China Massage Guide

Less Traveled Beijing

2017-07-18 21:18:28 | views

Tags: china travel

Ancient Sites

 

Every first-time traveler's itinerary for Beijing includes visits to the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Great Wall. Many might also consider the less frequently visited sights like White Cloud Temple, the Ancient Observatory and the Temple of Heaven.

 

Founded during the Tang Dynasty, White Cloud Temple is one of the oldest Taoist temples in China. As it is outside the center of the city with few other tourist destinations nearby, it is not a popular stop. However, the quiet beauty of this Taoist temple makes it a worthwhile afternoon expedition.

 

Though it is usually part of tourists' itineraries, The Temple of Heaven is an enormous park and temple to the south of Tiananmen Square that is still underappreciated. Most tourists don't realize how much time can be spent in this one park. It is one of the most beautiful attractions in Beijing, and is refreshingly quiet when visited early in the day. Early in the morning, tourists can see locals exercising and practicing Tai Chi.

 

The Ancient Observatory is underrated by tourists. This destination is an afterthought and, therefore, rarely crowded. It houses historic documents of Chinese astronomical discoveries. The roof of the building is home to numerous replicas of ancient observatory devices, the designs of which will intrigue anyone interested in Chinese art.

 

Beijing's Modern Side

 

Prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing rushed to complete many projects to entice visitors. Among these are architectural feats and redeveloped neighborhoods.

 

While many tourists now flock to the Bird's Nest stadium and Water Cube for photos, there are other modern buildings worth photographing around Beijing. The CCTV Headquarters is a unique structure that is not always considered beautiful by locals-Chinese netizens have claimed that it looks like a pair of pants.

 

Over the past few years the 798 Arts District, also known as Dashanzi Art District, has become more popular with tourists. This area, which was once home to factories that were constructed in the 1950s, is now home to many Chinese contemporary artists. Artists first began moving their studios to the area in 1995. Since the expansion of the subway system in 2008, this section of Beijing is much more accessible to visitors.

 

One of the great developed sections of Beijing is Nan Luoguxiang, a hutong street near the Bell and Drum Towers that was renovated. Since its renovation Nan Luoguxiang has become a hip destination for locals and tourists. The narrow street is lined with small guesthouses, bars, restaurants and artistic shops. A walk down the street is enjoyable during the day when the shops are open. The nightlife is also pleasant and much less noisy than the area around Houhai.