Archive for the ‘Beijing Attractions’ Category

A Good Place to See Beijing’s Changing Skyline

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019
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If you are interested in Beijing’s changing skyline or its amazing cityscape on your Beijing tour, you shouldn’t  miss the opportunity to have a glimpse of or take pictures of Rem Koolhass’s CCTV Headquarters ( China Central Television Headquarters) and its new neighbor – China Zun ( still under construction ), the 118-storey, 528 m building which will be the tallest in Beijing.

Both the CCTV building and China Zun are visible from most of Beijing. The CCTV Headquarter is designed by OMA as a weird reinvention of the skyscraper as a loop instead of a typical skyscraper’s demand for height.

Designed by architecture firm Farrells, China Zun is still under construction and after completion it will  surpass the height of the China World Trade Center Tower III by 190 metres and become Beijing’s tallest building.

China Zun literally means “ancient China wine vessel”, which ignites the imagination for the building design.

There are quite some good places in Beijing to view the CCTV Headquarters and China Zun in different angles at a closer distance. But Blue Frog ( Gumao ), a popular restaurant chain with American style food, is an ideal place to see the CCTV Headquarters and China Zun.

Blue Frog ( Gumao ) is on the 6th floor of the North Section China World Mall, Beijing. The restaurant has an open terrace where customers can dine and drink while viewing the magnificent CCTV building and its new tallest neighbor – China Zun at a closer distance with a good angle.

Blue Frog (Guomao)
NL6005 6/F, North Section China World Mall, No.1 Jianguomen Wai Street, Beijing
+86 10 8535 1186
Business Hours: 10:00-23:00 ( Mon – Sun ).

Come to Blue Frog for brunch or dinner if you are intrigued by the bright CCTV Building, China Zun and neon-lit CBD ( Central Business District ). They have many food and drinks choices on the menu – burgers, beer, wine and  their steaks and salads are also very good.

Try to get there early for a table on the open terrace where you can look out  at the CCTV Building and China Zun across the third ring road.

Blue Frog (Guomao) with a view of the CCTV Building and China Zun

Drinking on the terrace while looking out at the two landmarks in Beijing

The CCTV Building and China Zun – the Tallest Buidling in Beijing

Beijing’s new Skyline

The CBD (Central Business District)

Look out at the CBD ( Central Business District ) from the Terrace.

Sunset Glow over the CCTV Building

The Lit-up CCTV Building

The Lit-up CBD

The Night View of the CCTV Headquarter

They have many food and drinks choices on the menu – burgers, beer, wine,steaks, salads and more.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing by Night Illuminations Tour     from US$ 33

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Qianmen Street Photos

Sunday, January 6th, 2019
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Please your Beijing tour? South of Tiananmen Square and behind Zhengyang Gates is Qianmen Street, a pleasant walking area though some people complain this area is a bit touristy and crowded especially on weekends.

This 845m long street  used to be a shopping and market area in the Ming and Qing dynasty ( 1368 – 1644 )  which has been totally renovated years before and is now a tourist haunting.

On the main street you find some time-honored shops and restaurants.  You may  stroll along the smaller streets off the main street,  the east side in particular.

There are plenty of small popular restaurants and stores.  Here you can shop souvenirs, have a nice Peking Duck lunch, drink good quality tea at the tea shops.  You can  also encounter the Starbucks, KFC and McDonald’s  along the main street.  It’s a very nice place to feel and see the traditional life of local people.

Qianmen Street offers good photography oppotunities. You can  snap some good pictures with Chinese architecture in backdrop as well as Western elements. There are many more Chinese visitors than westerners along Qianmen Street which makes it feel more local and authentic.

Below are some of the photos of Qianmen Street I took during my recent trip.

Zhengyangmen  ( or Zhengyang Gate –  Arrow Tower)  is colloquially called “Qianmen” ( Front  Gate ), after which Qianmen Street is named.  Qianmen Street is on the south of Zhengyangmen which is the south gate of the old inner city wall of Beijing.  The gate is situated to the south of Tiananmen Square.  The North-south Central Axis of Beijing passes through Zhengyangmen and Qianmen Street.

Zhengyang Gate (Arrow Tower)  on the south of Tiananmen Square

Zhengyang Gate (Arrow Tower) on the south of Tiananmen Square

South of Zhengyangmen Gate is the decorated Zhengyangmen Archway,  the natural north entrance to Qianmen Street along the Central Axis of Beijing.

the decorated Zhengyangmen Archway,  the natural north entrance to Qianmen Street

the decorated Zhengyangmen Archway, the natural north entrance to Qianmen Street

Qianmen Street is 845m long.  The picture below was taken at the south entrance of Qianmen Street where I looked at the northern end of the street.

