Beijing: What Not to Miss

Travelling to Beijing? Check out what not to miss…

With a surprise birthday organised for me in Beijing in 2012 and only 9 days to enjoy this enticing ancient city, you can still enjoy a memorable time mingling and jostling with over 20 million people, while discovering Beijing’s amazing sights. So, let’s start with the…

#Beijing, #China, #Asia

Summer Palace Bridge

The beautiful Summer Palace Bridge also known as the Seventeen Arch Bridge is the entrance to the Summer Palace built for royals and emperors to stay during the summer.

Summer Palace Bridge, #beijing, #china, #asia
Summer Palace Bridge

The picturesque manmade lake presents a tranquil entrance to the palace’s grounds and is also close to where you buy tickets to enter the palace.

Summer Palace

The World Heritage Summer Palace stretches across 300 hectares overseeing the soothing manmade Kunming Lake and the imperial garden, which follows the traditional Chinese gardening of “one pond, three hills”.

#SummerPalace, #Beijing, #China, #Asia
Map: Google

Qingyi Yuan (Garden of Clear Ripples) was the original name, which was built in 1750.

#SummerPalace, #beijing, #china, #asia
Summer Palace

During the 1860 war, the palace was mostly destroyed but once more restored in 1886, on the palace’s original foundation.

You can easily spend a relaxing day strolling through while visiting the Summer Palace and its superb grounds, which are four times the size of the Forbidden City.


Meridian Gate

Tourists can only enter the Forbidden City through the southern Meridian Gate (Wu Men), which was where each year on the first day of the 19th lunar month (Winter Solstice), the Emperor would announce the new lunar calendar.

#Forbidden City, #Beijing, #China, #Asia
Map: Google

After exploring Tian’anmen Square, linger longer through the imposing ceremonial Meridian Gate…

Meridian Gate, Tian'anmen Square, Beijing, China, Asia
Meridian Gate, Tian’anmen Square

…which witnessed captives being offered in a ceremony by a general to the Emperor, to mark a war’s victory by “Accepting War Captives”.


Forbidden City

Of course, an absolute must-see while in Beijing is the Forbidden City.

Just the name Forbidden City conjures up mystery and much intrigue but perhaps also sentiments of a little repression.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China, Asia
Forbidden City

Commissioned during the Ming Dynasty in 1406, the Yongle emperor’s court officially occupied the city in 1420 and prohibited access to most of the realm’s subjects – forbidden to ordinary people. And so, the city was aptly named the Forbidden City.

The city wall’s architecture follows the traditional Chinese geomantic practice of feng shui and is also situated on a north-south axis.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China, Asia
Morning vista

Buildings that face south, honour the sun and are typically the most important buildings in the world’s largest imperial palace. Intricate roofs and eaves graced with animal figurines are built of a special glazed tile to repel dirt and bird droppings, so they always remain clean.

Forbidden City, #Beijing, China, Asia
Bronze cauldrons once filled with water in case of fire

Leave yourself a good day or more if you have the time, to really explore the expansive and mesmerising Forbidden City, china’s imperial palace for 492 years.

#Forbidden City, #Beijing, #China, #Asia
Sunset shot – stunning at any time of day

Surrounded by an excavated moat known to locals as the Tongzi River (Tongzi He) – Pipe River – the serenity felt when walking this bilaterally symmetrical city is soothing. Wander around the entire city’s perimeter of 961 metres long and 753 metres wide, for unique photo angles.


Hall of Supreme Harmony

Located in the Forbidden City’s central axis, the impressive ceremonial Hall of Supreme Harmony is the city’s most prominent and China’s largest surviving wooden structure.

Hall of Supreme Harmony, Forbidden City, #Beijing, China, Asia
Hall of Supreme Harmony

Built during the Ming Dynasty in 1421, fires destroyed the original hall seven times, with the final rebuild during 1695–1697. The inability to source large enough logs for the rebuild saw the hall reduced by 45% to its present size of just over 2,400 square metres.


Guwenhua Jie, Tianjin

Wanting to see Guwenhua Jie, Tianjin’s Ancient Culture Street’s pedestrian pathway complex, stippled with kiosks and temple gates, we head out for the day. Taking the metro to the main train station, the ticket seller knocks us back as we don’t have our passports.

As passports were not needed to make the short trip from Beijing to The Great Wall, who would think to bring passports to take a train trip that is only under two hours? Live and learn. Instead, decide that venturing more of Beijing for the day is a better idea as there’s always something that’s been missed in this great city.


Discover more about Beijing

If you missed my previous articles on Beijing’s great sights and where to stay on your thrilling Beijing experience, then head on over to these posts in Image Earth Travel, for free detailed information:

Beijing Birthday

Roaming Beijing’s Hutongs

China’s Great Wall in a Day

Discover Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square

All of this incredible discovery and immersion in only 9 days, although still only scratched Beijing’s surface!

I love sharing travel adventures with you and hope to show you some unusual haunts along the way, so check back next week for part 2 of what not to miss in Beijing as there’s still more…


Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

10 thoughts on “Beijing: What Not to Miss

Add yours

    1. Wow, that is excellent. It must have been a fancy hotel to include free admission to the Forbidden City?
      I would have loved to have spent more time there but with only 9 days in Beijing, time is of the essence.
      Appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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