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24 hours travel in Beijing

06-24-2011 11:29 BJT

Beautiful, world-renowned historic attractions like the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Summer Palace attract tourists to Beijing every year. These should be on your list of must-see places in Beijing, but after you've checked those off, there are still many more spots to put on your list. This 24-hour guide to Beijing includes some of the known tourist attractions, but allows you to see a side of the city that you might have not found before. To make a complete day, possibly without sleep, here are several restaurants, three markets, two historical sites, parks, and a spa to relax at the end of a busy day in China's capital city.

How to: See Beijing in 24 hours

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. -- Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven. [China.org.cn]

The Temple of Heaven, a well-known attraction, is a wonderful example of Chinese architecture and is the largest complex of ancient sacrificial buildings. The Ming and Qing emperors would make offerings here in hopes of a good harvest. The temple is most recognizable by its splendid, blue-roofed wooden tower. It is located in the southeastern part of Beijing, and is a great location to go to in the morning. You can find many people out practicing Taiji, playing cards, or singing songs in front of the temple which creates a unique atmosphere from other attractions. You can also find many cypress trees surrounding the temple and some are more than 600 years old. With its soothing atmosphere and beautiful colors, the Temple of Heaven should be at the top of your list of things to do in Beijing.

Tips:

Time needed: 2 hours

Entry Fee: All-inclusive ticket: 35 yuan/ Entrance to park only: 15 yuan

(Get an all-inclusive ticket into the park. Without it you will need to pay an additional 20 yuan to get into each building.)

Hours: Daily 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.; ticket booth closes 4:30pm

Directions: Take the subway Line 5 to the Tiantan Dongmen stop.

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. -- Hongqiao Market

Hongqiao Market. [Baidu.com]

The Hongqiao Pearl Market, located just east of the Temple of Heaven, is a great place to look for ocean and freshwater pearls. This five-story building offers more than just pearls, and the many vendors can be intimidating at first. They can offer you anything from tea, silk, toys, shoes, purses, souvenirs, and jewelry. The first floor contains more digital goods, such as watches, clocks, ipods and accessories, and adapters. The second floor offers clothes, shoes and bags. When moving to the third floor you will find jade works, pearls, tea sets, and other souvenirs. The fourth and fifth floor consists of higher end jewelry that's more expensive than the jewelry found on the third, but tends to be more authentic.

Tips:

Time needed: 1.5 hours

Remember you can bargain for everything, even if it is only a tenth of the first asking price.

Entry Fee: Free

Opening Hours: Daily 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Directions: Subway Line 5 to Tiantan Dongmen and take exit A. The market will be found on your right.

12 p.m to 1 p.m. -- Liulichang (Antiques Street)

An antiques store at the Liulichang Antiques Street. [China.org.cn]

The Antiques Street is well known for its collection of ancient books, calligraphy, paintings, rubbings, ink and ink stones. There are also shops for paper, scroll-mounting, book-binding, and the stone-carving templates. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, many scholars gathered at Liulichang to write and compile books. It became well known as a place to discuss culture and write poetry. The street was refurbished in the 1980s to become more pedestrian-friendly and is now a well-recognized antique market.

Tips:

Time needed: 1 hour

Entry Fee: Free

Operating Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Directions: Take Line 2 to station to the Hepingmen stop.


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