Stepping off the plane in Beijing, China I am greeted with a sense of conflict. The old world meets new. It’s antique yet up-to-the-minute. The architecture holds history of an era past, mixed with space-aged buildings.
Chinatours.com operate on the ground in China and offer English speaking guides to help you navigate around the language barriers. Jason is my guide for this journey amongst some 1.3 billion locals into the People’s Republic of China.
Mesmerised and wide-eyed in the world’s oldest civilization mixed with modern head-spinning pace, my journey begins exploring the legends and myths of the Forbidden City.
There is a sense of wonder about this place, thick with history of dynasty’s past in glorified space and structures depicting such strength and power. Submitting to the charm of this foreign land, I let myself get carried away by the stories told by my guide Jason.
The Tiananmen, Tian’anmen or Gate of Heavenly Peace is a famous monument in Beijing and a widely used as a national symbol. It is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. First built during the Ming Dynasty in 1420, Tiananmen is often referred to as the front entrance to the Forbidden City.
Having a guide makes the journey much easier and I wouldn’t recommend visiting without the help from one. The visit to Tiananmen and the Forbidden City is followed by a short rickshaw ride through the streets of Beijing before sampling some of the local life and food.
Chinatours.com likes to show you the real China, so lunch is experienced locally in a Chinese family’s house. A selection of culinary delights satisfies my hunger and it is a perfect opportunity to talk to the family and see their way of life.
The afternoon is rounded off by a visit to the Summer Palace. Known as the Gardens of Nurtured Harmony, the Summer Palace is a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. Mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake, it covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water.
The sun begins to set on the day and after a tiring trip through the brutal Beijing traffic, I reach the Mercure Beijing Downtown, eager to get my head down for some well needed rest.
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