April 25, 2008


The Tianenmen Square, just across the Forbidden City.

It was in 2001 when I went to Beijing to attend the UNDP Communications Officers Training. We didn't have much time to go around, so we only visited a few major sites -- the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Silk Market, a few restaurants, and the Great Wall.

It's an amazing city. It is so huge, to really be able to experience it, one must linger, and discover little street corners and see how people live. I guess, it was a blessing in disguise when my friends and I got lost right after we visited the Forbidden City. We walked to unfamiliar streets, found tea stores, and tried street food.

We first visited the Forbidden City. It was breathtaking! It has been there for five centuries and has been listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO.

The 18 important sights of the Forbidden City:
The Meridian Gate
Gate of Supreme Harmony
Hall of Supreme Harmony
Hall of Central Harmony
Hall of Preserved Harmony
Huge Stone Carving
Gate of Celestial Purity
Palace of Celestial Purity
Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union
Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility
Hall of Mental Cultivation
Six Western Palaces
Hall of Ancestral Worship
Six Eastern Palaces
Nine Dragon Screen
Palace of Tranquil Longevity
Hall of Joyful Longevity
The Imperial Garden

Be ready to walk through these sights for about two hours, so wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring water and take lots of pictures.

The Great Wall of China.

On our last day, we went to the Great Wall. We took a cab from Beijing, and I can't remember how many hours we traveled. All four of us (Angela, Noreen, Bruce, and I) were asleep throughout the journey. We told the cab driver to wait for us because we figured, we might not be able to get a ride back to Beijing.

The Great Wall was absolutely breathtaking! We took the two-seater cable cars going up and the sled going down.

One day, I would like to visit Beijing again.

Helpful sites and contact information:

Panda Tour, 479 Sto. Cristo Street, Binondo, Manila.
Phone: +632 2422585. Email: panda@pandatour.com.
Office hours: 9-6 on weekdays, 9-3 on Saturdays.

Chinese Embassy in the Philippines
The World Center, 330 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City.
Phone (Visa Section Inquiry): +632 8482396.

Beijing Official Website.

The Official Beijing Olympics Website.

Going up the Great Wall with Bruce and going down through the sled! Yup, that's my scared face! LOL!

Noreen and I at the Great Wall. All photos were taken with a film camera.
Did the trip when digital camera wasn't invented yet. Haha.


  1. One memorable trip with you, Aileen!

  2. Hi Aileen!
    I'm planning to visit Beijing this year. What time of the year would you suggest I go? By the way what month and days did you go to Beijing?
    Thanks! More power.

    1. Hi Irvin! Summer is very hot in Beijing, so I guess, the best time is before summer (April-May) and just before winter (October-November). But First week of October is a national holiday, so avoid that week because the city would be incredibly crowded. We were there on the second week of May last year for six days. The weather kept changing the entire time we were there. Some days were cold, some days were really super hot. : )




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