Hip and Cool Yandai Xie Street (烟袋斜街) In Beijing

Yandai Xie Street (烟袋斜街) is as hip as Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷). I have written a post on Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷), you can read it here. Yandai Xie Street has been awarded the Chinese Historical and Cultural Street. The second street with this title. The first was the Guozijian Street (国子监街).

Yandai Xie Street - Entrance
Yandai Xie Street – Entrance

The entrance to Yandai Xie Street is from Di’anmen Outer Street (地安门外大街).

There are lots of different souvenir shops. Each and every shops are selling different things. Lots of things to see, shop and buy.

There are bookshop, T-shirt shop, clay figurine shop and pub.

If you walk further you will reach Qianhai and Houhai. These are lakes. It is surrounded by pubs.

Pub By the lake
Pub By the lake

After the tiring strolling, you can drop by the pub for a drink and to enjoy the scenery. Some of the pub are really very cool and hip.

 

 

Yandai Xie Jie (烟袋斜街)

Yandai Xie Byway, Xicheng District
烟袋斜街, 西城区, 北京

Opening Hours

noon till late

Getting There

By Subway: Line 8 – Shichahai station (什刹海战)

Rating: 8/10

 

The Summer Palace in Beijing

Every places of interest in China is huge, so is the Summer Palace in Beijing. The place is so huge, you might have to spend at least 4 – 5 hours there to cover most of the park if not the entire day.

Within the summer palace, there are a few other places of interests. These “special” places of interest, has an entrance fee. So if you are interested to explore all of them, you might want to consider getting the combined ticket which will be more value for money.

By the side of the Summer Palace is the Kunming Lake. You can take a boat ride and view the serene, peaceful scenic view.

A View of Summer Palace
A View of Summer Palace

Every corner of the Summer Palace, you could find these intricate designs and arts.

Even on the ground, it is beautifully decorated with birds and flowers pictures from stones

Long Corridor
Long Corridor

The famous long corridor (长廊), is featured in many Chinese dramas, both produced from China and Taiwan.

Foxiangge Temple is on a hill. This is one of the “special” places of interest within the Summer Palace that has an extra charge. As it was on a hill, I didn’t want to climb the extra steps, so I skipped by the attraction.

I walked a little further, passing by a few gates in the palace and I am a little tire so I decided to end for visit by exiting the palace via the North Ruyi Gate

North Ruyi Gate
North Ruyi Gate

The Summer Palace is very scenic. It’s a pity that it is too crowded otherwise, it would have been perfect.

 

 

The Summer Palace (颐和园)
China, Beijing, Haidian, 新建宫门路19号
Tel: +86 10 6288 1144

Opening Hours

For Period 1 April to 31 October: Daily 0630 to 1800
For Period 1 November to 31 March (next year): Daily 0700 to 1700

Admission Fee:

For Period, 1 April to 31 October
Entrace Ticket for Adult: CNY 30
Combination Ticket: 60
DeHe Garden: CNY 5
Temple: CNY 10
Wenchang Hall: CNY 20
Suzhou Street and Danning Hall: CNY 10

For Period, 1 November to 31 March (next year)
Entrace Ticket for Adult: CNY 20
Combination Ticket: 50
DeHe Garden: CNY 5
Temple: CNY 10
Wenchang Hall: CNY 20
Suzhou Street and Danning Hall: CNY 10

Getting There

By Subway: Line 4 – Beigongmen station (北宫门站)

 

Tips: You may want to bring your own lunch and drinks and maybe a picnic mat. There are a few drinks and food kiosk in the Summer Palace and a few restaurants but these are in the centre of the Palace, so when you needed that drink you may not be able to get it.

Beijing Forbidden City, A Glimpse of History

I previously have a post on if you only have time for one attraction in Beijing, which will you choose, The Forbidden City or The Great Wall. The poll can be found here. I chose The Forbidden City for various reason. And now, there is one more reason why you should choose the Forbidden City instead. I recently read an article from Business Insider (if I remember correctly), China is going to restrict the number of visitors to the palace. If this is true, you got to act fast.

The Beijing Forbidden City is extremely huge. You won’t be able to comb the entire palace even within a day. Depending on how much and how detail do you want to tour the palace and plan accordingly. I spent only half a day in the palace.

There are two entrance into the palace, either entered from Wumen (午门)or via the North Gate (北门). I chose to get into the palace via the Wumen.

Floor Plan of Forbidden City (故宫平面图)
Floor Plan of Forbidden City (故宫平面图)

In the palace, there are many halls such as the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony, Hall of Preserved Harmony.

Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿)
Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿)

Each and every halls are used for different purpose and it is very elaborated decorated.

Not only is the hall richly decorated, within the palace, you could see bronze cranes, tortoises and lions. There are decorations on the roof, at the ceiling, everywhere.

Even the concubines are living in luxury. The Ci Xi Dowager Empress rooms are very westernised. There is even a piano. Wonder if Ci Xi played the piano or it is more of a ornament.


Within the palace, there is also a garden, with some pavilions and towers for the concubines and emperor to enjoy themselves.

Finally, I exited via the North Gate (北门).

Palace Museum North Gate (故宫博物馆北门)
Palace Museum North Gate (故宫博物馆北门)

As I exited the palace, I saw the Jing Shan Park. You should be able to spot the pavilion, like the one in the photo.

Looking towards JingShan Park
Looking towards JingShan Park

It was a very tiring half day. I have written a post on the Great Wall as well, to read, click here. So now what would you choose if you only have time for an attraction when in Beijing? The Great Wall or The Forbidden City. I would encourage my read to poll.

 

The Forbidden City (故宫)
China, Beijing, Dongcheng, 景山前街4号

Opening Hours

Tuesday – Sunday 0830 to 1600; Monday 0830 to 1100

Getting There

By Subway: Line 1 – Tiananmen East station (天安门东站)

Rating: 8/10

 

Tip: You may want to bring along some water. And if you are going to spend an entire day, you may want to bring some food or snack. Though there are food outlet but there are only a few and are located mainly in the centre of the palace.

Beijing Catholic Church Mass Schedule

There are about five catholic churches in Beijing. Most hold either Latin or Chinese mass. For English mass, only the South Church – Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin (宣武门南堂) in Xuanwu district. Below is the mass schedule

Continue reading Beijing Catholic Church Mass Schedule

Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷), A Hip Street in a Historical City, Beijing

Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷) is a very hip and cool street in Doncheng district, Beijing. Nanluoguxiang is also an area with hutong. Hutong is a must visit Continue reading Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷), A Hip Street in a Historical City, Beijing

Beijing Top Attraction, Forbidden City or Great Wall of China?

Most tourists who visit China would not want to miss either the Forbidden City (故宫) or the Great Wall of China (长城). Should you only have time to visit one attraction in China, which would you choose.  The Forbidden City (故宫) or Great Wall of China (长城)?

Many of my non-mainland China colleagues chose to visit Great Wall of China as most feel that it is a magnificent architecture of all times in history which they do not want to miss when they were in Beijing. When I asked the same question to my mainland China colleagues, which would they recommend. They unanimously chose Forbidden City. Their reasons were that the Great Wall of China is rather far from the city. It may takes more than an hour or two to reach the destination due to the unpredictable traffic condition. The Wall is just a piece of wall and nothing else, what you get will be probably nothing more than some exercise as you need to climb the steep, high steps.

Great Wall of China (长城)
Great Wall of China (长城)

As for the Forbidden City, Continue reading Beijing Top Attraction, Forbidden City or Great Wall of China?