january 2012. cebu pacific had a seat sale. we purchased tickets that will take us to beijing, china. after all the preparations and visa application, june 19 finally came. we were off to the capital of china.
our flight was at 7pm, so we arrived at beijing capital international airport sometime past midnight. after clearing immigration duties and getting our baggage, we got a taxi that took us to our hotel. we stayed at the holiday inn express – temple of heaven.
the hotel was nice and simple. it had everything you need. the breakfast buffet is also included in the room rates. the only negative side about it was that they served the same dishes everyday for breakfast. so by our third day we were already going tired and umay of the food that we were eating.
i would like to think that the chinese people are really fond of walking. whenever we would ask for directions, they would say that it is just near and we can walk the distance. but it would turn out for lazy, couch-potato, not-fond-of-walking people like us, it was loooooooong! when we opt to take the taxi, the drivers would sometimes laugh and say it’s just near, but we would still insist. hey, we are paying after all.
our first stop was the temple of heaven. from wikipedia: “is a complex of religious buildings visited by the emperors of the ming and qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven for good harvest.”
the temple of heaven is a vast park with several areas in it. we visited each of the area/buildings namely: hall of prayer for good harvests (this is what is mostly shown for the pictures of the temple of heaven), red stairway bridge, imperial vault of heaven, and the circular mound altar. the famous echo wall was also located in the imperial vault of heaven. we also visited the cypress grove where the old cypress tress are located.
for lunch we visited a restaurant which served dumplings and meals. what i’ve noticed is that most of the restaurants we ate in, they had smartphone-like gadgets wherein they input our orders and it gets transmitted to the kitchen/cashier. we then are given a receipt-like copy so we can check what has already been served, and how much we need to pay. 🙂
we walked around some hutongs around the bell tower and then we went to houhai lake. did some window shopping and sight-seeing plus we also had dinner here before heading back to our hotel.
that concludes the first day of our beijing vacation.