6.15a was our group wake-up call time. With only 7 days in China, there is a lot to pack into each day! The breakfast buffet at the International Beijing Hotel was so good. They have everything from eggs and bacon to dim-sum and seaweed salad. They serve illy coffee here, which we could not get enough of, it was so delicious.
an omelet, danish pastry, zucchini bread, dim sum, pickled mushrooms and seaweed salad...that's how i roll
After breakfast, we headed out at 7.45a for our first full day of sightseeing. First stop was Tiananmen Square. Surrounding this expansive square which is large enough to fit 1 million people, are the gates of the Forbidden Palace, Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, the Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Great Hall of the People.
the flowers got the memo
monument to the people's heroes
chairman mao's mausoleum
From Tiananmen Square we crossed the street to the Forbidden City, the imperial palace where the emperors from the Ming to the Qing dynasties once lived. Vicky stopped us along the way to point out significant points of interest; telling us what they were and what they meant, adding interest and importance to things we may have otherwise over-looked. She also gave us the history of the Forbidden City and told us stories of what it was like to live here long ago.
Next up was the Summer Palace. Known as a "masterpiece of Chinese garden design," this beautiful palace sits on Kunming Lake, surrounded by hills covered in luscious greenery. From the palace you can walk along the "world's longest outside corridor" to a marble boat where the Emporess' used to enjoy some of their time.
i love her
this picture never fails to make me smile:)
street vendors selling roasted sweet potatos
From the Summer Palace we went to dinner, then a Kung-Fu show which was a mix of Kung-fu, Chinese music, theatre and...Pandas. We got back to the hotel around 9p and happily went straight to sleep.