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Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

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Old Field, New York
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Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

Hello! I have proposed the following itinerary for our trip to Beijing. I have tried to cluster my sites where possible and make each day doable--with emphasis on time to see each site thoroughly. i wanted restaurants that are reasonably priced and a cross range of Chinese cuisine. I'd appreciate your feedback.

Tuesday, January 4 (Late AM Start)

New Summer Palace

Old Summer Palace

Dinner: Three Guizo Men

Wednesday, January 5

Lama Temple

Confucius Temple

Imperial Academy

Songtangzhai Museum

Bell Tower

Drum Tower


Dinner: Drum & Gong Restaurant

102 Nanluoguxiang

Sichuan-Asian Fusion

Thursday, January 6

Golden River Bridges/Huabio/Stone Lions

Gate of Heavenly Peace/Tiananmen Gate

Changpu River Park

Imperial City Art Gallery

Duan Gate

Forbidden City

Dinner: Xan’r Lao Man

Andingmen Nei Dajie 252

Friday, January 7

Temple of Heaven

Zhengyangmen Gate

Tiananmen Square

Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum

Monument To The People’s Heroes

Great Hall of The People

National Center For Performing Arts

Dinner: Yun Teng Biquan

Dong Huashi Bei Li Dong Qu 7

Saturday, January 8

The Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Dinner: Xiyu Shifu

411 Huizhong Road

Sunday, January 9

The Capital Museum

White Cloud Temple

Tianning Si

Niu Jie Mosque

Fayuan Si

Dinner: Bellagio

6 Gogti Xilu

Monday, January 10

Prince Gong’s Residence

Beihai Park

Coal Hill

Qianmen Street

Dazhalen Street

TongRen Tang Chinese Pharmacy

Zhangyiyuan Tea Shop

Dinner: Jinyang Restaurant

241 Zhushikou Xie Dajie

Tuesday, January 11

Chinese Peoples Military Museum

China Millenium Monument

Beijing Ancient Observatory

Dongyue Temple

Dinner: Ding Ding Xiang

No.14, Dongzhong Street

Thank you!

Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

8 days is a long trip so you can explore at a relaxed pace.

How about Panjiayuan on Sunday?

Not going to 798? Maybe not your thing.

Some of these restaurants I don't know but what about Beijing duck? Yunnan food (Dianke Dianlai or Middle 8) and Sichuan food (Chuan Ban).

But generally it looks fine.

Old Field, New York
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2. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing


Thank you for the response. I must confess that shopping, most markets and artist enclaves are not my thing so I considered but rejected Pamjuyuan and 798.

Maybe I could ask you one more question. After all the debate on costs and methods to get to Mutianyu, I decided on taking the Schoolhouse Schoolbus. It seems perfect-- 1 1/2 hours each way; 6 hours at Wall and exploring villages; and 120 Yuan roundtrip. Do you think that a reasonable choice?

The one hard decision was to pass on the Ming Tombs. But so many state they are a disappointmnent that I think it was a reasonable decision. Do you agree?

Finally, are there any other sites in Beijing that you think are a not to be missed experinece?


Sherbrooke, Canada
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3. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

You do not go to Panjiayuan to shop. I never bought anything there. It is more a social experience. Check in the buildings as well.

I don't know about Ming tombs. I have never been there based on fairly consistent advice I have been getting.

For the Schoolhouse bus the price sure makes sense. Not sure how one can spend 6 hours there though.

Beijing, China
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4. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

If you walk the full extent of the wall and maybe look around the village I think you can fill up 6 hours at Mutianyu. Dropping the Ming Tombs is sensible, trust me. As far as I know, Tianning Si only opens at full-moon.

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5. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

its an excellently planned schedule, though some of the sites are only brief stops and some I'm kind of asking why?

Just know that even if you're going at a really slow pace, a lot of these days are only half full and you could easily add a number of things to. For example, on the 6th, the Forbidden City will take anywhere from an hour to 4 hours, but everything else is either quick photo and go (Tiananmen Gate, Stone Lions) or a brief (10-30 minutes) walk through (Changpu River park, Imperial City Art Gallery).

You know what kind of tourist you are better than us, but a lot of the places on your itinerary are fairly small or very similar to others or flat out boring unless you have a real interest in them and I'd be a little worried about "traditional building fatigue" by the 3rd or 4th day.

The Olympic Park and roaming the hutongs are two things that aren't on your schedule that I think might be good to add.

The restaurant picks are pretty good, I think you could do better than Drum & Bell and Xiyu Shifu (and probably Bellagio), but the others are decent choices.

Old Field, New York
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6. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing


Thank you for your reply--I will consider supplementing some of the days. I do have a few questions: (1) Has the China National Museum at Tiananmen Square reopened yet (I keep googling and none of the sites are definitive? (2) Is the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall (and its view of futuristic Beijing) worthwhile? (3) Would you recommend a visit to the Poly Art Museum? (4) Any value in visiting the Beijing Police Museum? (5) Is the Red Gate Gallery at The Southeast Corner Watchtower worthwhile? (6) What is your opinion of the Wanshou Temple and Beijing Art Museum? And finally, any other possible contenders to flesh out the trip? Thanks!

