We got up very early the next day, mum woke like 5am. I thought it was already 8 or 9am when I was ready, in fact it was only 6am in the morning. Gosh, what to do at this early hour…we leaved hotel and headed to the tourist spot anyway…
It was still quite and peaceful in the morning, from the hotel to the main road, it took like 10 minutes. We walked back and forth everyday during the stay in Lu Song Yuan, far from the public transport but food can be easily obtained from this happening night out area.
The forbidden city has not opened by the time we reached. So we walked across the street and there was the Jingshan Park (景山公园). It cost RMB2 to enter the park.
It used to be a Royal Garden during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
A few snaps of picture in front of 神武门
before we headed to Jingshan Park =)
South entrance to the Royal Garden …
The last emperor of the Ming Dynasty Ming Wei Zong (明威宗)
or Zhu You Jian (朱由检) committed suicide in Jingshan Park after Li Zi Cheng ( 李自成) captured Beijing. This is the tree where he hanged himself.
We climbed up to Million Chunting (万春亭) afterward, it is located in the middle of the peak top of Jingshan.
After the park visit, we went into Forbidden city sharp at 8:30am. The entrance fees cost RMB60, and we rented a audio guide (rental: RMB10, deposit: RMB100). With the use of the audio guide, we have a better understanding of the places we passed through in the forbidden city. As forbidden city is really HUGE! You will feel meaningly without knowing what and who was every hall for. Well, all of them sounds familiar with the influence of TVB drama:
1. 太和殿（the Hall of Supreme Harmony）
It is the largest hall within the Forbidden City. Together with the Hall of Central Harmony and Hall of Preserving Harmony, the three halls constitute the heart of the Outer Court of the Forbidden City. In the Ming Dynasty, the Emperor held court here to discuss affairs of state. During the Qing Dynasty, the Hall of Supreme Harmony was only used for ceremonial purposes. e.g. weddings.
2. 中和殿（the Hall of Central Harmony）
It was used by the Emperor to prepare and rest before and during ceremonies
3. 保和殿（the Hall of Preserving Harmony）
It was used for rehearsing ceremonies, and was also the site of the final stage of the Imperial examination.
4. 乾清宫（Palace of Heavenly Purity）
It is the largest of the 3 halls of the Inner Court (the other two: the Hall of Union and the Palace of Aearthly Tranquilty), located at the northern end of the Forbidden City. During the Qing dynasty, the palace often served as the Emperor’s audience hall, where he held council with the Grand Council.
5. 交泰殿 (Hall of Union)
Stored here are the twenty-five Imperial Seals of the Qing Dynasty, as well as other ceremonial items, including the clocks that set the official time in the palace (first a water clock, later a mechanical clock, both still displayed in the hall).
6. 坤宁宫 (Palace of Earthly Tranquility)
The wedding ceremony would be held in the main room, and afterwards the Emperor and Empress would retire to one of these rooms.
Wang Fu Jin Snack Street is not too far from the forbidden city. With the convenience of Beijing subway service, we traveled from Tiananmen Dong to Wang Fu Jin. Deep fried insects, scorpions, and sea creatures can be found, also smelly tofu, meat kebabs and crispy sugar-coated fruit （haws, yam, cherry, etc.） on a stick (Bing Tang Hu Lu, 冰糖葫芦). I like cherry the best!
All sort of fried food, the price range from RMB5-10. Some rare creatures will be more expensive, like sea stars and scorpions. The seller will grill or fried it on the spot when u put in order.
This is one of my favourite drink in Beijing, it contains yoghurt and honey, bought it in Wang Fu Jin Snack Street at RMB3, can be cheaper in other places .
I found Gou Bu Li Bao Zi (狗不理包子) in Beijing!
After lunch in Wang Fu Jin, we traveled by subway line 10 to Bei Tu Cheng station (北土城站), from there, it is just a walking distance to the very popular “Bird Nest” (鸟巢)
and “Water Cube” (水立方)
. Subway cost only RMB2 per entry, no matter where you travel to.
After the olympics stadium visit, we headed back to the hotel. On the way back, we passed by Gu Lou (鼓楼) area.
Yummy Smelly Tofu
Saw a queue of line waiting for HOT CAKES! So, we joined the queue =p Bought a lot of cream puffs. In fact it was too much that we were unable to finish.