Ancient history buffets the present in Beijing, China. But you’ll enjoy every minute of a trip here. You may feel at little crowded–Beijing is one of the world’s most populous cities with twenty million plus people. There are some not-to-be missed sites in the booming metropolis. If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to start your tour with a trip to the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is in the heart of Beijing. It’s surrounded by a 171 foot wide moat. It’s called forbidden because it was off-limits to anyone but royalty for five-hundred years. The palace was home to two dynasties of imperial rule. China tours will take you to the Summer Palace. The palace was the summer playground for the Imperial Family. The Palace grounds hold temples, gardens, pavilions, lakes, bridges and gate towers. Tiananmen Square, the site of more recent history, is a must-see. It’s the largest public square in the world. And, you’ll be reminded that you’re in a Communist Country. Visitors are watched on closed circuit television and plain clothes police officers mingle with the tourists.
Beijing is heaven for a real foodie. The Donghuamen Night Market is a food zoo. You can buy lamb kebabs, cicadas, kidneys, quails’ eggs, squid, chicken hearts and various other goodies. South of the West Train station, you’ll find Maliandao Tea Market. Hundreds of types of tea can be sampled and bought here. If you’re looking to sample Peking Duck, try Liqun Roast Duck Restaurant. Beware, you have to call a day ahead to reserve a table and a duck. Beijing Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant promises a crispy, lean duck and a side of plum or garlic sauce. It’s time for more sightseeing at the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties prayed here. You can also see the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The Cathedral was built in 1605 and is the oldest Catholic Church in Beijing. Hardy souls won’t want to miss the trek to Beijing’s section of the Great Wall. The rear section of the Jiankou Great Wall is accessible from Huairou in northern Beijing. Beijing is a thriving area with a history that dates back three millennia The ancient city should be on everyone’s list of places to visit.
Author Bio: Lisa Tully offers superb spiritual tours in India with her company SQA,