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Impressive Short Hutong Bike Tour

Last summer I had a two day short tour in Beijing and have already visited the famous attractions like: Badaling Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace. Since I am very interested in Beijing Hutong culture and want to personally experience the traditional life of ancient Beijing so I choose Half Day Hutong Bike Tour.

The tour began at 1:30 pm and the first destination is the courtyard around the beautiful Shichahai. My English speaking tour guide explained its history, its layout, its Fengshui, and its traditional Chinese culture involved, thus I have a detailed explanation of the old courtyard (Siheyuan) and the Chinese culture and life. Then we bike through the narrow hutongs with more than 300 years. We arrived at Yandaixiejie - a quaint 800-year-old hutong located directly north of Yinding Bridge between Qianhai and Houhai and the south of the Drum Tower, used to be well-known for sellers of long-stemmed pipes, hence the name.

Drum Tower

While on the way back, we bike through the ancient symbol of Beijing – Drum Tower. The two-story tower is sure to bring you back to the old Beijing by seeing the big drum tower and having bird's eye view of the surrounding communities of hutongs and siheyuan. During the trip, I saw many rickshaws through the zigzag hutongs.

However the place I like best during the half day tour is Shichahai. It is said that Shichahai is the place best preserved with old Beijing style in the capital city where surrounded by many of the palaces and gardens, such as well preserved Christine Prince Residence, Prince Chun Residence, etc., the former residences of Soong Ching Ling and Guo Moruo also situated next to Shichahai. This area is also the original old Beijing's main business activity area. After hundreds of years of development, Shichahai accumulated different level of life culture up to the royal, literati and down to the ordinary people. The alley and courtyards here show the customs and culture of old Beijing, formed the composition of the old Beijing's history.

At present, along the lake shore, many modern bars are set up, which are good sites of entertainment and leisure. This night I will visit one of them to experience Beijing Nightlife. I hope I will enjoy a wonderful time there.

Exciting Bike Tour in Olympic Stadium

I have been to Beijing many years ago before 2008, so I didn't been to the famous Olympic Stadium. This time I choose the Half Day Tour to the Olympic Stadium during my short Beijing trip. Thanks to the good weather, the bike tour is full of enjoyment.

After lunch I began the bike tour. The whole Olympic Park is huge, may be a couple of miles or more from one end to the other. There is the Olympic Forest Park at the end, a large park with a big lake in the middle. There are also many petty dealers selling souvenirs along the street.

The Water Cube enjoys very charming scenery at night. But during the day time, it is not so attractive. The center is used for swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water-polo games during the Olympic Games 2008. After the games, the center turn into a large water recreational center open to the public. It is dubbed "cube" because of its semi-transparent "bubbles" spread out all over its surface with a shape very similar to the structure of "H2O".

Panoramic View of Bird Nest

While I like the Bird's Nest better. The Bird's Nest is an incredible structure and I was filled with awe when I remembered the Olympic history that was made there in 2008. The Bird's Nest was pretty impressive and along with the water cube were good fun to look around and explore. I really wanted to go inside the nest, especially after watching the opening ceremony in 2008. There was no entrance onto the running track unless you paid to ride on one of those standing up scooters. I didn't mind paying for it as I'd never been on one before!

The main area near the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube had many tourists all the times. Anything to north to the forest park is not that many people. There are many ginkgo trees for the landscape. Walking along the street with the sing: One World One Dream, how excellent feeling!

The 3 hours bike tour is over. I really have a wonderful time here. In the evening I would like to enjoy the traditional Peking Opera. I hope that will be perfect. Anyway, thank you very much to my experienced tour guide.

Short Journey in Summer Palace

Before coming to Beijing, my friends told me that the Summer Palace is the place really worth visiting with the most beautiful scenery. In the early morning I got to Beijing and after a short rest in my hotel, at about 2:00 pm I began my Half

Day Summer Palace Tour. Great, the trip didn't disappoint me. I really enjoy a happy time in the Imperial Garden.

The Summer Palace is located on the western edge of Beijing, between the fourth and fifth ring roads. I once thought that it is a very large palace, somewhat misleading in name, it is a big park. It is said that the Summer Palace is the largest and best preserved imperial garden of the Qing Dynasty extant in Beijing, as well as a famous classical imperial garden, covering an area of 290 hectares.

 

Bird Eye View

The tour guide told me that the Summer Palace was a place the emperor visited during the summer. When I got there, I could feel that it was cooler compared to Beijing City. So it is really a wonderful place for traveling in summer and autumn. There was a large lake in the middle of the Palace and a summer breeze from time to time made the walk refreshing. The bridge over the lake and the nicely decorated corridors were my favorite parts of the Palace. I really appreciate the designer. There's also a big boat on the bank of the lake made of marble that an empress built to take tea on. She built this with money she should have used to build a navy, and as a consequence, she lost the war. That's the story I've been told and I don't know whether it is true.

To my surprise there are so many temples on the hill. But you have to pay again to go into each temple! So I was cheapskate and just looked at them from the outside. All in all, the Summer Palace is virtually a museum of traditional Chinese garden arts that blends rocks, trees, pavilions, lakes, ponds, paths and other features to create a poetic effect between different scenes.

I really enjoy the scenery here and once came I lost myself in it. Thank you again to my kindly and experienced tour guide!

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