Beijing in 24hours

posted in: Beijing, China | 0

24 hours in Beijing

After a long week of trekking the Great Wall we had one day left to explore Beijing. Now came the difficult choice. What do we do? What do we see?

Well, two of the top attractions were on the list. The Forbidden city and Tiananman Square.

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Gate of supreme harmony Lion, Forbidden City
Beijing
Throne in the Hall of Supreme Harmony

The Forbidden City is a former palace surrounded by a moat in the centre of Beijing.  There are five gates, four towers and three Great halls. The whole palace complex spans over 720,000 square metres!

As you walk through the Meriden Gate a great expansive courtyard awaits you. Continue across the outer court and you will come to the Gate of Supreme Harmony where the Lion statues stand guard. Further through the complex you can see the beautiful thrones in the Great halls and explore the imperial garden in the inner court. Because of its size, it can take a good few hours to get around and even longer if you spend time at the exhibits which are sometimes held in the smaller halls.

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Monument to the peoples heroes, Tiananmen Square
Beijing
Chairman Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square[/

Tiananmen square is the fourth largest city square in the world. Here we found the monument to the people’s heroes, the largest monument in China’s history built in 1952. The Memorial hall of Chairman Mao, the Mausoleum where his body lies in a crystal coffin. And the National Museum of China. The square is a place seeped in history, a massive space, clean and angular. This is a great difference to the splendor and intricacies of the Forbidden City.

After spending most of the day sightseeing we decided to explore the markets, try some street food and take tea in a tea-house. Starfish, squid, scorpions and seahorses are all available on a stick! Beijing is a busy city, there are people everywhere, in the small markets this is even more apparent. I immersed myself into the scene and really enjoyed the experience.

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Beijing
Beijing market

Beijing restaurants that I encountered are built for group eating. One thing I learned very quickly whilst in China is that rice is usually served at the end of your meal after your main courses to fill you up. Circular tables have moving plates in the centre which turns in order to share your food. Our night in Beijing started at a restaurant famed for its duck. Where the chef brings out the ducks on a trolley and carves it in front of the customers. It was delicious! After dinner we decided to check out the Beijing nightlife. On recommendation we headed to Chaoyang District’s Bar street. A lively street lined with bars near to the city’s embassies. Popular with foreigners, shisha bars, live music and karaoke can be found here. A wonderful fun night out, definitely worth a visit!

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Beijing Nightlife, Sanlitun bar street
Beijing
Turning tables at Beijing restaurants

Sadly we had little time to spend in Beijing and there is so much more to do in this diverse and unusual place. Leaving without seeing everything is always a reason to return!

Have you been to Beijing? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below…

 

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