DAY FOUR –
Hotel Kapok Beijing is a boutique hotel located near the Forbidden City. When you leave the hotel, turn left and go straight. It takes you about 10 minutes of walk to get to the East Gate of the Forbidden City. However, visitors are not allowed to get in the site through East Gate, visitors need to follow the path to the ticket office which is located at the main entrance of the Forbidden City. You will find that not only the location of the hotel is great, but the price and the service are great as well. The hotel room is very clean (really clean, I mean it), modern and comfortable. There are free drinks placed on the tea table to welcome visitors as well. Also, the staffs are quite helpful and friendly. They always wear a warm smile on the face. It cost only RMB$600.00 per night during Spring Festival.
Behind us is the east side of the Forbidden City. Walking on the sidewalk, you can see some people selling souvenirs for RMB$2.00 or $3.00.
The day that we successfully got in the Forbidden City was the 6th day of Chinese New Year. Comparing it to the day that we attempted to visit Forbidden City, at the 4th day of Chinese New Year, fewer people were queuing for tickets in that morning. So, we were able to get in easily and more quickly.
I was lucky that I was able to have a picture of myself in the frame alone without anyone joining me in the photo.
In this picture, you can see visitors were heading to the doorway to take a look at some precious items displaying inside the hall.
Behind me, it is one of the two biggest clocks displaying in the Clock and Watch Exhibition Hall. It is a Chime Clock, and it was made during the Qing Dynasty by the royal clockmakers.
Most of the watches and mocks are mostly made in Switzerland, England, France, the United States and Japan. Also, there are some Chinese made timepieces on the display. To enter the Clock and Watch Exhibition Hall, you have to pay an extra fee which cost RMB$10.00/per person.
This is the picture which was taken after we left the site and looked back at the outside wall of the Forbidden City. It was already 1 o’clock in the afternoon. We spent nearly 2 hours and half in the Forbidden City only for a rough visit. If you are a person who enjoys looking at details, the time you need for visit would be a bit longer.
This photo shows that the Samadhi Vegetarian Restaurant and Teahouse, located at the 2nd floor of Shifanghaoting, no. 16 Xinyuan Nanlu, is closed during Spring Festival. We came to the restaurant by a taxi, 20 minutes of drive, and it cost us RMB$100.00. We thought that taking a taxi would get us faster to the destination than taking a subway train, as the time required to walk to the subway station, wait for the train, change line and walk all the way to the restaurant, would at least takes 1 hour.
The restaurant is closed. We had to look for another place for lunch.
About 5 minutes of walk, we found a small restaurant serving noodles.
The closest subway station of this area is Liangmaqiao Station (subway line number 10).
We took subway train and got off at Yonghegong Station (subway line number 2), and went to the Wudaoying Hutong.
I like this place as it has more old and traditional Chinese houses.
The warm light hitting the surface of the houses made the atmosphere here more interesting and nostalgic.
I wish those flowers were fresh flowers.
I find it funny. Can you read that?
“Must Wear Defense Mask” (if you need to go inside the toilet)
This is the street which leads you to the entrance of Imperial College. We were late. It is closed when we arrived.
There is a nice vegetarian restaurant located not far away from the Chongwenmen Station. Even if you never want to be a vegetarian, the restaurant, Gongdelin, will definitely add good impressions to your trip in Beijing.
This little map shows the fastest walking route from Chongwenmen Station to Gongdelin Vegetarian Restaurant (功德林). It takes only 10 minutes of walk. Walking distance is only 500 mm.
This is Lo Han Zhai that we ordered (羅漢齋).
This is sweet and sour pork (酸甜骨).
Yam with blueberry juice (山藥配藍莓汁).
Coconut milk pumpkin cakes (椰奶南瓜糕).
It cost an average RMB$100.00 per person.
After dinner, we took subway train and got off at Qianmen Station to Da Shan Lan Street.
Da Shan Lan Street (大栅欄) is a shopping street surrounded by famous traditional Chinese stores and old buildings. I visited Da Shan Lan Street in the evening. The atmosphere created by the street lights and the surrounded old buildings is magical. Walking on the street, it is like travel back in time to the old Beijing in the period of more than three centuries ago.
You can find souvenirs here with reasonable price.
Travel Tip: By subway, go to Qianmen Station via subway line number 2 (RMB$2.00), exit C, walk to the bus parking area, then follow the sign post on the street to “大栅欄”. Located not far away from the subway station, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes of walk to the destination.
DAY FIVE –
Got up early in the morning, checked-out the hotel and walked to the nearest subway station to catch a subway train to the airport.
Travel tip: Subway line number 1, then transfer at Jianguomen Station, get off at Dongzhimen Station. After that, you can see the airport express train station to Terminal 2 and 3.
Subway train fee: RMB$2.00/per person
Airport express fee: RMB$25.00/per person
– The End –
Camera: Iphone 4S + Canon 500D