Today was another day of being a tourist and the camera was always ready to be shooting, almost like I was a Japanese tourist. Our goal for the day was to visit the forbidden city, the temple of heaven and finish the day with the summer palace which actually is so much more than just a palace. We were suppose to do this yesterday but the weather were really lousy and we did the right thing so wait another day because today we had blue sky, around 25 degrees with a warm breeze. Our guide picked us up at the hotel at 07.00 and I try to describe each place we visited.
The forbidden City:
A neat little area of almost 1x1km where the former empires lived. It was built somewhere around 1420 and it is a must to visit if you are in Beijing. We who were a bit lazy had ordered a English speaking guide and even if it was a bit confusing since we got all information in Chinese first but after 10 minutes our guide came and suddenly me and Anton had our own personal guide. It will be interesting to just walk around and look by yourself but I really recommend a guide. It was really interesting and when the guide started to talk about central heating and cooling using ice under the houses during the summer you really understand what kind of cavemen we norths really were at that time.
Temple of Heaven:
Straight after the forbidden city we went to the temple of heaven and this is actually the first time we saw a lot of other tourist. Of course we saw tourists at the great wall and in the forbidden city but here we actually saw western tourists and it felt almost weird to see someone who is not Asian. Anyway, the temple of heaven is a huge park where you will find the locals doing recreation like qi-gong, playing some sort f tennis and the old ones, they were sitting on park benches and playing chess and xiangi. The temple itself is gigantic and used to pray/sacrifice to the gods for good harvest and stuff like that. You could think that a tourist area like this should have signs in English and they kind a do, however Chinese people are not the best in English and neither me or Anton does still today understand if the sacrificed humans or not at this temple or if that just was a typo on the sign. I guess they are laughing at all western people who walk around this the Chinese sign for noodles as tattoos so I guess its even if we laugh everyday about some weird sign or T-shirt.
The summer palace:
Our last stop, well off course we stopped at a pearl factory/shop where they tried to sell us a lot of crap was the Summer palace. The summer palace is insane huge and beatuful park and house which one of the empires built for his mother. He actually built the lake on the pictures below together with houses and all kind of stuff. The area is even bigger than the forbidden city but then of course a majority of the area is the lake. We never took any boatride though, instead we took a walk along the lake and just enjoyed the beautiful area.