Four-day tour in Beijing

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As the capital of China, Beijing is blessed with long history, splendid culture and profound heritage; at the same time, the mountains and rivers and countless sceneries in Beijing are beautiful in all seasons! Then how to plan your trip to Beijing? Tourists visiting Beijing for the first time may have such worries. In order to make it more convenient for you to travel in Beijing, we will present you with the Beijing “N Day Tour” series of travel tips. The travel tips for your fourth day in Beijing is as follows:

Three Day Tour For travel tips, please click here

The Temple of Heaven

Locating on the east side outside the Zhengyang Gate, the Temple of Heaven is where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for good harvest. The altar is round in the north and square in the south, referring to heaven and earth respectively. Two altar walls are built around the circumference, dividing the whole altar into inner and outer parts, with a total area of 273 hectares. The main buildings are concentrated on the inner altar.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

The inner temple is also partitioned by a wall into north and south groups of buildings. The north structure is the Altar of Praying for Bumper Crops with the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests as the principal building used to pray in spring for a bumper harvest in the year. The south structure is the Circular Mound Altar used to worship Heaven at the winter solstice where the principal construction is a large round marble terrace named the Circular Mound. The two altars, connected by a 360-metre-long raised walk called the Red Step Bridge, are arranged in a line forming a north-south axis 1,200 metres long, and flanked by century-old cypresses in a spacious area.

The Red Step Bridge (Danbiqiao)

The Circular Mound (Yuanqiu)

To the inner south of the West Celestial Gate is the Abstinence Hall where the feudal emperors observed abstention before the rituals. In the western part of the outer temple locates the Divine Music Administration, which was in charge of the teaching and performance of the ritual music. In the Temple of Heaven are situated such main buildings as the Hall of Prayer for Good harvests, the Hall of Heavenly Emperor, the Circular Mound, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Abstinence Hall, the Beamless Hall, the Long Corridor, the Longevity Pavilion in a double ring shape as well as the Echo Wall, the Three Echo Stones, and the Seven Meteoric Stones.

The Abstinence Hall

The Echo Wall is the wall surrounding the Imperial Vault of Heaven. The arc of the Wall is very regular, with smooth and tidy surface, creating a refraction of regular sound waves. As long as two people stand behind the East and West Temples against the wall, when one person speaks towards the north, the sound waves will continue to refract along the wall and reach the other end one or two hundred meters away. No matter how low the voice is, people on the other side can hear very clearly, and the voice would last long. Due to this funny fact, this wall got its name as the Echo Wall.

The Echo Wall

Built first in 1420(the 18th year of Emperor Yongle’s reign of the Ming Dynasty), and then expanded and reconstructed during the Ming Emperor Jiajing’s reign and Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign, the Temple of Heaven is a grand and magnificent masterpiece of architecture with a formal and solemn environment. Since the founding of New China, the government has allotted a great sum of money to protect and restore the cultural monuments there. The Temple of Heaven with its long history, deep cultural content and magnificent architectural style mirrors the ancient culture of the Orient.

Century-old cypresses

A masterpiece of the Ming and Qing architectural art and a precious example of China’s ancient architecture, the Temple of Heaven is the largest architectural group for worshipping Heaven in the world. In 1961, it was listed by the State Council as “K Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level”. Then in 1998, it was recognized by the UNESCO as “World Heritage Site”.

Opening hour:

Park Gate: High season (April 1 to October 31): 6:00-21:00; Low season (November 1 to March 31 of the following year): 6:30- 21:00; Time for clearance: 22:00;

Tourist Attractions: (Including the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Echo Wall, the Circular Mound and the Divine Music Administration) High season: 8:00-17:30; low season: 8:00-17:00; Opening hours for North Divine Kitchen, North Animal-Killing Pavilion and the Abstinence Hall are: 9:00-12:00 am and 13:00-16:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

Ticket information:

High season: Tickets: 15 yuan, discount tickets: 7.5 yuan; combined tickets: 34 yuan, discount combined tickets: 17 yuan;

Low season: Tickets: 10 yuan, discount tickets: 5 yuan; combined tickets: 28 yuan, discount combined tickets: 14 yuan;

Tourist Attractions: the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Echo Wall Circular Mound: Tickets: 20 yuan, discount tickets: 10 yuan; the Divine Music Administration: tickets: 10 yuan, discount tickets: 5 yuan; North Divine Kitchen, North Animal-Killing Pavilion, the Abstinence Hall: get your ticket by showing your ID card at the corresponding ticket exchange office to enter.

