Thursday, December 26, 2019

Beijing December 2019 - PART ONE

Shortly after we came back from Bangkok and Khao Yai (I haven't got the time to even upload those photos yet), I packed furiously and scurried around to buy all the winter stuff for the kids and myself.
Off to Beijing we go!
This trip is the first ever we are doing with another family - Our good friends the Ho family and their boys Ryan (12) and Kenneth (8).
Good thing is Karen planned and helped us book everything so all we had to do was pay up, pack up and show up!

PART ONE - Checking in, visiting Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City.

Checked in to Le Zai boutique hotel at Nan Luo Gu Xiang.
The service is very good. Surprisingly in Beijing I find their citizens very friendly and helpful.
They try their best to accommodate whatever requests you may have.

There are different room types available to suit your family size needs. Overall clean and very convenient as it's located just next to the Nan Luo Gu alley which has many shops and street food at night.

Le Zai's affiliated café for breakfast, everyday from 8am - 10am.
They serve Western food and café food.

After filling our tummies we set off with our private guide to the city's sightseeing before heading  to Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City. 

Trishaw rides for everyone!

People ice-skating on the frozen lake!

Visit to a 四合院 (Siheyuan), which is a traditional courtyard house with 4 directions (Si) north, south, east, west facing one another to form a mouth (口) which is believed to be good fengshui.   

天坛 Tian Tan (Temple of Heaven)

The hall of offerings where the Emperor paid respects to the Gods and his Ancestors.
Paying respects and prayer rituals to ancestors have long been viewed as an important part of Chinese culture as it is believed that when you go to pray to Gods at a temple, it is alike a hospital with doctors treating many different types of sick people.
However, ancestors are your direct family line connected by blood so it is believed that in times of need, your Ancestors will render you help & protection, the same way a family will love & protect their own offspring first instead of other families.

The Han (Chinese) characters from the Ming Dynasty and then subsequently Manchu words were added when Qing Dynasty took over the reign. 

Over-seeing the Summer Palace 頤和園 Yiheyuan. In the Summer the emperor brings his family to the Summer Palace for leisure.

Wendi Deng (Rupert Murdoch's exwife) reportedly bought a Siheyuan facing the Imperial Palace. 

Ended the tours of the day with a piping hot soup bun where you have to sip the soup from the straw. Something like a giant Xiaolongbao.

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