Exploring the Xicheng, Chaoyang, and Xuanwu in Beijing
By Seif Kamel
This district is among the most entertaining in Beijing. It has a wonderful mixture between tasty dishes, historical sites, charming houses, and a wonderful exotic nightlife. There are also the lakes at Shichahai that are always fun for visitors of all ages. Many tourists who spend their China Escorted Tour would love to pay these lakes a visit.
Travelers can hire a boat here in the summer and enjoy a wonderful ride or even skate on the ice in the winter. Many travelers enjoying their tours in China would go have a pleasant day in this area.
The Beihai Park
Once the guests enter the gates from the South Gate, they will find themselves in the Round City that hosts a large white statue of Buddha and a huge jade bowl given to Kublai Khan.
The Temple of Eternal Peace, located nearby, is finely preserved. It hosts a number of Buddha statues and other holy images. The parks of Beijing welcome a large number of tourists who travel to China.
The Museum of Antique Currency
This rather interesting museum is hosted inside the courtyard of an old house. It displays a small but remarkable collection of rare Chinese coins. In the courtyard itself, there are some collections of coins and curios.
Many custom tours to China offers the guests with the chance to explore many of the museums of the country.
The Prince Gong Museum
This historical house was built during the reign of the Ming Dynasty and Prince Gong, the brother of Emperor Zianfeng, took control of it.
The house has nine courtyards joined by covered walkways and it was considered the most fascinating residences in Beijing in a certain period of time.
The largest hall of the house has been transformed now into a restaurant that offers some Beijing opera performances in the summer and tea for the guests.
The Former House of Soong Qing-Ling
Soong Qing-Ling was the daughter of a wealthy American publisher, Charles Soong. At the age of 18, Qing-Ling decided to leave her family and marry the much older Sun Yat-Sen, who established the Chinese Republic in 1911 making his wife a famous political figure at the time.
In 1929, Qing-Ling became the head of the Woman Department of Nationalist Party and in 1949 she became the vice president of the People’s Republic of China and the Head of All China Women Federation.
Qing-Ling played a major role in the independence of women and their gaining their rights.
This residence was where she lived most of her life and now it is transformed into a museum that illustrates her life and her achievements. A number of group tours to China may include a visit to one of these museums.
About Chongwen and Xuanwu
Life in the Southern districts of Beijing has a different style. The most important monument here is the Temple of Heaven and it was marvelously decorated and constructed. There are also many monuments of the ancient Beijing that once stood here. There are also many places and markets for the shoppers.
Once, there was a Muslim community neighborhood here in this southern section of Beijing. However, the Niujie Mosque and the Ox Street are the only remaining items of this area.
The Liulichang Street is the Qing and Ming dynasties art avenue. This was where the people used to swap books and stories. Today many shops all around this street sell antiques and many Chinese arts and art equipments. This area is usually full of tourists who spend their vacations in China.
The Ming City Walls Park
This ancient section of Beijing was reconstructed using the same mud bricks that were originally used to build it. The Chinese citizens who took the stones from the wall when it fell down returned it when the walls fell in 1960s.
This area has a wonderful lighting system and there is plenty of greenery making the scene a wonderful one. In this district, the Source of Law Temple is located and it is a nice small Zen Temple that is still operating until today.
The Source of Light Temple
This temple serves actually as a school for monks and the Chinese Buddhist Theoretical Institute houses and educates them. However, the Temple functions within the limits of the existing political regime.
The guests can view many monks chanting religious songs in the main hall of the temple and some younger ones playing football in the playgrounds.
This temple dates back to the 7th century but it was rebuilt in the 15th century in 1442. The temple of the Source of Light hosts many statues that date back to the period of the Qing and Ming dynasties. Affordable tours to China can be customized to include visiting many remarkable Buddhism temples.
This is the front gate and it is actually divided into two gates; the Sun Facing Gate, and the Arrow Tower which were connected in the past. These gates were only opened for the emperor trips to and from the famous Temple of Heaven.
The Moslem Quarter
Much of this neighborhood went into ruins because of the urbanization of the city. This area dating back to the 10th century, only hosts now the Niujie Mosque that is often crowded with members of the Moslem community in Beijing.
Some of the Moslem community shops still survive here selling different types of goods; however the neighborhood is dominated now by many modern apartments and houses. Many Muslims who go on tours to china would like to view the achievements of their religion in Beijing.
The Chaoyang District
This is where most of the nightspots and night action is located. Many bars and pubs are full of locals, university students, expats, school teachers, embassy employees, and other workers during the day. At night many travelers who enjoy their travel packages in China go to these nightspots to enjoy having a drink and listening to music.
The ancient Observatory
This squat tower dates back to the times of Genghis Khan who believed that his future can be predicted through watching the stars. Travelers from all over the world who spend their holidays in China are fond with the concept of observing the stars for the ancient Chinese Civilizations.
Many of the bronze devices of the observatory were gifts from Jesuit missionaries who arrived in Beijing in the beginning of the 17th century and then they enclosed themselves as the Ming court residences.
They offered this technology to the Chinese to persuade them that the Christian traditions are rather superior at the time.
The main astronomical devices are positioned in the roof of the tower and the storage room nearby has some of the most ancient maps that date back to the Tang Dynasty.
The Chinese Imperial rulers believed in the importance of interpreting the heavens was vital to hold their powers. The emperor would know when a natural disaster will take place or when are the best times to cultivate some crops
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