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Thursday, 2 January 2014

8 Days in Beijing - Day 2 (part 1)

Travel date:  13.12.2013

This post is a continuation from Day 1, click HERE.


DAY 2 highlights -
Tian An Men 天安门 and Royal Palace故宫


Day started at 7am.

Dusty pink cap - a china departmental store at Pearl Centre
Fleece turtle neck - Uniqlo
White shorts - Osmose
Stockings - wearing Uniqlo inside, outer cream from Taobao
Cream fur boots - Taobao
Wool dress jacket - bought from Hunan which you will get to see scrolling down..
Pic taken at hotel's lobby, they got many many mirrors at every corner!

Entrance for buffet breakfast was at the ground floor.

Ambience so luxurious, every morning was started pleasantly here.

Western hash brown, bacon and hot dogs..

Salad and cold cuts...

Noodles and dumplings...

Various choices of cereals...

Pastries and buns...

Fresh honey for toast and waffles...

Ate more than this bowl of soup dumpling...

This big babe was our transport for 8 days.

4D inspiration yeah!

Set off at 8am, selfies while on coach.

Random pics while travelling.

Notice the white color paint on the lower portion of the tree trunks.  They are chemicals to protect the trees from harmful pests so that they will bloom again in spring.

Walking towards Zheng Yang Men 正阳门.

Zheng Yang Men 正阳门
Built in 1419 during Ming Dynasty, it is the tallest gate in Beijing's city wall standing at 42 metres.  It had been extensively reconstructed in 1914, as it was badly damaged during 1900.
This was the only decent pic we had with the gate's crown "chopped off" by hubby's poor but improved photography skill.

Here's the crown of Zheng Yang Men with me beyond recognition.

Behind me is another significant building -
The Great Hall of People 人民大会堂

Everything in China is huge, including their mobile refreshment kiosk.

Tian An Men 天安门
Tian An Men (天安门) is the entrance to the Imperial City, within which the Forbidden City 紫禁城 or another name Royal Palace 故宫.  It's a monument of Beijing as well as a national symbol of China.

Security was strict after so many incidents.

Tian An Men Square is so huge that walking to the entrance took some time.

If memory didn't fail Mao ZeDong's portrait is 6m X 4m in size.

This decorative column is called Hua Biao 华表, approximately 10m tall with 500 years of history.
Columns inside Tian An Men are named 望君出 (english translation - may King steps out),  reminding the King to step out of the palace to visit the commoners.  2 similar columns outside Tian An Men are called 望君归 (english translation - may King returns), as in return to the court to rule the country.

First wall after Tian An Men is Duan Men 端门
It's between Tian An Men and Wu Men 午门, meaning it's in the Imperial City but outside the Royal Palace.  This gate stores ceromony equipments/items for emperors of Ming and Ching Dynasty (明清两朝).

Walking to Tian An Men 天安门 to Duan Men 端门  took 1hr -____-|||

Toilet break cum staying under the sun.  Good gosh, I had never love the sun so much!  It's like natural warmer!

Managed to capture this heart-warming moment of King Luis showing concern to his father's deep chipped nail.
父子至亲,亲情可贵。 A harmonious family full of love is my greatest pride and achievement in my life.

Finally we walked into the Forbidden City 紫禁城

Didn't manage to take a pic of the tall and wide entrance into Wu Men 午门 as it was so crowded with people.  Images of emperors (in chinese drama) returning to the palace thorough this passage flashed over my eyes.
Image from 甄嬛传 

The following photos couldn't capture the breath-taking beauty of Forbidden City 紫禁城.  You have to be there to see it with your own eyes to be awe by the history and  magnificent sights.

Water at 内金水桥 with a thin layer of ice on top.

Notice the different flooring, the smooth and flat are reconstructed (obviously)

And this part is hundreds of years of erosion, beautifully aged.

Not sure what's the gold balls on the door (and most doors) called, but it 9 by 9, it's believed to be an auspicious number in ancient china.

Wire gauze on the ceilings to prevent birds from building nests.

Tai He Dian 太和殿
(Hall of Supreme Harmony)
This is the largest and most extravagance hall in the Royal Palace.  Held important events such as new emperor on throne ceremony, emperor's wedding, crowning the queen ceremony and farewell ceremony for major officers who's on long distant missions.
Image from http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki
Need to "steal" this pic to show you how huge the palace is, and this is only a part of it.

A decent pic of the palace.  Just ignore me, I couldn't remember I was trying to wear or take off my glove >.<
Tai He Dian 太和殿

Tai He Dian 太和殿

Pic taken from 甄嬛传, a grand scene where officials came to Tai He Dian to kneel at the new emperor.

