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Touring Beijing Below Zero

Beijing Travel Blog

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Welcome to the Forbidden City

I booked a tour through my hotel to take me sightseeing. Usually I do things on my own, but Beijing is one of those cities so vast it takes a tour to really see it. I met a woman in the lobby, Odette, and she was from Mexico. We were joined by a woman and her father from Alabama. It was great, and we all got along famously from the start. Our tour guide (jonnie) spoke excellent english and seemed used to the cold. I can assure you the rest of us were freezing, but she was a paragon to follow. We started out at the Forbidden City, and we were comforted by the tales of palace intrigue, history of various places and generally excellent depiction of life in China through the dynasties.

Welcome to the Summer Palace
I was really impressed our guide did such a superb job, despite the cold weather. As the morning went on, it hardly warmed up and we ventured to the Temple of Heaven. It was not so windy as the Forbidden City, but still quite cold. Amazing place, and there was an Emperor Show going on as we arrived, which was quite captivating. Even on a freezing cold day there were hundreds of people there. I got a call on my phone - It was Gang wondering how I was doing. Nice of him to check in I thought - he seemed happy to find me on a tour. No sooner I had finished talking to him when I got another call. It was Ray and she was at the train station heading back to Guangzhou. She wanted to wish me happy travels, and I wished her the same. It was nice to know she was thinking of me.
Welcome to the Temple of Heaven
 

The next destination on our tour was The Summer Palace, but first we stopped at the silk factory. I guess tours do this and get some commission if we buy stuff. I could have skipped it and they have a jewelry place there too. Buy silk and diamonds... No millionaire here, but I liked some of the silk sheets and bought a set at a reasonable price. I never have opened them up and figure I'll save them for some special occasion someday. Eventually we made it to the Summer Palace and lunch was arranged for us there. It was good to have something hot, warm up and chat with my tour companions in relaxed surroundings. We braved the cold again and I guess this place must be fantastic, but it's bare and stark looking in February. Odette and I ventured to the Temple up the long stairway, but our tour guide and companions from Alabama stayed behind in a cafe.

Chinese Acrobats
Oh, it was worth the effort, and some great views! That was basically the end of the tour and we were all ready to head back before it got dark. I had another call on my phone, who could it be? It was Lily, asking if I wanted to see the Chinese Acrobat Show that evening. Sure, why not! I met her at the Yaochang Theater to take in the show. Wow! This was really quite amazing and it is something special to see. We has seats fairly close to the stage and it was perfection in human dexterity, strength, balance and coordination. It was an amazing show and I was quite pleased. So ended another evening. Lily and I made plans to go out the next day (my last) to see some things she thought I would like. I agreed, but still was thinkining of my friend, Gang. I asked, of course, but he was in family discussions as his father was not doing very well. I told him I was here if he needed me as a friend. Tomorrow would be my last full day in Beijing.

TravChef says:
I would like to see this.
Posted on: Oct 24, 2013
TePukeThunder says:
Yeah, looks and sounds like a great day/night Brian. The Chinese architecture is so grand and beautiful.
Posted on: Jul 05, 2012
vances says:
Great day --- love to have some targets but keep things flexible for serendipity...the best adventures always seem to be things you just stumble over...
Posted on: Dec 03, 2011
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Welcome to the Forbidden City
Welcome to the Forbidden City
Welcome to the Summer Palace
Welcome to the Summer Palace
Welcome to the Temple of Heaven
Welcome to the Temple of Heaven
Chinese Acrobats
Chinese Acrobats
Trying not to look Cold while wait…
Trying not to look Cold while wai…
Meanwhile across the street there …
Meanwhile across the street there…
Ok, we are inside now
Ok, we are inside now
Peaceful
Peaceful
Ponderous
Ponderous
Me & the Palace of Gathered Elegan…
Me & the Palace of Gathered Elega…
Ti Shun Tang Marker
Ti Shun Tang Marker
Shadow, Sun, Sky & Ti Shun Tang
Shadow, Sun, Sky & Ti Shun Tang
Nice ancient carvings with modern …
Nice ancient carvings with modern…
Hall of Mental Cultivation - Who c…
Hall of Mental Cultivation - Who …
Emperors bedchamber
Emperor's bedchamber
Palace stuff
Palace stuff
Curiously empty over there
Curiously empty over there
Probably as least crowded as it ge…
Probably as least crowded as it g…
Photography Fun with with the Sun
Photography Fun with with the Sun
rooftops
rooftops
Restored temple - makes a wry smile
Restored temple - makes a wry smile
Blue skies and happy days
Blue skies and happy days
Its a big space for sure
It's a big space for sure
I liked these heads
I liked these heads
Forbidden City
Forbidden City
Grand view
Grand view
Silk spinning machine
Silk spinning machine
Equation Bridge I
Equation Bridge I
Equation Bridge II
Equation Bridge II
Temple of Heaven Map (More complic…
Temple of Heaven Map (More compli…
Temple of Heaven through the arch …
Temple of Heaven through the arch…
Capturing a perspective
Capturing a perspective
really big
really big
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Its big
It's big
Emperor show 1
Emperor show 1
Emperor show 2
Emperor show 2
Emperor show flag bearers
Emperor show flag bearers
Emperor Show open square
Emperor Show open square
Emperor Show Colors
Emperor Show Colors
Emperor Show - spears and shadows
Emperor Show - spears and shadows
Imperial Hall of Heaven Marker
Imperial Hall of Heaven Marker
Imperial Hall of Heaven
Imperial Hall of Heaven
I liked the shadows here
I liked the shadows here
Wind and Sun - difficult shot!
Wind and Sun - difficult shot!
My tour companions at Summer Palace
My tour companions at Summer Palace
Welcome to the Summer Palace
Welcome to the Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Must be low tide
Must be low tide
Talk about your two tiered pagoda …
Talk about your two tiered pagoda…
Imagine its Summer a the Summer P…
Imagine it's Summer a the Summer …
My tour companions conversing
My tour companions conversing
Yeah, weird puff ear muffs!
Yeah, weird puff ear muffs!
Oh, the crazy crowds sometimes
Oh, the crazy crowds sometimes
Hall of Happiness and Longevity - …
Hall of Happiness and Longevity -…
Summer Palace residence
Summer Palace residence
More crowds
More crowds
My tour comanions - good people
My tour comanions - good people
Following my tour companions
Following my tour companions
Longest covered walkway in the Wor…
Longest covered walkway in the Wo…
To infinity!
To infinity!
Odette and our tour guide
Odette and our tour guide
Sure its cold, is everyone enjoyi…
Sure it's cold, is everyone enjoy…
Long shadows on the long corridor
Long shadows on the long corridor
Colorful Gateways
Colorful Gateways
Making a human scale
Making a human scale
upward...
upward...
Scaling upward
Scaling upward
Good Views 1
Good Views 1
Hall of Virtuous Splendor - My kin…
Hall of Virtuous Splendor - My ki…
Good Views 2
Good Views 2
The temple
The temple
So, this is what you see at the top
So, this is what you see at the top
Good Views 3
Good Views 3
Good Views 4
Good Views 4
Temple tops
Temple tops
Chinese Acrobat Pyramid
Chinese Acrobat Pyramid
I forget what this thing on a stri…
I forget what this thing on a str…
Intermission light display
Intermission light display
Quite elegant in balance and coord…
Quite elegant in balance and coor…
More about balance than strength
More about balance than strength
End of show performance and applau…
End of show performance and appla…
Beijing
photo by: Deats