Jam packed day
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 20 of 26 › view all entries
February 11th, 2006 – by: dfoo
First thing we do once we get to Tiananmen Square beside taking the obligatory happy snaps was line up to see Chairman Mao's mausoleum. You'd be surprised at the line to get into the mausoleum. It's huge. No wonder we had to get there early. We were going to do the double. Lenin and Chairman Mao on the same trip. How could you turn down looking at 2 dead guys :) I still haven't got over how freaky it is looking at preserved dead historical figures.
With the excitement of the mausoleum out of the way we headed across the square to the Forbidden City (FC). I was pretty eager to get the audio tour of the FC, as my guide book told me that it was Roger Moore who does it. What better way to be led around the FC than by 007 himself. Didn't end up getting it though, as our guide wanted to show us around. We ended up walking for hours within the grounds of the FC without even seeing it all. Its huge, and would have taken a day to see it all I think.
Post lunch we walk around the Hutong area briefly and go to the bell tower on the northern axis of the strip. To climb the bell tower took a lot of endurance. As it was a pretty old building and maybe they didn't want a lot of people going up there. The stairs were kind of worn and very very steep. I've climbed a few towers in my day, but this one tower's steps were far steeper than anything I've encountered before. In sections you have to use the handrail or you would fall.
Once we decended from the Bell Tower we caught a taxi to the Lama Temple. I'm so glad I went here. Honestly, it's like no other temple I've been to. The sheer size and grandeur of it. Whilst not the same size as the FC, it was definitely more than 6 football fields big. Or at least it felt that way. In one of the temples there was a huge buddah which was at least 4 stories tall. Apparently it was carved from one huge piece of log and was carried all the way here to its present location from a very far place. Sort of like the stones from Stonehenge. Anyway it left me speechless.
Since we we on our feet all day we headed back to the hotel afterwards for some R&R.
Later on we headed to the bar streets (Hua Hai & Salitur Rd) where we drank ourselves silly. It was realtively easy when one place we went into had half price cocktails all night because it was winter and there were no tourists around. There would be the usual touts lining the streets trying to lure you in with special deals and cheap drink tickets. Lets just say we took them up on some of their offers.
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