Archive for the ‘Beijing Travel’ Category

Jingshan Park not to be missed

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020
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 Plan your Beijing tour? A visit to Jingshan Park is not to be missed during your tour in Beijing. Jingshan just sits across the north gate to Forbidden City. After finishing your visit to Forbidden City along the south to north official visiting route, you exit from Forbidden City’s north gate.

Exiting from the north gate and raising your head, you will find a pavilion with three-layered eaves perched on a hill. The hill is called Jingshan Hill ( Coal Hill or prospect Hill). The Jingshan Hill and its surrounding complex is known as “Jingshan Park”.

Jingshan Park add: No.44 Jingshanxi Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 北京西城区景山西街44号(故宫后门对面).

A pavilion with three-layered eaves perched on Jingshan Hill

 

The main road between the north gate area of Forbidden City and the south gate of Jingshan Park is fully blocked. To get across to the south gate to Jingshan Park, you just turn left for 20 meters and take the underground pass.

Line up for the tickets: RMB 2 per person (RMB10 per person during Peony Festival April and May). Opening hours: 6am – 9pm all year round.

Wanchun pavilion perched on the hill

 

Enter the south gate and follow your nose up the top of the hill and get to the pavilion named Wanchun Pavilion perched high on the hill.

It takes you about 5-10 minutes’ walk along a zigzag stone steps up to the summit. Standing on the pavilion, you are able to have a bird’s-eye view of Beijing city at a great distance.   

A Panoramic View of Forbidden City

 

  Look north to view the Central Axis of Beijing.

Look north to view the Central Axis of Beijing

Looking down east to view Beijing Business Center (CBD)

Looking down east to view Beijing Business Center (CBD)

After enjoying the exciting panoramic view, you don’t have to go back the same road. Instead, you follow the throng down eastward to see the place where the last Ming Dynasty Emperor Chongzhen hanged himself.

Since the hanging spot is close to the east gate to Jingshan park, you may exit from the east gate.

The place where Emperor Chongzhen who hanged himself

The story of Emperor Chongzhen who hanged himself

The story of Emperor Chongzhen who hanged himself

 
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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 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.

More travel articles about Jingshan Park

Best Spot for Night Photography Beijing
See the sunrise from the hilltop of Jingshan ParkSee the sunset from the hilltop of Jingshan Park

Chinese version of the travel guide:

北京景山公园不容错过

How to Visit Lama Temple

Thursday, May 21st, 2020
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Lama Temple.

If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Plan your Beijing Tour? If you are interested in Chinese Lamaism or Chinese Buddhism, Beijing Lama Temple is not to be missed.

Beijing Lamasery Temple is called “Yonghegong” (雍和宫) in Chinese which literally means” Harmony and Peace”. “Yonghegong” is a romanization form (pinyin) of the Chinese characters – 雍和宫 (Lama Temple).

Pinyin is quite useful in China, especially on people’s names, shop fronts, street names and place names etc. When Chinese people write their own names in English, they use Pinyin. All the bus stops and subway stops for Lama Temple are named “Yonghegong” in English instead of Lama Temple.

For many foreign travelers coming to Beijing, Yonghegong (Lama Temple) is a very important attraction just after Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in the city center. Yonghegong Lama Temple was originally built as the residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was still a prince.

After he came to the throne (Emperor Yongzheng), he changed his old residence into a temporary palace called “Yonghegong” in 1725. In 1744, his successor, Emperor Qianlong turned the palace into a lama temple. This Tietan Buddhist Lama Temple is still popularly called Yonghegong.

Built along a central axis from north to south, the Lama Temple’s compound is mainly composed of six major halls, which make seven courtyards. The six halls include Yonghe Gate Hall, Yonghegong Hall, Yongyou Hall, Falun Hall, Wanfuge Pavilion and Suicheng Hall.

There are also many side buildings built on the both sides of the central axis. Before you visit the six halls and seven courtyards, you will first see the Memorial archway.

How to get there?
Well, taking the subway is highly recommended. You either take subway line 2 or Line 5 and get off at the stop of “Yonghegong”, exit from the Exit C.

From the EXIT C of Yonghegong Subway Station, you turn left and walk along the sidewalk below a long red wall, inside which Lama Temple is located. The 400 meters sidewalk is teemed with front stores selling incense, fortune-tellers and so on.  Then you will get to the entrance to Lama Temple on your left hand.

On your left side, you will see the entrance to the compound of Lama Temple.

The entrance to the compound of Lama Temple

In the middle of the compound is the archway leading to the six halls and seven courtyards to the north of the archway.

In the middle of the compound are the three connected Memorial archways

On the right side of the archway is the ticket office.

On the right side of the archways is the ticket office.

Entrance Fee: CNY 25 per person
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 16:30 ( April – October)
09:00 – 16:00 (November – March)
Note:  You don’t have to book your ticket in advance. Just get there as early as possible,  and line up for buying your ticket on the spot.
By the way, , they have both English-speaking tour guides and English audio-guide for rent. Please contact them while you are going to purchase your entrance ticket at the ticketing booth.

Follow me into Lama Temple (Yonghegong).

Have your ticket collected at the side gate of the archway, you walk north along the imperial carriage pathway where in Qing Dynasty the straight path was used for the carriages of the emperors and their empresses during the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911).

You walk north along the imperial way

At the northern end of the imperial carriage pathway is the Zhaotai Gate only used for emperors.

At the northern end of the imperial carriage pathway is the Zhaotai Gate only used for emperors.

Entering Zhaotai Gate, you will be in the second courtyard which has a Drum Tower on the right side and Bell Tower on the left side and more side buildings in the courtyard.

