May 12, 2009
We were picked up at 7am for our whole day tour of Beijing's major sites:
1. Forbidden City - built in 1406 -1420 by a million laborers, home of emperors, servants, concubines and eunuchs until 1925. 720,000 square meters---you can practically spend the whole day here if you want to explore every nook and cranny!
|"9, 8, and a lion head are a sign of good luck"|
|one of the courtyards at Forbidden City|
|one of the temples|
|Temple of Heaven|
4. Summer Palace - Used to be a Royal garden and imperial palace for short stays away from the capital. An Imperial retreat from Beijing's summer heat with gardens, lakes, hills, the elaborately decorated "long corridor" and Empress Cixi's marble boat.
|The lake surrounding the Palace|
|a portion of the (very) long corridor|
|Empress Cixi's marble boat|
Again, it was a day of walking...tiring yet very educational...
What impressed us:
1. All the sites were well preserved---though some needs a little dusting or repainting but I guess it lends an "old" look to it and adds to its appeal...
2. These are where you see parks and more parks...green everywhere...
3. Local tourism is thriving---there were "billions" of them that day
1. Thousands of local tourists--you can hardly take a photo without them on the picture! I just felt a billion of Chinese people turned up in these places that day...
2. The dust---noticed my throat got too dry and my lips, too.