Jan 06, 2015 at 11:30 PM
China is a giant nation with a mammoth civilization. Millions of tourists stream into different destinations of China- Shanghai, Xian, and many more everyday. Beijing International airport in the capital city, is undoubtedly the busiest in the world. Huge number of tourists constantly check into the city every day. The ancient city has an imperial past and has remained the epicentre of political power for about 1000 years in the past. Even today, it draws huge crowds of tourists. This is more than even Shanghai, the financial capital of China, which witnesses more footfalls of business travellers. There are many sites and localities in Beijing which will enthrall the tourists from abroad and within. Some of the few centres are Tiananmen Square, the largest public space in the world. It can hold up to a million people in its vast open square. Forbidden City, is the largest preserved wooden Palace complex in the world. It was the private quarters of the emperors of China in the Middle Ages. Another historical site was the hútòngs or narrow alleyways. These have been the residences of common Beijingers for about 1000 years. In the wake of modernisation, many of them have been razed to the ground but the few remaining sites are a favourite of the tourists. One such little gem tucked away is the hip shopping street Nanluoguxiang. This is the 700 year old hutong where Beijing’s arty and creative types spend their days hanging out at cool bars and coffee shops, and stores selling one-of-a-kind curios and knick-knacks thrive. Near to this is the Shichahai, or three lakes, Houhai, Qianhai and Xinhai lakes. These are artificial lakes dug in the vicinity of the Forbidden City, the ancient seat of power. They were part of the vast imperial gardens of the Chinese emperors. The natural scenic beauty coupled with landscaping and rockery of ancient Chinese make this locality a hit with the tourists from abroad as well as China. Houhai lake in central Beijing is surrounded by a cluster of bars and restaurants which although open during the day really come alive after dark creating a pulsating ambience on the water of the lakes. The twinkling lights of the restaurants and bars ringing the lakes add romanticism to the place. In the afternoon tourists can enjoy boat ride in the lakes full of lotus blooms during summers. In winters, these lakes get converted into ice-skating rinks.
Jan 09, 2015 at 05:45 PM
JUYONGGUAN. 50km northwest from Beijing. Open 6am - 4pm. Admission RMB40. This is the closest section so if you are in a rush and just want a quick peak at the wall this is it. Do a bit of a walk in under 2 hours. Heavily renovated and not as scenic as other sections but the best place for a quickie option. If going by bus then it is the same bus that goes to Badaling so tell the bus driver this is where you want to get off. HUANGHUA CHENG: 60km north of Beijing. You will need to check opening times as sometimes this section is closed to the public. Huanghua has an unofficial status as some of the wall runs through land not government run. Some local landowners ask for a small fee for access to the wall. You can also view this section of the wall from the Huangchuacheng Lakeside Reserve. Entrance is RMB25. You can walk around the reservoir but there is no easy access from here. The reserve is maily visited for it's excellent vistas of the wall. Huanghuacheng is a ruined part of the wall that is in periodic reconstruction mode to restore the crumbly sections - which is why it is not always open. While spectacular, the wall clings to some steep hillsides - The scenery is breathtaking but keep in mind there are no guard rails and good shoes are needed to navigate some sections. It is split in two with a reservoir at the centre. Take the right hand side as it is a bit safer. For transport a taxi from Beijing is best & get them to wait until you are finished. Otherwise get a bus from the Dongzhimen Long-distance bus station to Huanghua, get off at Huanghuacheng. Some buses are slow so make sure you get one that goes via the Jingcheng express. Some buses also stop & you may need to transfer to a mini bus. Then taxi to the wall. ...