Traffic:

East Gate: Take Bus 6, 34, 35, 36, 39, 43, 60, 116, 128, 525, 623 or 684 and get off at Tiantan East Gate Station, or get off at Metro Line 5 Tiantan East Gate Station through Exit A.

South Gate: Take Bus 36, 53, 122, 525, 958, Special 11, Special 12, Night 20 inner circle, or Yuntong 102 and get off at Tiantan South Gate Station.

North Gate: Take Bus 6, 34, 35, 36, 72, 106, 110, or Night 11 Road and get off at Tiantan North Gate Station.

West Gate: Take Bus 2, 20, 36, 53, 120, Night 2, or Night 17 to get off at Tiantan West Gate Station.

Address: No. 7, Tiantan Nei Dongli, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Postcode: 100061

Tel: 010-67012483 (daytime); 010-67013036 (at night)

2. The National Museum

The predecessor of the National Museum of China can be traced back to the preparatory office of the National History Museum established in 1912. In 2003, according to the decision of the central government, the Chinese History Museum and the Chinese Revolution Museum were merged into the National Museum of China. The new hall has a total area of 70,000 square meters, 42.5 meters high, with 5 floors above ground, 2 floors underground, and 48 exhibition halls in total. The construction area is nearly 200,000 square meters, making it the largest museum with a single building area in the world.

The National Museum of China has a collection of more than 1.4 million pieces, covering ancient and modern cultural relics, well-preserved ancient books, artworks and other categories. Among the 815,000 pieces (sets) of ancient cultural relics, 340,000 pieces (sets) of modern cultural relics, more than 240,000 pieces (books) of well-preserved ancient books, there are a total of nearly 6,000 first-grade cultural relics (sets). In recent years, especially since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the National Museum of China has stepped up the collection of representative material evidence reflecting the revolutionary culture and contemporary advanced culture, and has publicly collected collections of cultural relics. On average, about 50 ancient cultural relics and more than 1,000 sets of contemporary cultural relics, real objects and artworks.

The National Museum of China exhibition includes three series, i.e. basic, themed, and temporary exhibitions, forming a three-dimensional exhibition system covering domain, basic, themed and temporary exhibitions. Among them, “Ancient China”, “the Road of Rejuvenation” and “the Road of Rejuvenation in the New Era” are the basic exhibitions. The National Museum is also the important site of promoting China’s excellent traditional culture, revolutionary culture, advanced socialist culture, and cultivating and practicing the core values of socialism.

Themed exhibitions are mainly based on the cultural relics in the collection, including more than ten themed exhibitions such as ancient Chinese bronzes, Buddha statues, jade, porcelain, national rituals, modern classic works of art, and African wood carvings. Temporary exhibitions include two categories: self-planned exhibitions and imported exchange exhibitions, covering historical culture, high-quality cultural relics, archaeological discoveries, classic art works, regional culture and international exchanges. More than 40 exhibitions are held annually.

How to visit: All visitors should make appointments with their real-name (by time slot). The total number of appointments is 30,000 per day, and the registration portal will be closed when this limit is reached.

Opening hours: Open at 9:00, entering is stopped at 16:00, visitors should leave at 16:30, and the Museum is closed at 17:00. The closing hour is extended to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and the Museum is closed every Monday.

Traffic:

Bus: Tiananmen East Station: 1, 2, 52, 82, 120, sightseeing line 2, tourist bus line 1, tourist bus line 2

Metro Line: Metro Line 1 Tiananmen East Station: Exit C and D

Tel: 010-65116400 (9:00-16:00)

Address: East of Tiananmen Square, 16 East Chang’an Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing

3. Huguosi Snack Street

Travelling to Beijing, if you want to try some traditional Beijing snacks, Huguosi Street must be your first choice. The key point is that the delicious food on this food street are not expensive. You can spoil yourself with only 100 yuan.

