Summer Place, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City

Trip Start Apr 07, 2012
Trip End Nov 14, 2012

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Place, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City

I was up comparatively early today, considering the time I got to bed

Went in search of somewhere to change money, found a bank, great

I spent an hour just hanging about, getting hotter under the collar, then I was approached by a bloke, they couldn't change money, as you can imagine after an hour I weren’t too pleased, and I think they knew it, the security guy came over cattle prod ready, he copped it as well, I ended up filling in a complaint form they presented me, should be fun if it ever gets translated

I ended up using a cash point

The Summer Palace

It was off to the summer palace, it was quite nice here, well laid out, but all uphill (as usual)

There were lots to see, now idea what we did see, apart from one place, 'The Temple of Harmonious Thoughts’

There were lots of lily pads in bloom, the Temple looked like it had a fresh lick of paint, and the water was teeming with tiny goldfish, a nice place to just sit down for 5 minutes

Got to the top, the view was quite something, saw pagoda in the distance, it’s up an even bigger hill, I didn’t bother going there, just took a photo

Rather difficult putting everything into words, but I hope the photos make up for it

Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

It was then off to Tiananmen  Square, we got the underground, what a difference from London underground, clean, on time, no graffiti, no ripped seats, they even had a TV going and holograms on the outside, truly amazing and no fare was above 20 pence, no matter how far or how short, It was really crowded if you were in peak times though, I have never been in a crush like it (or smelt so many ‘body fragrances’ (these were clean bodies, unlike India where everyone forgot to shower for past month)

Have to be honest, I never minded being crushed in the train, there was no animosity, everyone smiled and apologised, once we got out of the center the crush eased, in fact the train emptied

We got to the Forbidden City, inside was the REAL Tinamanam Square, not the TV one, which is huge and outside           

The Forbidden City

WOW, where to start here,  

We walked into the original Tiananmen Square then into The Forbidden City

 Just walking through the gates was amazing, but I had see some of this before from an old film (The Sand Pebbles, with Steve McQueen, him running towards the steps with his BAR, going to rescue the US ambassador)

It was amazing to see it in real life; the whole place is just incredible (if they spent more on the Forts in India, they could be nearly as good, they aren’t much difference in age)

Words have failed me trying to describe it, you will just have to see the photos (or visit it yourself)

The square here is a lot smaller than the one that appeared on the TV, you couldn’t get many tanks or troops on this one, in fact, it’s just larger than a basketball court (that is what they use it for now, it seems

Just walking into each courtyards was incredible (even though it has been open a number of years, there were lots of visitors, but no pushing or shoving, how different from India


Everything was reds and golds, the art and paintwork incredible, the stone carvings immense, I took lots of photos, but they could never do the place justice, you have to be here to see it, it blew me away and words fail me

Hope you enjoy them

a picture is worth a thousand words

additional information about the Summer Palace

They have  temples with magical names, like............

Hall of celebrating Virtues

Hall of Nourishing Pleasures

Garden of Virtue and Honey

Hall of Benevolence and Longevity

garden of Virtues

Wind of Virtue

Hall of the Concubines ( they must have been out when I got there, it was empty)

Hall of Solitude

Slideshow Report as Spam


greekcypriot on

I am having my morning coffee 6:00 a.m and your entry and pictures traveled me to the same places you are now visiting remembering our trip years back. I remember that toilets were scarce and not in short proximity the one from the other. We could have been walking for an hour without coming across one. You could tell that you were near one though because you could smell it from a distance! It was a nightmare to get to a public w.c. -you got dizzy as you approached. I wonder if it is the same these days. We were having older people along and that was really a problem.
I hope things have changed now!

rossport on

what an amazing place thanks for sharing Derrick and love the colours of the buildings and the sculptures are amazing, a lot of difference to the run down ruins of india

derrick241 on

no problems finding a public WC and no smells

Normal size portions for the meals, I left a clean plate though

They had the trucks out last night, they wash the streets down, dont know why,m but the truck was playing happy birthday

Not wine, but Chinese beer (which isnt very strong, but goes down okay)

The city is really clean, no piles of rubbish, no ione using the srtreets as a toilet, shame we arent here longer

Michael D on

It is an amazing place and impossible to see everything on a short visit.
It must have been a very secret place in the old days as access was very restricted.

I remember they were trying to sell us fake Rolex watches near the main entrance.

What a contrast.

greekcypriot on

Now Michael you reminded me how they approached some friends to buy ties and diceved them with fake money. A while later I was bargaining a beautiful porcelain plate (blue/white) it was amazing and I could not resit. In return we were given fake money and we in our turn decieved somebody else in a big mall when we used this huge bank note and bought a beautiful quilt....but we were treambling till we leave the premises in case the owner found out and take the quilt back. lol

Michael D on

You were very lucky to get rid of that dodgy money.

I had noticed several (Security) guys wandering about with concealed ear-pieces and it is always wise to stay well away from characters like that.

We also purchased a quilt for our daughter.

greekcypriot on

Probably it's time for Derrick to buy a quilt for Ann too!

Jim on

Really good blog, mate- some great picturesm and it sounds like you will be sorry not to be there a lot longer- I said I thought it would be a good experience- thanks for the excellent sharing of your experience

Linda on

Hi Derrick

I want to visit China now. Its a long flight though and I do not like flying. Describe the first chinese meal picture. Looks like fins.


mmbcross on

What a difference between China and India. India is life, down, dirty and "in your face". China looks more like a sterile hospital. I'm not sure if I like one or the other.

derrick241 on

My meal was a sea food salad, followed by fried rice and water melon, smashing !!

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