Qianmen Street is 845m long.

Qianmen Street is 845m long.

The old street car or tram is now in service to entertain tourists bringing them back to the old days, running from north to south and vice versa.

The old street car or tram is now in service to entertain tourists

The old street car or tram is now in service to entertain tourists

The street lamps in the shape of old Beijing bird cages reminds you of the old Beijing.

 The street lamps in the shape of old Beijing bird cages reminds you of the old Beijing.

The street lamps in the shape of old Beijing bird cages reminds you of the old Beijing.

The gourd shaped street lights are quite nostalgic of the old Beijing

The street lamps in the shape of gourds decorating Qianmen Street

The street lamps in the shape of gourds decorating Qianmen Street

The street statues reflecting the old Beijing life, a good photo spot.

The street statues reflecting the old Beijing life, a good photo spot.

The street statues reflecting the old Beijing life, a good photo spot.

Flanking the street are restored old buildings,  a reproduction of the old houses and building in the late Qing and the Republic era.

Flank ing the street are restored old buildings,  a reproduction of the old houses and building in the late Qing and the Republic era.

Flanking the street are restored old buildings, a reproduction of the old houses and building in the late Qing and the Republic era.

Qianmen Street is also an interesting area where the East and the West stay peacefully and harmoniously.

 Qianmen Street is also an interesting area where the East amd the West stay peacefuly and harmoniously.


Qianmen Street is also an interesting area where the East amd the West stay peacefully and harmoniously.

Dazhalan, the most commercial area running from the main street of Qianmen from the west.  The overall length of Dashilan is 275m from east to west teemed with various stores  and shops.

Dazhalan, the most commercial area running from the main street of Qianmen from the west.

Dazhalan, the most commercial area running from the main street of Qianmen from the west.

You also find a Starbucks at the north end of Qianmen Street.

You also find a Starbucks at the north end of Qianmen Street.

You also find a Starbucks at the north end of Qianmen Street.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Take the Best Photos of Forbidden City Turret and Moat

Friday, January 4th, 2019
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If you plan your Beijing tour,  you’ll definitely add “Forbidden City ( also known as Palace Museum)”  to your Beijing visiting list.  Before you visit Forbidden City, you normally will search for some online information on how to visit Forbidden City to prepare for a life-time visit to the great Palace Museum.

One primary thing that is often missed is to visit  the magnificent turrets  of Forbidden City and its surrounding moat.  There are four beautiful turrets of the same structure on the four corners of Forbidden City.  Each turret tower has  nine girders, eighteen columns and 72 ridges. The two turrets on the northeast and northwest  corners offer the best photo opportunities.

The turrets are inaccessible to visitors. People usually finish their visit to Forbidden and exit from its north gate.  Then turn either right for the northeast turret tower or left for the northwest turret tower outside Forbidden City.

The turrets are in full view, with a prominent setting above the moat and the forbidden City walls running either side.  The northwest turret is a perfect spot for taking best photos of the turret in sunrise glow and night view as well; the northeast turret offers good daytime and night views, and the sunset view as well.

It is a shame that when they exit from the north gate to Forbidden City, many people even don’t bother to look up at the two corners outside Forbidden City where the two magnificent turret stand.

The different four seasons present different views and photo opportunities. In addition, different time of a day also makes unique and fantastic pictures of the turrets.

There are three good photo taking spots where you could take the best pictures of the turrets of Forbidden City.  The first is outside the Northwest Turret; the second is outside the turret of Northeast and the last is Jingshan Park where you can also have a panoramic view of the whole Forbidden City.

The Northwest Turret in sunset glow after snowing in Beijing

The Northwest Turret in sunset glow after snowing in Beijing

The Northwest Turret in sunset glow after snowing in Beijing

The glorious Turret in the winter sunset glow.

The glorious Turret in the winter sunset glow.

The glorious Turret in the winter sunset glow.

The Turret above the moat with the wall running either side

The Turret above the moat with the wall running either side

The Turret above the moat with the wall running either side

The Northeast Turret Tower during day time in cold winter.

The Northeast Turret Tower in cold winter.

The Northeast Turret Tower in cold winter.

The beautiful northeast Turret Tower under sunshine

The beautiful northeast Turret Tunder sunshine

The beautiful northeast Turret under sunshine

taking the pictures defiance of the cold

The Northwest Turret Tower seen for Jingshan Park

The prominent tower

The prominent tower

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Hutong Highlight Half Day Tour  from US$49 p/p2

Beijing Hutong Highlight One Day Tour  from US$59 p/p

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P 
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.