Huguosi Hutong Snack Street (Head restaurant of Huguosi)

Huguosi Snack is a classic representative of local snacks in Beijing. It is also a well-known China Time-honored Brand. The snacks here gather the essence of Beijing-style snacks, including more than 80 varieties such as Aiwowo (steamed cone-shaped cake made of glutinous rice or millet with sweet filling), Lvdagun (pastry made of steamed glutinous millet flour or soy bean flour mixed with sugar), Wandouhuang (pea flour cake), Sazi Mahua (steamed bread twist), Matuan (sesame balls), Douzhir (fermented bean drink), Jiaoquan (deep fried dough roll), Miancha (seasoned millet mush) and so on. You can have a taste of almost all traditional Beijing snacks you can think of!

Address: No. 93 Huguosi Street (opposite People’s Theatre)

Tel: 010-66181705

Fuhuazhai Chinese Pastry Shop

It is said that the old man who made dim sum in Fuhuazhai once served in the Royal Kitchen before, and cooked for the Empress Dowager Cixi. At all cost of time and materials, he creating pastries that could meet the requirements of the royal family.

The pastries selling now are based on the original recipe that he once created. Some of Fuhuazhai’s pastry is sold piece by piece, some plate by plate. People can also buy half a plate if they want. The price nut expensive, and the pastries won’t taste too sweet.

Address: No. 85 Huguosi Street, Huguosin Xintiandi, 1st Floor

Tel: 010-83229001

Huifeng Doornail Meat Pie

The predecessor of the Huifeng Doornail Meat Pie is the legendary “Heyizhai”, which opened in 1927, making it almost a century-old restaurant! Doornail meat pie, fried liver, meat in broth. It is the only restaurant selling fried pork sausage. No wonder the doornail meat pie is the featured food here: its golden shell is so crispy that beyond imagination, and you can just taste that the beef filling is of very good quality. It is deliciously salty and succulent without any unpleasant smell. Accompanied by some spring onions, the beef fragrant but not greasy.

Address: No. 67-69 Huguosi Street

Tel: 010-83223298

Huatian Xinchuan Noodle Restaurant (Huguosi Branch)

Xinchuan Noodle House is an absolute time-honoured brand. For Beijing locals, it seems to be more than a noodle restaurant, but a taste of memory!

One of the special features of the cold noodles here is that in addition to the slightly sweet taste at the beginning, the sauce is mixed with a light mustard spicy taste. In the hot summer days, it’s more than comfortable to enjoy a bowl of sesame sauce noodles mixed with mustard, served with sweet and sour and spicy cucumber sticks!!

Address: No. 77 Huguosi Street (Xinjiekou South Avenue East)

Tel: 010-83281303

We should never forget another traditional food in old Beijing - Baodu (quick-fried tripe). On this street, Old Baodu Man is the place to go for a try.

Huguosi street is not just about food. It has already became a famous commercial street in Beijing during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Traces of history of the past 800 years can be found on this street.

Huguosi Street is bordered by Mianhua Hutong, with Huguosi and other well-established snacks on its west, and Meilanfang’s former residence and other courtyards on its east.

Throughout history, the temple fair on Huguosi Street was very popular. Now, following Dashilan and Liulichang, it is another re-planned Beijing-style cultural street where tradition merges with fashion. Mei Lanfang’s former residence locates near the east end of the street, covering an area of 716 square meters. Mei Lanfang had spent the last 10 years of his life in this quiet and peaceful courtyard.

Prince Qing’s Mansion, which have witnessed the story of the Qing Dynasty, is also located here. Prince Qing I was the famous Yong Lin in the TV series. Prince Qing’s Mansion used to be owned by He Shen. Later, the Mansion itself has also moved for several times, and now there’s another Prince Qing’s Mansion in Tianjin.

Huguosi Hotel is a Hutong-themed tourist hotel, and is one of the iconic buildings in this old Beijing Hutong. Staying here, you can not only experience the Hutong culture, but also enjoy the short distance to Beijing’s popular attractions and commercial areas.

Quadrangle, Prince’s Mansion, Hutong... pastries, private cuisines and all kinds of food. Huguosi Street is a place full of food as well as history.

Address: Huguosi Street, Xicheng District, Beijing

Transportation: walking-distance from Exit B of Ping’anli Station of Metro Line 4 and Line 6.

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