Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beijing off the Tourist Track - Part 2

Chinese acrobats
Beijing is a huge city, even by New York standards. There are around 23 million people living in Beijing. It has been the capital of China for around 700 years. So there is a lot to see and do there. The thing is, if you are on one of those tours that goes to Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and a three day cruise down the Yangtze River all in 10 days.....there are a lot of tourist things that you will miss. So here are some things to do if you have a longer tour or more time in Beijing.

The Lama Temple

Bell Tower at the Lama Temple

Originally built in 1694 as a palace for one of the princes, the building was converted to lamasery in 1722. Its size and place in Beijing attracted many Tibetan Buddhist monks.The Temple is actually a group of 4 main buildings with several out buildings and courtyards. As you move through the buildings the representations of Buddha get larger and larger ending with a statue that is  26 m tall carved from a single piece of sandalwood.

Entrance courtyard of the Lama Temple

Temple Gate

Olympic Park

At some point your tour guide is going to take you to the Bird's Nest and The Cube. These are the Olympic stadium and Swimming venue from the 2008 Olympics. They are interesting to look at, especially if you drive by at night when the light shows are on. We visited on a very hazy day.

The Bird's Nest

The Cube

Hotel - The top is a stylized Olympic flame

 The Hutang

The Hutang is actually the name of the narrow streets and alleys in the oldest parts of the northern cities. The streets are lined with traditional courtyard houses called siheyuan. These houses are four small buildings built around a central yard. One building was for cooking and the other three were living quarters for family, children and servants.



Wall Decoration


Dinning room

Family bed

The tour through the Hutang, including a lunch in a siheyung was done by rickshaw. Today they use a pedicab.

Acrobat Show

You might also get to traditional Chinese Acrobat Show. These are amazing feats of balance and strength

1 comment:

  1. Loved seeing the old neighborhood with the courtyard homes. Fascinated by the lives of ordinary folk rather than just the pageantry of the palaces. But I'm sure your group enjoyed them both.