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My Forbidden City Tour - (1)

After long terms' plan, I have really visited the Forbidden City today. First in my sight was the Tiananmen Tower, hanging a picture of Chair Mao, who had been the leader of China. He looked so kind. Just out of the Forbidden City, it crowded with a large number of tourists in different colors. So, I thought this big courtyard is more attractive than that in my thought.

Entering this tower, my tour guide told me the round situations of the Forbidden City, and I understand the real meaning of the "Forbidden City". Walked into the Meridian Gate with the people river and walked over the Jinshui Bridge, I saw a pair of copper lions stands in the front of Taihe Men. They are so grand that I feel their pressure. According to the tour guide, lion was the symbol of noble in ancient China. They were arranged here means the determination of protecting the imperial power. Also, the Taihe Men has a story that the emperor built the first three palaces, but after three months, they were burned. So the emperor thought his idea touched the power of Chinese gods, so he just heard the ideas of courtiers without any shelter. It is the origin of Yumen Tingzhen – the door to state affairs.

Hall of Supreme Harmony

After this door, I saw the true palace – Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Dian in Chinese). This palace is the largest palace in Forbidden City in the highest level. 18 different bronze tripods are also the symbol of protecting imperial power, and obviously the Chinese emperors pay great attention to their power. Besides these things can be seen, the small decoration also attracted me lots. 11 small animals on the corners of top are big influence on that time. More animals, higher level, thus it can be seen the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the most important palace in these palaces. Inner of the palace, almost everywhere is carved golden dragon, show the status of the emperor. Along with my route, I would get more information about this big courtyard, every palace, every spots. Entering the imperial harem, the most interesting was the Chuxiu Gong – used as the living palace for concubines. The Queen Dowager Cixi had lived here and burned the Tongzhi Emperor.

However, due to the time, I had to end this tour. Even though I had not completed the Forbidden City tour, it left me deep impression in my Beijing tour.

Beihai Park Leisure

In order to get some different feelings during our third Beijing tour, we decided to join the group of Beijing Night Bike Tour. That really worth, it is wonderful beyond our imagination.

Outside looking the Forbidden, we still felt the strong imperial power spread through it. It is hard to sum up the Forbidden City. The scenery around Shichahai Lake is much more attractive. During the bike tour, our tour guide told us that Beihai Park enjoys very beautiful scenery which is the place really worth visiting especially in summer. So our final park to visit in Beijing was Beihai Park. The night scenery in Beijing is charming, with all the lights shining along Changan Street, we got a wonderful feeling.

Beihai Park Scenery

Sunshine welcomed us this morning as we awoke with our early bird children. Start our tour to Beihai! It is across from Jingshan Park and the Forbidden City, but much larger. A huge lake is situated in the middle of it and it is much more expensive to get in that Jingshan. There is a massive lake in the middle, where there are boats taking people to an island in the centre and you can take boats out yourselves (we didn't since our legs are a bit sore from yesterday and didn't think we could stand the peddling). The centre piece of the park is the White Dagoda, which was built as a symbol for the belief of Buddhism. The children and I climbed up to more spectacular views of the city. After this, we wandered around the lake and then found a bench to rest on. The Bonsai trees are huge, when I think of the tiny one we used to have and killed, it is amazing how they maintain them.

There were also people chanting, dancing and playing instruments throughout the park. Especially elderly people are out in the parks every morning enjoying all different sorts of activities.

Thanks to the sunny fine weather, we took a lot of beautiful pictures and enjoyed a lot of fun during Beijing trip. Anyway thank you very much to our tour guide Lily. Her flexible advices did help us a lot.

Summer Vacation on Mutianyu Great Wall

Without visiting the Great Wall is as if you were not visit China. Tours usually get to go to the Badaling section of the Great Wall and they even take you to the Ming Tombs on the way so kind of understand the package deal people take. However we prefer to the private tour to Mutianyu Great Wall far away from the downtown with less tourists. Yes, we made a right choice. Here we did not see any groups of tourists organized by the travel agencies. Though nearly 3 hours driving, it worthwhile!

Cable Car on Mutianyu

We took the cable car to the Great Wall and started out at around watchtower 14 and our goal was to get to the tower 1, as these Watchtowers are high up the mountain that will give us the best view.  We walked and walked and walked, amazed by the scenery. We made tons of jokes, and took some fun pictures as well. Tons and tons and tons of steep steps to climb… what a challenge! Breathing extremely hard, in and out, I almost didn't make it to the terminal. Getting up from Tower 2 to 1 in 1 shot with no break was a huge accomplishment in my eyes, as I really had to push myself. By the time we got to Tower 2, I was really struggling and completely cursing my skinny little legs! We had to stop every 10 steps to catch our breath, but we eventually made it up. We had to physically crawl up the final 10 steps which were huge and almost vertical. It was comforting seeing the other people around us struggling as much! Standing on the top of Tower 1, we took in the amazing 360 degree view, caught our breath and patted ourselves on the backs for making it. This had been a dream of mine for several years...and I had made it come true now. So inspired to live my best life I cannot really convey the excellent feelings accurately in words. Only my heart knew, glowed warmly within me. I tried to be in the moment as much as I could...just living now and savoring the excellent experience.

Grand View on Mutianyu

You can imagine smiles at our faces as we walked the 3 km up and down the wall, admiring views on the way and generally enjoying this masterpiece of defense architecture. We aimed to stay till the sun set to get the real feel of it.

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