As the holiday period draws to a close, try out some near places that are bound to have fewer people and hopefully have some last minute fun before the hectic working and school days resume.
Tiantan Park, also known as the Temple of Heaven. This peaceful park can be splendid as long as you come prepared. The immensity of the grounds demands a battle plan, especially if little legs are on the march. Allot for about four hours, dividing your time equally among absorbing Chinese history, snacking on delightful baked goods and shopping for new clothes and toys.
Start your day at the South Gate of Tiantan Park. From this point, you’ll be entering the site just as China’s emperors did in times past. Once in, the chaos of Beijing evanesces and serenity sets in. You’ll be greeted by the Circular Mound Altar of Heaven (1), a three-tiered platform upon which emperors would meditate before proceeding to pray to the gods for good harvest. The view from the top is impressive, making it a great photo spot for your own little emperors.
Walking down the other side of the altar, continue through the imperial-red gates towards the north. The next stop is the Imperial Vault of Heaven (2), where the ceremonial tablets were stored. A faint whispering can be heard on along the ground’s circular wall. Nicknamed "The Echo Wall," its shape allows for sound to travel much farther than is normal. Stand at each end facing opposite directions and talk politics (okay, you can pick your own subject).
Find out what other places you can explore here.
Photos: star5112, Keith Roper, Travelourplanet (flickr)