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7. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

1. As far as I know, its still not open

2. I would say no, not sure what others on here might say, but I'd also say the Military Museum isn't worth going to for most people, depends heavily on your interests.

3. I don't think the Poly collection is worthwhile

4. It's kind of interesting, and this is a cool area to roam around for a little while if the weather isn't too cold

5. I'm a big fan of Red Gate and its in a unique location. Haven't been to the current exhibition, but its usually very well curated.

6. To be honest, I rarely go to Haidian and have never been to Wanshou Temple

You obviously appear interested in art, I see that you say you don't like "artist enclaves", but 798 is more about art galleries and the absolute must see Ullens Museum if you are into modern art. As it seems you do like art, I would also consider a visit to the National Art Museum and/or Today Art Museum depending on what your taste in art is.

I'd suggest re-examining what you really are interested in. The Old Summer Palace is pretty much just a large park today, the ruins of the old buildings are important to Chinese historically, but for foreigners there isn't a lot to see, especially in January when its going to be cold outside. Or aunless you're really interested in Buddhism, are you really going to enjoy the 4 Buddhist temples on your list?

You don't like shopping, I get that, but a stroll down Wangfujing in late afternoon and then checking out the Donghuamen Night Market (just to look, not to eat) is fun. Spending half a day roaming the hutongs around Shichahai/Houhai is enjoyable. You have a ton of time, why not also do a day trip to Chuandixia, maybe Tianjin as well.

Again, everyone does things at different paces, and mine is just one of many opinions on here, but there are a number of days that I think can be combined. For example, the 6th, 7th, and 10th can be combined (with exception of Prince Gong's), starting out at Tiantan in the morning, then going to Tiananmen and the Great Hall of the People, then to Forbidden City, and then if its a clear day to Coal Hill, if not, just going to Behai Park. From there taking a bus/taxi to Qianmen/Dashalan, which is mostly just shopping and so you'll get through it pretty quickly. Or with the Great Wall, most people, espeically in winter, tend to spend 2-3 hours at the wall, assuming you head out at 7 or 8 am, you'll still have a few hours in the afternoon, maybe you just want to relax at the hotel, but you'd also have plenty of time to see some sites nearby your hotel.

Old Field, New York
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8. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

Modern Lei--

Thank you so very much for the excellent feedback. Based on what you have said, I have supplemented my itinerary to include the Red Gate Gallery and Southeast Corner Watchtower, the Beijing Police Museum, the 798 Art District, two modern art galleries, and more time in the Hutongs. I have deleted the Old Summer Palace. While I know the itinerary is high on Buddhits and other temples, both my companion and I have an intense interest in Eastern Religions and love to visit such sites. As to Mutianyu, we have arranged a home visit in the Village to certain individuals whose lifes have spanned the Chinese period from Revolution to present and we look forward to that.

I have tried so many ways to get a definitive answer on whether the National Museum of China has reopened, has temporary exhibits, or is still closed. Various sites are either contradictory or silent on the issue. DO you have any suggestoons on how to find this out?

As I complete the itinerary, I have come across the followingsites and would appreciate your feedback: Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum; any of the Cathedrals in Beijing; and The Courtyard Gallery/

One last question: are there any museums related to accupuincture and/or Oriental Medicine? My companio is completing his degree in Accupuncture/Oriental Medicine and I would love to take him to such a place.

It goes without saying that I am very grateful for your feedback--its people like you who are willing to take their time and help otehrs thats makes traveling such a wonderful experience.

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9. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

Perhaps you can contact your hotel and inquire regarding the museum. Or just ask when you arrive, the concierge should have the right answer for you and even if they don't, the museum is right off Tiananmen Square, so its not like you're going out of your way.

Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum - sorry, never been and haven't heard much about it.

Beijing Cathedrals - Umm, its a question of if you're interested in looking at old churches. The easiest to see would be the East Church, which is located at Wangfujing. Also when you're at the Police Museum, you could take a short walk and see Dongjiaomin Church, though the gate is rarely open so you have to see it from the outside. I've never been to the south church, though the south is the only one that offers services in English and is where the Archbishop of Beijing is based. I think the North Church is the most impressive, but its also the hardest to find. Know that none of the churches date from before the late 1800s-early 1900s as all have been destroyed and rebuilt, in some cases many, many times.

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10. Re: Critque of Our Eight Days In Beijing

sorry, didn't get to the last two parts...

Courtyard Gallery - This was the premier gallery for a number of years, but since 798 and Caochangdi have opened up, the art scene has shifted and they rarely get the big names anymore, mostly because their gallery space is really small. I'd say pass on it.

As for acupuncture/TCM, I don't know of any museums, but I saw Tong Ren Tang is on your list, so they should enjoy that, though the store at Qianmen is a very modern one, so maybe want to find a smaller, more TCM shop, unfortunately I can't help you on where.