Discover the Beautiful Ancient Architecture in Beijing

Given its long history of over 3000 years and the great culture tradition, Beijing offers a lot for us to discover, from great historic legacy to small lanes of unique street design, and beautiful ancient buildings. The ancient architecture in Beijing is really haunting and seduce us to deeply explore. Listed here are six sights in Beijing that you should not miss when for the marvelous ancient Chinese architecture.

The Great Wall


Many people come all the way to China Just for the Great Wall! It’s a real miracle in the world, bearing exceptional testimony to the ancient Chinese civilizations and the achievement of China’s ancient architects. This defensive fortification was first built in the 7th century BC during the Spring and Autumn, and Warring States Periods, and now resemble a huge dragon winding its way through the mountains of North China.

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The Forbidden City


There are many reasons you might want to visit the Forbidden City (the Palace Museum in Beijing. Summer Palace). It was home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years. To discover the architectural beauty of Forbidden City, you should not miss every piece of it, including the roof, wooden door, stone railings, red wall, bronze lions…

Summer Palace


Summer Palace becomes even more popular thanks to Dragon Lady Cixi’s preference. For architecture lovers, it is a big draw, with typical Chinese stone bridge across the Kunming Lake, Buddhist pagodas, watchtower, as well as the complex buildings. It’ll be a nice place to cool off during Beijing’s hot Summer months.

Temple of Heaven

Built in 1420, the Temple of Heaven is where the ancient Chinese emperors had grand worship ceremony to heaven and earth. No wonder it is a masterpiece of architecture. It is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pinewoods. Check carefully on its overall layout, which symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven-the human world and God’s world according to Chinese architecture culture.

Hutong 1696 The quaint hutongs in Beijing are some crisscrossing old narrow paths with courtyard houses built on each side. It can be regarded as a window into Beijing folk life. Travel along the hutongs, you may encounter some courtyard dwellings or Chinese quadrangles (Siheyuan), a basic pattern used for residences, palaces, temples, monasteries. You can ride a bike or take a pedicab to have a relaxed hutong tour. Yonghe Lamasery To research the architecture achievement of ancient China, you should not temple and monasteries. Yonghe Lamasery is a Tibetan Buddhist temple first built in 1694 as the residence of Prince Yong of the Qing dynasty. The temple architecture is a combination of Tibetan, Mongolian, and native Chinese. The chief artistic attraction is an 18-meter tall wooden Buddha carved from a single sandalwood tree imported from Tibet, the largest wooden statue on earth.

Stay overnight at the foot of Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing

The outskirts of Mutianyu Town, about one hour driving from downtown Beijing, boasts some of the most magnificent sceneries imaginable, and has been home to two boutique retreats – The Schoolhouse and The Brickyard, both of which offer unobscured views of the Great Wall, and provide visitors a chance to stay out of the hustle and bustle of touristy Beijing.

The Brickyard Inn, Beijing

The Brickyard Inn

Open in 2005, The Schoolhouse was transformed from an abandoned primary school, and now has grown into a comprehensive lodging and dining destination. Later, the owner and designer, Jim Spear discovered “a new land”, the former Brickyard, which was a glazed tile factory always pouring black coal smoke at that time, but as the Mr. Spear said featured with unarguable view! After years of elaborately remodeling, The Brickyard is now famed as a lush eco-retreat with 25 striking guest rooms and cosy services.

The Brickyard Inn, Beijing

the fireplace in the room of Brickyard Inn

Green is the focal point of both Schoolhouse and Brickyard. They also prefer local supplies including foods and employees regarding it as a society mission. For travelers seeking something different, to have a stay at Schoolhouse or Brickyard will be a compelling case.

The Schoolhouse, Beijing

Visitors are appreciating the glassblowing demonstation within The Schoolhouse

There are a lot of things you would like to experience! Feast on excellent western or local foods; visit various art exhibitions and appreciate glassblowing and lamp-working demonstrations by the retreat’s own craftspeople; ramble on through the serene village to feel world away from the chaos of Beijing; relax with the outdoor spa after hikingthe Great Wall; take a morning yoga near a lotus pond. Almost all visitors, though having a short stay, find it is very rewarding, not only the superior retreat amenities and friendly staff, but the abundant activities provided at the foot of Mutianyu Great Wall as well!

The Schoolhouse, Beijing

People are dining and having so much fun in the Schoolhouse

Feast on North Korean Food in Beijing

Poverty and enthusiastic leadership-worship is a clichéd image that comes to mind when most westerners think of North Korea, a country of isolation and mystery. Yet North Korean cuisine, that is also something you will never forget about North Korea once you try. You don’t need to get into the country for the specialties, here in Beijing, China’s capital, a handful of restaurants run by North Korean government serves authentic North Korean cuisine. And Pyongyang Restaurant is one of them.

Located at 78 Maizidian Jie, Chaoyang District, Pyongyang Restaurant is specially decorated and offers a large choice of North Korean food at reasonable prices, from cold noodles to bibimbap, from outstanding kimchi to hand-ground porridge, from grilled kalbi to pricy seafood, just delicious! Pyongyang Restaurant share common characteristics with other government-run North Korean restaurants in Beijing, like the training of the waitresses.

All the waitresses in Pyongyang Restaurant are selected from North Korea after two years of training in their hometown. They dress in North Korean traditional robes and shoes, pretty, gently and always with a smile on the face, forming a distinctively beautiful scene. What might surprise you is that each of the waitresses wears a leader’s badge. At night, the waitresses usually sing and perform for diners, including traditional drum dance, karaoke in Korean and Chinese, and a most-welcomed band performance.