Able to see the real thing was like a dream.
Tai He Dian 太和殿

Tai He Dian 太和殿

It was very crowded as you can see from the above pic, so only managed to take a side view pic of the interior.

Here's the TV version.   Of course, the actual furnishes already loose it's lustre.
Pic from 甄嬛传

View from Tai He Dian太和殿.

There were 308 of such copper and iron vats inlaid with gold.  Filled with water, in case of fire.  Notice the scratches on the vat?  Visitors used to scrap gold out of it, so now a lot of them are being fenced up.

Zhong He Dian中和殿
(Hall of Central Harmony)
A place where the emperor reads, rest and meets his officials informally.

Bao He Dian 保和殿
Scholars/new officers are chosen here, walking into Bao He Dian denotes good academic with bright future. Thus children and youngsters at studies are encourage to take photo in front of Bao He Dian, hope to get some good luck in exams! 

A small room where generals discuss military affairs.
Nothing much, we merely pop in to escape from cold for a while.

Didn't even notice the "Mind your step" sign board till I edit these photos  -____-
This was where I fell and injured my wrist, the pain subsided after a while and did not affect me, dashed in to see
Yang Xing Dian 养心殿.

Many times, I felt as if I walked into TV or a time machine.  Everything was so unreal.....
above image from 甄嬛传
We shared the same path way, in a different time zone.

Just fell down and still could grin until like this, so you know how HAPPY and EXCITED I was!!
At entrance of  Yang Xing Dian 养心殿

Yang Xing Dian 养心殿
There are many exciting stories revolving in this palace (as seen on TV :X).  In history records,  Emperor Yong Zheng's  雍正皇帝 spend his time in this palace to rest and sleep.  After which 8 Qing Emperors included Qian Long 乾隆 stayed and passaway at Yang Xin Dian.

Real VS Television
 above image from 甄嬛传

Today's Yang Xing Dian 养心殿

Imaginary scene of Yang Xing Dian 养心殿 at 1722 - 1735  from 甄嬛传

How merciless time can be, even the King's palace couldn't withstand.  My emotions couldn't be described.


Take 5, indoor cafe was really warm, reluctant to leave until our tour guide "fish" us out lolxx....  RMB 15 instant burger, not nice, heehee.....

Qian Qing Gong 乾清宫
(Palace of Heavenly Purity)
Ever since Emperor Yong Zhen 雍正皇帝 moved to Yang Xing Dian 养心殿, the emperor used this palace as his "office" and host important dinners.  The crown prince study room is also within.

Today's VS 还珠格格's Qian Qing Gong 乾清宫
left image from 还珠格格

image from 甄嬛传 illustrating a dinner with officials and imperial concubines

Yu Hua Yuan 御花园
(Imperial Garden)
Quite botak during winter, it's about 12,000m2 which we covered only a very small part of it.

Trees with red tags are more than 300 years old, blue tags are more than 500 years old if my memory did not fail.  Tree trunks are incredibly smooth, touching them gave me goose bumps lolxx....

Wan Chun Tin 万春亭

Dui Xiu Shan 堆秀山
(Hill of accumulated elegance)
Artificial piled up with rocks, height about 10m, history since 1583.

The small door behind me leads up to the hill but it's closed.

Red wall of Forbidden City where so many people wanted to get in, while people within hoping to get out.

Shen Wu Men 神武门
Despite of it masculine name, this gate was actually a gate where women (秀女) entered the palace for selection of imperial concubines once every 3 years.  It's also the most often used gate in and out of Forbidden City for royal members.  In 1924, the last emperor PuYi 溥仪 left the palace through this gate which marked an end to the empire.

"Palace Museum" Banner was put up in 1971.

Image from 甄嬛传 where a imperial concubine was leaving the palace

Like the last emperor, we left the majestic China Palace from Shen Wu Men.  Our tour took about 4hrs but it wasn't enough.  If I were to visit Beijing again, will definitely return and cater for a full day tour.

After lunch we visited Tian Tan 天坛 (Temple of Heaven), will blog about it in a separate post, this post is getting too long, heehee.....  Thank you for reading ^.^


  1. Very interesting to see all these photos!! Heehe :D Nice post Susan!

  2. Very informative! Thanks for posting this! Cant wait for more posts :D

  3. Wow, the drama photos are pretty accurate to the real thing!!
    I hope to visit there in the future~

    1. Yup! I was hyper excited to visit the palace. Wish to visit again to cover 漱芳齋, 还珠格格's palace which was at the other side

  4. I really enjoy this post lol. When u compare you pic with a historical drama. So funny and realistic!!
    Great post :))