JUN 02,2011 - JUN 16,2011 (15 DAYS)
There is an express Line of the Beijing Subway from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 and then to the city. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the city, and the price is 25Y (at least when I was there). There is also a shuttle bus that stops in Xidan, Beijing Railway Station, Beijing South Station, and Shangdi. I think a ticket is 15Y, or something like that.
Oh, and there’s a Starbucks!!
Jin ding xuan Jiu lou is part of a Cantonese restaurant chain. The restaurant is near the south gate of Ditan Park. The food was pretty good. We set in a room with a rotating table, and ordered a lot of plates, so I don’t remember exactly what I had…except for the wonderful Dim-Dam. The prices are very reasonable, and you get a good value for your money…
Bear in mind that the place is usually crowded, and not very intimate, so don’t plan any romantic dinners there… and it’s open 24 hours a day.
The Forbidden City in Beijing was the imperial palace of the Ming Dynasty, and kept that role till the end of the Qing Dynasty. It was the home of the emperors and their families, and served as a political center of the government. It is called “The forbidden City” because common citizens were not allowed in, and those who broke the rule were put to death.
Today the Forbidden City functions as a museum, featuring the Qing imperial collection, close to 50 thousand paintings, a bronze collection from the early Shang Dynasty and much more. The Forbidden City consists of several dozen compounds, and almost 10,000. Most of the buildings are made of wood, with yellow tiles roof.
Ditan Park is a great place to spend a relaxed day. In the park you can see the famous Temple of Earth, where emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties performed sacrifices to the gods. Around the park you’ll find a lot of historic buildings, pine and cypress trees, and small ponds to sit by. A lot of the local people come to the park to do Tai-Chi, dance, or just play games. Kites seem to be a popular hobby as well…
The mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang - the first Emperor of China -is located in Lintong District, 30 Km east of Xi'an. The mausoleum was built between 246BC and 208BC. It is an Imperial Palace above a subterranean city.
The pit of the Terracotta soldiers was discovered in 1974 by local peasants, about 1.5 km from the exterior eastern wall of the mausoleum's inner room. Pit 1 contained an army of 1,087 warriors, infantry and cavalry in battle formation with archers protecting the flanks. Today it is estimated that there are a potential 6,000 statues of warriors and horses in that one pit alone. Two other pits were discovered just north of Pit 1 and were found to contain similar items - 1,500 warriors, carts and horses in Pit 2, and 68 officers and dignitaries and a cart with four horses in Pit 3.
Because of their exceptional technical and artistic qualities, the terracotta warriors and horses and the funerary carts in bronze are major works in the history of Chinese sculpture prior to the reign of the Han dynasty. The army of statues also bears unique testimony to the military organization in China at the time of the Warring Kingdoms (475-221 BC) and that of the short-lived Empire of a Thousand Generations (221-210 BC).
Of course, no trip the china is ever complete without a visit to the great wall. We took a bus to Mutianyu in Huairou County, 70 km northeast of Beijing. This is one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, and was first built in the mid-6th. The section is built mainly with granite, and the wall is about 8 meters high and 4–5 meters wide on the top. You can either climb some 4,000 steps up, or take the hanging cable car, like we did…