See some of the many temples,...
See some of the many temples, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, tombs, restaurants....etc The Great Wall is truly a magnificent structure.
But after seeing it, I now know that the Great Wall was not built by bringing in large stones from afar and placing them on top each other to build a wall, but instead, they were poured on site like concrete and than put into place.
In many places, Tiananmen Square in particular, you will find people of all ages flying their kites.
Some are very skilled and their kited fly high over the rooftops of the nearby houses. And that is saying something because the houses around Tiananmen Square are very big. Not skyscrapes, but still.
There are a wide array of different kites flying and sometimes there are many kites flying so close together that I can't understand how they keep them from getting in eachothers way.
Early morning is the best time to see them I think, but there are people flying kites all day if the weather allows it.
SILVER FOX CAVES 37 MILES AWAY FROM BEIJING
THE Silver fox caves is 37 miles away of Beijing. Has rare stalactites one looks like a silver fox. Many stalactites uncommon shapes and sizes. Grand stone pillars, shining stone waterfalls stone pearls, glittereing calcites. Also an uderground river with short boat ride and also a train ride.
We waited for one of there guides who escorted us in turning on lights in the area we walked.
It is cold around 40 F like going into a walk in Freezer. Bring heavy jacket,camera. There are signs in english naming the stalactites. The steps are wet and steep and dark with limited lighting.
This Karst cave is amazing. Included with our fee was a short one way boat ride then to a minature tram train ride taking us almost back up and out of the cave.
Good quality Imitation goods at bargain prices!
This is a populare shopping alley packed full with stalls selling imitation goods. Although very similar in concept to stalls you would find in Bangkok, KL or anywhere else in Asia, the product quality is much higher and winter clothes are a bargain. Silk ties, purses, branded clothes, silk scarves, luggage. USD 2.50 a "Hermes" tie, USD 3 for a silk scarf.
You can bargain. Always offer around 30% of the initial asking price and work upwards until no more than 50% of initial offer price.
An alternative to Sanlitun
Slowly but surely, Sanlitun is disappearing. Much of Sanlitun Nanjie has already gone (including the original Durty Nellies),
Many of the bars from Sanlitun have scattered into the side streets off Sanlitun Beilu and to last year's hip area Houhai.
The government, as always keen to plan the 'touristic cultural experience' and simply unused to bars just "being whereever they want to be", have been pushing other areas as replacements.
The dreadful street of theme bars near the south gate of Chaoyang park is possibly the worst example of forced planning on the face of the planet (most of them have closed as they were so dire). Another area which seemed to be heading the same way was the area around the lake between Xiao Yun Lu and Liangmaqiao Lu, east of the Kempinski and Hilton hotels. However, some recent appearances suggest that things may be looking up.
The crassly named "Super Bar Street", off the equally crassly named Lady Street is looking a bit more disrespectable, and that is encouraging. Bizarrely, the original bars and restaurants faced resolutely away from the lake, but a new crop of more interesting bars, cafes and restaurants have moved in. Many have not even opened yet, but are looking the part.
However, China has long demonstrated the ability to build bars that should be atmospheric, but all the money has gone on glitz, leaving no money or attention on actually providing a decent ambience or decent music or decent food or drink (Have you ever eaten in any of the Sanlitun Bei Lu joints?).
"Super Bar Street" has struggled vainly for a couple of years, but seems to be developing its own style now.
Considering that this street is literally a stones throw from where the new American embassy is being built, I suspect it may not last for ever, as neither the Chinese government nor the US ambassador will want to encourage large numbers of clubbers and drinkers nearby.
Still, worth a look if you want to get away from the low-brow crap of Sanlitun Bei Lu or the naffness of Houhai.