Our second day began with a walk through the public park in Beijing before visiting the Temple of Heaven. Many retired Beijing residents visit the park daily to practice Tai Chi, sing in a chorus or play cards in groups.
Then we visited the Temple of Heaven, which was built in the early 1400s and was used during the Ming and Quing dynasties. Its beautiful blue color represents the heavens and it is believed to be one of the most beautiful temples in all of China!
In the afternoon, we visited the Summer Palace which is the largest and best-preserved royal park in China. It was built in 1750 as a luxurious respite for the Royal Family.
We walked by spectacular temples, through tree-lined paths and along the beautiful Kunming Lake. Then, we boarded a boat and cruised across the lake with a perfect blue sky above the pristine blue water—it was quite the relaxing way to end an afternoon.
Tonight our Tour Director, Andy, arranged a Peking duck dinner at a 600-year-old restaurant in the city. It was fun to eat the way the people of Beijing eat it. The trick is to make a type of duck spring roll—you spread a sweet paste on the wrapper, then add onion and cucumber slices along with the duck, wrap, and enjoy!
After dinner, he lead us on a walking tour of Quianmen Street, or Front Gate Street, so-called because of the beautiful multicolored arch that greets you. The street was bustling with local people, street vendors selling kebobs, and beautiful red lanterns glowing in the night.
Read more about Christine’s adventures through China by following along on her live blog page.