It's a city where most things are possible!
Pollution and bad traffic jams
A modest, yet great capital.
While many people opt to visit the front of Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the north side of Forbidden City is very peaceful, no crowds at night and has some beautiful scenery. Walk along Jingshan Front Street from Beichizi Street. There is a little walk way along the moat.more
Having lived in Beijing for a number of years, I had stayed in relatively few hotels in the city -...more
The entrance is a different than most places. The entrance is on the road that goes around Qian Hai. There is a big yellow duck and thankfully there is a few hostesses that hang out there as they will direct you to an elevator to take down to the restaurant. Very open atmosphere. Service is above average and the Peking Duck is one of the best in...more
Badaling is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately 80 km northwest of urban Beijing city and 11km away from Juyongguan Pass. It means "giving access to every direction". The portion of the wall running through the site was built in 1505 during the Ming Dynasty, along with a military outpost reflecting the...more
The service staff abides by the concepts of giving top priority to the reputation of the motherland, the capital and the scenic spot, putting the interests of tourists first, serving tourists whole-heartedly, and promoting the spirits and cultures of the Great Wall.Located 200 meters to the north of the Pass, the center has an information desk that...more
Badaling Great Wall was officially opened to tourists in 1958. It is a section of the Great Wall opened earliest to tourists and receiving the largest number of tourists. In the five decades since it was opened, Badaling Great Wall scenic spot, on behalf of the Great Wall of China, was conferred with the World Cultural Heritage license by UNESCO....more
Huanghua cheng used to be called wild great wall for its un-restored condition. In 2005, Huanghua Cheng has been restored and become open to public again under Beijing government legal permission. In this area, there are three walls, namely, Mutianyu, Huanghua Cheng and Xiangshui Lake. In ancient time, they were all connected. The distance between...more
Maps are difficult to find in China.The Falling Rain map is useful to some extent. It gives an idea of the topography which is missing in most local maps.There are other maps in "Hiking Around Beijing" and in the "Self Drive Map - Beijing" available in Beijing.more
One of the nicest areas in Beijing is the succession of valleys immediately north of the Great Wall at Mutianyu.By leaving the wall at the Mutianyu Pass Fort, where there is a toliet block, you can walk down the gentle valley into a quiet area, devoid of tourists.For thousands of years these valleys were all terraced, but many of the terraces fell...more
We tried to go to Tianmen Shan in western Miyun County. Local villagers blocked the road to the ticket gate with stones and with farm implements as weapons. It turns out the villagers blocked the road to coerce more money out of the tourism development company (as though living at one part of its base means they own the mountain). Usually, I stick...more
This place charges too much for entrance to the park. It is a nice park with a stream but nothing that special. At the back end of the park at Heilongzhentan there is a long-running scam which has not been shut down. It is a raft ride, pay in advance, which the operators claim will take you 60 meters into a cave. There is no cave and the ride...more
Olympic Sports Park is really pleasant. If you are stopping in downtown Miyun, such as on your way back from Simatai or for whatever reason, if the weather is nice it is well worth whiling a few hours here, walking by the river. Signs in Chinese say don't walk on the grass wearing shoes. I took this to mean you can walk on the grass if you take off...more
It's in the middle of nowhere, it's hard to find, it's 60km from Beijing, and there's precious little to eat or drink once you get there, but if you like old planes, rockets and helicopters then the Chinese Aviation Museum is the place to go.
This mainly outdoor museum has simply hundreds of aircraft on display, from a working replica of the Wright Brothers first aeroplane right through to the 1970s Tridents, Il-62s and assorted fighter jets.
Nothing modern, and not much feel for Chinese aviation - everything has been copied from everyone else.
Chairman Mao's personal Il-18 can be boarded for 5 RMB more, as can the Orbis DC-8 flying eye hospital (no idea if any of the money collected here actually goes to Orbis though). Mao's plane has a bed, meeting room but otherwise looks pretty normal for a 1950s Russian-made aircraft.
A huge Be-2 amphibious plane is poised over a small lake, but as you head past one hanger you come upon row after row after row of decaying aircraft, each labelled in English and Chinese. A further Trident and the fuselage of yet another lie at one end of the back row.
One of the most interesting features is the huge underground hangar where there is - again - a seemingly endless line of vintage fighters and smaller aircraft, including the plane from which Zhou Enlai's ashes were scattered.
At the far end of the hangar is a rather well preserved Viscount...ah....now I remember these from the 1980s flying from Aberdeen to Lerwick! Next to it was a rather rough looking Tupolev 124, and I also remember these from a few flights in Romania back in the early 1980s.
Now if you are looking for the runway on which all these planes arrived, you won't find it! There isn't one here.
Every plane came in the way you did, through the front gate. If you feel that the last kilometre of approach road is a bit wide....it is. It is wide enough for an aircraft to be taxied from the end of the runway at the nearby Changping Airbase 4.5km to the south-west right up to the hanger under the mountain!
Here's a money saving tip for people who want to know where to get laundry done in Beijing. You're back from the Silk Road, or perhaps you just got off the Trans-Siberian railway. You're toting a week's load of dirty laundry and need a place that charges by weight just like they do in Hong Kong.Good luck! Your hotel will be happy to do it for you,...more
There are bookshops for each and every special interest, and you'll also find an excellent selection of Chinese language travel books. There is a very large Foreign Language Bookshop here for those hunting for dictionaries or books in English about China.To reach the Peking University gift shops, use the southwest corner gate and proceed northeast...more
There are actually two west gate entrances to Peking University; one exclusively for automobiles and motorcycles and the other for pedestrians and bicycles.The pedestrian entrance leads to the Sackler Museum on the left after you cross the bridge shown in my photo. Continue walking east behind the Sackler Museum to reach "The Lake with No Name Yet"...more
On the approach roads up to the Red Snail Temple, there are many, many restaurants at the side of the road. There are simply hudreds of them, each with a person out on the roadside trying to flag down passing cars to entice the occupants inside.The food is good, especially is you choose the fish.more
The western-most courtyard is known as the Courtyard of the Stupa, and is the burial place of a number of famous monks from earlier times, including Jixing (1741-1810) who was the 12th Master of the Pure Land Sect.The entrance area to the temple is unusually attractive, with several pools, backed by a grove of bamboo that has spread widely across...more
To the north-east of Huairou is one of the most attractive - and the largest - temple compounds in the Beijing area, set on the extensive slopes of the foothilss of the great mountains that fringe the northern parts of Beijing municipality.Originally, the temple was built as the Temple of Great Brightness (Damingsi) in 348AD. During the time of...more
[See the entry on the Silver Pagodas for more information]It is possible - desirable even - to walk right up to the summit of the Silver Mountain, and there are stone steps the whole way up. It takes about 60 minutes to climb the 350 or so metres to the 762 metre peak, where a stone platform has been constructed on the very peak, complete with...more
One of Beijing's least known historical structures - or group of structures - are the Silver Pagodas near Haizi village. Five complete closed-eaves pagodas and two more smaller Lamaist dagobas lie in a narrow valley beneath the massive brooding bulk of the Silver Mountain above. In the morning, the harsh light paints the pagodas and the mountain...more