To the north of the courtyard is Yonghe Gate. Built in 1694, originally the main gate to the Lama Temple. Now Yonghe Gate is enshrined with the four heavenly kings and the statue of the big belly Meitraya Buddha.

Now Yonghe Gate is enshrined with the four heavenly kings and the statue of the big belly Meitraya Buddha

North of the Yonghe Gate is Yonghe Hall. Yonghe Hall ( Hall of Harmony and Peace ) is the main palace in the temple.

Inside the hall, there are three bronze Buddhas – Sakyamuni (Present Buddha) in the middle, The Past Buddha on the right and Maitreya ( Future Buddha ) on the left. 18 Arhats are placed on both sides of the Hall.

Yonghe Hall ( Hall of Harmony and Peace ) is the main palace in the temple

North of Yonghe Palace is Yongyou Hall. The Yongyou Hall was originally the living place of Emperor Yongzheng before he was throned. When he died, his coffin was placed here in the hall.

Now inside the hall, a statue of Amitayus (Longevity Buddha), with Bhaisajyaguru ( Medicine Buddha) to the right and Simhanada (Meaning Wisdom) to the left.

North of Yonghe Palace is Yongyou Hall.

North of Yongyou Hall is Falun Hall. The hall was named Falun Hall in 1744 when Yonghegong was transformed into a lamasery. The Hall was originally the living place for the Emperor’s wives. Its architecture features both Chinese and Tibetans styles.

A large statue of Tsong Kha-pa, the founder of Lamaism is positioned on the altar of the Hall with sacrificial offerings. Behind this statue is an Arhat Hill which has 500 Arhats. Falun Hall is the places lamas chant, read scriptures and hold Buddhist ceremonies.

North of Falun Hall is Wanfu Pavilion (The Pavilion of Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness). Wanfu Pavilion is the highest building in the temple.

It was built between 1748 and 1750. Now it enshrines the Meitreya Buddha. The statue is 18 meters above ground and 8 meters under ground and carved from a single trunk of white sandal wood. In August 1999, it was in Guinness book of records.

The last hall is called Sui Cheng Building. Originally built in 1744, the hall now enshrines the White Tara, the Green Tara and the founders of Gelugpa sect of Lamaism in different periods.

The last hall is called Sui Cheng Building

Kids are happy to turn around the prayer wheels.

Kids are happy to turn around the prayer wheels

A foreign Buddhist

A foreign Buddhist

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 Beijing guided tours:

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

Any questions, just drop line.

Chinese version of the travel guide:

参观雍和宫小贴士

Night View of Tiananmen Square

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020
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Tiananmen Square is oft-lauded as the largest public square of this kind in the world, a geological center of Beijing as well as a  political barometer of China. Apart from the historical events and myths related to the square, Tiananmen Square has much to offer in terms of the significant buildings and solemn red flag raising and lowering ceremonies.

Visiting Tiananmen Square at different times of a day, you get  different views of the square  – Sunrise View of Tiananmen Square, Sunset View of Tiananmen Square. Today I’d like to present you the night view of Tiananmen Square.

Shortly after the sun is setting over Tiananmen Square,  most of the buildings in or surrounding Tiananmen Square will be lit up, turning the square a multi-colored wonderland. Plan your Beijing night tour? Tiananmen Square is an ideal place for a pleasant stroll.

North of Tiananmen Square is Beijing Tiananmen Tower ( Gate of Heavenly Peace ) . The tower sits on the platform which is a building with double-eave roof and yellow-glazed tiles. It has five archways with the middle gate used as the passage for Ming and Qing emperors.

Tiananmen Tower

Tiananmen Tower

The busy traffic before  Tiananmen Tower

The busy traffic before Tiananmen Tower

The busy traffic before Tiananmen Tower

A closer look at Tiananmen Tower

A closer look at Tiananmen Tower

A closer look at Tiananmen Tower

Standing in front of the Tiananmen Tower facing the south,  look at the center piece of Tiananmen Square – The Monument to a huge basket of flowers, People’s Heroes and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum on the south.

The center of Tiananmen Square

The center of Tiananmen Square

National Museum of China sits on the east of Tiananmen Square

National Museum

National Museum

The Great Hall of the People sits on the west of Tiananmen Square, the meeting place of national people’s congress of the People’s Republic of China, a Chinese style of parliament.

The Great Hall of the People

The Great Hall of the People

Tiananmen Square is decorated with a huge basket of flowers and torch-like flowers

Monument to the People’s Heroes – There are eight white marble sculptures on the monument seat: including a series of important history events, Such as Opium burning in Humen, Jintian Uprising. Wuchang uprising, etc.

Monument to the People's Heroes

Monument to the People’s Heroes

Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum on the south. Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum started to build in November 1976 and completed in May 1977.

Chairman Mao's Mausoleum

Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum

The old building of Bank of China sits on the west of Tiananmen Square, a western style architecture.

The old building of Bank of China

The old building of Bank of China

Zhengyangmen Tower (Facing the Sun Gate), together with Arrow Tower is collectively called “Qianmen” (Front Gate), one of nine inner gates in the city wall built in Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is located south of Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum.

Zhengyangmen Tower

Zhengyangmen Tower

Arrow Tower, together with Zhengyangmen Tower is collectively known as “Qianmen”,  one of the nine gates in the city wall of Ming and Qing dynasties.

Arrow Tower

Arrow Tower

On the southeast corner of Tiananmen Square sits the old train station which has been turned into China Railway Museum.

 China Railway Museum.

China Railway Museum.

Add on
How to visit Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Sunrise View
Tiananmen Sunset View

 

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.

Chinese version of the travel guide:

天安门广场的夜景