the heaven is high and the earth is low, it also reflects that the heaven is round while the earth square.
the Temple of Heaven
The main architecture of the Temple of Heaven gather at the axle wire of the inside altar, which is connected with a broad bridge called Vermilion Steps Bridge whose south end is lower than its north end, and from the south to north are the Circular Mound Altar (Yuanqiutan), Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian). In addiction, there are ancient architectures and historical sites including the God Kitchen, the Animal-killing Pavilion and the Hall of the Abstinence, whose design are ingenious, color reconcile and architecture excellent.
the Temple of Heaven
Tips: 1) Ticket price: 10 RMB/adult for the slack season from 1st November to 31st March and 15 RMB/ adult for the peak season from 1st April to 31st October. 2) Opening time: 6 a.m. to 22 p.m. for the entrance gate, 8 a.m. for the inside attractions. 3) Best time to visit: spring and autumn; one advantage to visit in winter is you can experience the acoustic building of the Temple of Heaven. 4) Don’t miss the Three Echo Stones, Echo Wall and Nine-Dragon Cypress.
With a long history of more than 600years, the Shanhai is located in Qinhuangdao City, which is nearly 300 km east of Beijing. It is the entrance to sea among the whole Great Wall, whose total length being 26 kilometers, average height 12 meters, width over 10 meters and major sections including Laolongtou Great Wall, Nanyiguancheng Great Wall, Beiyi Great Wall, Jiaoshao Great Wall, Sandaoguan Great Wall and Jiukoumen Great Wall. Among which the Laolongtou Great Wall is the entrance to the sea as it meets the Pacific Ocean at Bohai Sea, and it enjoys the reputation of “the sole of the China”.
The Shanhaiguan Great Wall is know as the “ First Pass under Heaven” that are made up of 7 castles—Guancheng, Dongluocheng, Nanyicheng, Beiyicheng, Weiyuancheng and Nihaicheng, around which are tall, strong and majestic wall with its length 4,769 meters, height 116 meters and thickness 10 meters. Shanhaiguan played an important military role in ancient times. It is the product of the Ming Dynasty policy and the “Tuntian Policy” and its reformation policy at that time has great effect on the consolidation and development of the Shanhaiguan.
There are 6 famous tourist areas in Shanhaiguan: Laolongtou, Temple of Meng Jiang Nü, Jiaoshan Mountain, First Pass under Heaven, Longevity Mountain, and Yansai Lake. Travelers who visit the Shanhaiguan Great Wall do remember to pay a visit to the Laolongtou and the First Pass under Heaven as there as the most popular among all the attractions there. Attractions near the Shangaiguan Great Wall include Beidaihe Scenic Area in Qinhuangdao City, you can also have a visit there if time available.
No one will ever understand the military power of China in ancient times if he or she has never visit the Great Wall at Shanhaiguan. So, just have a travel in the Shanhaiguan Great Wall anytime you like as it scenery varies and shows different beauty all the year round. You will never regret by doing that!
Located in the Gubeikou County with about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Beijing and a 2.5-hour journey from the city center, the Simatai Great Wall has far less travelers than the crowded Badaling Great Wall. The length of the Simatai totals 5.4 kilometers with 35 watchtowers whose average distance between two watchtowers is 100 – 200 meters with the nearest two only 44 meters from each other. It is the most essential and special section of the whole Great Wall which is characterized by elaborate conception, unique design, novelty construction and various appearance. The Great Wall professor has praised that” The Great Wall is the top one wonders in the world, while the Simatai is the No.1 section of the whole Great Wall’. It is the only section to retain the original appearance of the Ming Dynasty and was acknowledged by UNESCO as one the World Heritage Sites in 1987.
Compared to the Badaling Great Wall at Badaling, the Simatai Great Wall is much steeper with precipitous steps and shows some unique features of its own which can be described as “perilous, dense, diverse, artful, and peculiar”. It was built along the steep mountain ridges, with Heavenly Ladder and Sky Bridge being the most thrilling parts. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Great Wall at Simatai by ropeway, pulley, boat or hiking as it is separated into two parts by Simatai Reservoir, over which a chain bridge runs through east to west. Travelling here, you will find a section laid with bricks carrying inscriptions that recorded the date on which they were made, and the code number of the armies who made them. Attractions near the Simatai Great Wall include the Gubeikou and Jinshanling sections with only 20 minutes away.
What should be paid attention to? 1) Dress for hiking and dress for the weather and choose comfortable footwear with good grip and support for the feet. Layers of clothes that can be taken on and off will be a great choice. 2) Wear anti-sunshine product such as hat, sunscreen, lip creams and sunglasses to protect your skin or anti-coldness clothing to keep warm as it is colder on the wall than down in the valleys because of altitude and exposure. 3) Bring breathable waterproofs for protection from heavy rain and strong wind instead of umbrellas. 4) Keep in good physical condition if you want to complete the Shanhaiguan hike as the steps here are rather steep and some points are even narrow during your hiking.