travel

Beijing Day 4

Ni Hao!

Day 4 was another walkathon.  One thing I have realized since we have been here is that this City is massive.  Coming from San Francisco (which would fit in one of the many districts here), getting around takes a little time.   We had two major destinations today: the Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square (and surrounding areas).

The Summer Palace sits on the outskirts of Beijing and was used by the Emperor’s family and other royalty during the warmer months as a get away destination from Beijing (pretty self explanatory). It is a massive enclave with temples and gardens around a massive lake. We couldn’t have picked a better day to go.  It was warmer outside and crystal clear.   We discovered that if you enter the temples from the back entrance, you avoid almost all of the crowds.  Most of the tourist utilize the front entrance. To do this we had to climb a massive hill to the backside of the temple.  The one thing that always amazes me here is how active the older folks are.  As we were huffing and puffing up this hill, we passed several 85+ year old chinese women trucking slowly up the mountain path.  Incredible!   I hope we are as lucky when we get to that age.   The view from the top was amazing. You Look over the palace grounds an onto to Beijing.   The temple at the top had a Buddhist scuplture with several families offering their prayers. There was one family in there that had some clout, because the temple was closed off from others while the family offered their prayers.  It was pretty interesting watching the grandfather instructing his grandsons the proper way to offer prayer.  Once the family was finished, we were all allowed to enter the temple.  We spent the remainder of the time walking around the palace grounds.

2nd part of the day was spent walking around Tiananmen Square, which apparently is the largest public square in the world.  It seems everything here is the largest or biggest in the world.  They are very competitive here. The square was surrounded with government buildings and propaganda. The crowd control and security was pretty intense given there was Party meetings being held at the meetings.

I hope you enjoy the photos!

Click here for the slideshow