Many palaces too.
10.04.2005 - 13.04.2005
Sun 10. Train arrives Beijing 12 hours later having travelled 1500 Km. Chartered bus to the hotel and breakfast. The local guide escorts us to Tiananmen Square (closed for special event) and the Forbidden City - just enormous and impossible to describe. Lunch and rickshaw ride through the 'houtons' - traditional courtyard dwellings, not many left. After dinner “The Legend of Kung Fu” show, great seats and fantastic performance.
Mon 11. Chartered bus to visit The Great Wall at Jinshanling (3 hour drive - very hairy trip), climbed the Wall and walked (scrambled) along about 500 meters out and back. Just incredible structure and enormous scale. Beijing Duck Dinner - fantastic.
Tue 12 The local guide takes us on a tour of the Summer Palace - surrounds a huge lake which was dug out to create a hill - home of the “Marble Boat”, 1400 paintings along the covered 300 m walkway. Lunch - we needed it, feet have been worn down to stumps. Finish this off with a walk through the Temple of Heaven - a huge park, 285 ha with spectacular buildings, each one more magnificent than the last. Final night farewell dinner. It is almost over.
Wed 13. The end of the tour we're on our own. Visit the Silk Market - five floors of BARGAINS. Our bags are already fully stuffed but we manage to buy some last minute trinkets. Lunch and back to the hotel to do the final packing, early to bed.