Other Beijing’s top North Korean restaurants:

The Silver Bank
Add: 4F Zhongfu mansion, 99 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing (North East of Guomao Bridge)
Tel: 010 6581 8603

Haedanghwa Pyongyang Restaurant
Add: 2F, Kuntai Mansions, Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8561 2925

David Beckham’s China Tour as Football Ambassador

The former England captain, David Beckham arrived in Beijing, capital of China, on March 20 in his private aeroplane. This football superstar was fully loved by Chinese football fans and received a warm welcome and enthusiastic cheering during his short visit. In Beijing, Beckham began his five-day China tour, acting as a “global ambassador” for the Chinese Super League (CSL) – China’s top-flight soccer league, and for the Youth Football Program in China.

Beckham received a warm welcome in China

Beckham received a warm welcome in China

From March 20 to 24, Beckham had a tight schedule in Beijing, Qingdao and Wuhan by visiting local schools and football clubs including Beijing Guo’an Football Club at Workers Stadium, Qingdao Jonoon Football Club as well as Wuhan Zall Football Club. In each city, Beckham met the Chinese footballers, fans and had a kick-around with youngsters. The 37-year-old even tried to demonstrate the perfect free-kick skill in a suit and shoes, but fell flat on his backside.

David Beckham's China Tour

Beckham in Qingdao Jonoon Football Club

At news conference, Beckham explained his focal point of the visit, that was, to educate children and develop Chinese football. However, media believed that Beckham’s role was actually an attempt to further promote the Chinese Super League (CSL) home and abroad and to restore its image after a series of corruption and match-fixing scandals.

Beckham in Beijing

Beckham in Beijing, playing football in suits

Beckham was back to Paris on March 25, where he plays midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain now. Yet, this is not the end of Beckham’s 2013 China tour but the beginning. It is said that Becks will pay another two visit to China later within the year to “fulfill his responsibilities” for the appointment.

Beckham in China

Beckham swarmed by Chinese football fans

Forbidden City closed on Monday afternoons 2013

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, has decided to carry on with the half-day closure every Monday afternoon for further protection, it announced on March 18, 2013.

the Forbidden City, Beijing

inside the Forbidden City

The museum will open on Mondays from 8:30 am to noon. Ticket sales will stop at 11:00 a.m, and ticket checking will stop at 11:10 am.

The official implementation of half-day closure will start on April 1, except public holidays and Mondays during the summer months of July and August. The new timetable will be applied on the following Mondays.

April 1, 8, 15, 22;
May 6, 13, 20, 27;
June 3, 17, 24;
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30;
October 14, 21, 28;
November 4, 11, 18, 25;
December 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.

The museum launched a pilot plan to close every Monday afternoon from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2013. The closing time was used to check and renovate cultural relics and facilities.

Shangri-La Beijing Joins Forbes Travel Guide List

The 55th annual Forbes Travel Guide Five & Four Star Awards released the award winners for 2013 on February 27th. Asia’s 8 luxury hotels and two spas attained Five-Star distinctions. Moreover, 24 hotels and 12 spa centers in mainland China earned Star Awards rating. Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing captured first-time Five Star Award.

Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing

Grand Premier Room of Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing

China World Summit Wing is a Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts property, located on the 80th floor of The China World Trade Centre among Beijing’s skyscrapers. The hotel offers a large sections of dining with four stylish restaurants and two bars. It has a luxury spa on the 77th floor, an indoor infinity pool on the 78th floor, and an fitness centre.

Shangri-La Hotels China World Summit Wing, Beijing

A heated indoor swimming pool with nice view

Of all the award-winners in Asia, seven Five Star rating hotels are situated in Hong Kong, five in Macau, three in Singapore, two in Shanghai and one in Beijing. As China World Summit Wing Beijing joins Forbes Travel Guide list, mainland China now boasts 3 Five Star rating hotels, together with The Peninsula Shanghai and Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund in Shanghai.

Grace Beijing – a boutique retreat in 798 Art District

Grace Beijing is an iconic boutique hotel situated in the 798 Art District, which is originally a group of military factory buildings, and now turned into a thriving fashion and art center, as well as one of Beijing’s most popular tourist attractions. Grace Beijing itself is a sample of art works. It is a perfect combination of traditional and modern design.

service desk
(The service desk of the hotel, see the large painting behind)

Grace Beijing was run under the name of Yi house before acquired by Grace Group. Later a bistro was called Yi house to honor its origin. Grace Beijing has 30 rooms altogether, from Artist Studios to Grace Suites, all of which embody elegance and luxury.

artists' work
(artist works can be found in every corner of the retreat, discover and enjoy them!)

The hotel team is devoted to helping all guests to have a unique and extraordinary experience here, by offering various options. You can even pick your own pillow! Just remember to book in advance. There is a great rang of breakfast served in Yi House as you wish, beverage there includes coffee, tea, Champagne, smoothies, juices and so on. The gym is a place to relax and have fun.

(One of the bedroom of the retreat, more than comfortable)

Won’t it be marvelous to stay in Grace Beijing? Here, you can experience a serene and comfortable atmosphere, escaping from the busy city life. Just linger in the amazing galleries or bookshops in the 798 Art District Beijing. You surely can not get more pleasure than savoring the fabulous works by artists.

(At the corner of the restaurant)