Thousands of people travel to the capital City of China every year. It is known worldwide for its unique culture and unbelievable 30+ centuries of written history. In sharp contrast is the fact that this ever-growing city has become known as the center of an ever growing haven for the artistic expression of the young! A beautiful mixture of ancient history and the new modern culture, existing together, a marriage of what was and what is yet to be. An INCREDIBLE vacation experience that can only be seen to be appreciated!
Beijing – The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is home to the Imperial Palace of China. It was constructed in 1406 and took over 14 years to complete. Today there are over 980 buildings that have survived throughout the centuries and together they are nearly 8,000,000 square feet. The true “heart” of all of China! Most of the buildings are made of wood and are surrounded by a moat with numerous gardens surrounding them. Truly beautiful ancient Chinese design. A true vacation destination.
Houhai Lake District
Located close to Tiananmen Square. It is locally referred to as the “back lake” and is known for its multitude of bars, restaurants, coffee houses and wonderful boutiques. Modern and “hip” and yet you can still hire a rickshaw to ride over the cobbled streets and beautiful arched bridges! Be sure to visit Lotus Lane and the best known bar in the area known as “No Name”! There is no actual address but it is near the Yinding Bridge and is made of wood and covered in vines!
The world renowned Peking Opera! Truly unique with its beautiful costumes and elaborate makeup. Unchanged since the 18th century it is well known for realistic fight scenes and incredible stunts. Accompanied with traditional music and dancing from an age long ago. Many Chinese operas are reflections of actual historical events presented in either a comical or tragic venue. Truly an experience like no other! Best seen at the 340 year old Zhengyici Theatre. This is the oldest and most authentic Peking opera in the Forbidden City!
The Beijing Art Museum of the Imperial City is a must see! Home of thousands of ancient paintings, bronze and jade creations spanning over 2,000 years in time, carvings, pottery, and even actual Buddhist scriptures! People travel from all over the world to see this museum. It is located in the Wanshou Temple and was built in 1577! Today it boasts some modern art displays as well, a wonderful combination of the old and the new!
Peking duck – a national food of China! Traditionally prepared by cooking in an open flame wooden oven and being sliced while you watch! Served with hoisin sauce and spring onions on very thinly sliced crepes. AWESOME! The Duck de Chine restaurant is located in 1949 the Hidden City and is reputed to have the best Peking duck in town and no vacation would be complete without it!