Beijing Tours

Cool Boundary Scenic Spot

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Mountain Areas, Valleys and Scenic Spots, by Jack Li

Cool world got the name from the first monument of Jingdong – Cool Boundary monument. It is famous for humanities, history, animals and plants. The monument is located in the north of Wuling Mountain and in the elevation of 970 meters. It is the huge granite which is 28.4 meters high, 30.8 meters wide and […]

Cool world got the name from the first monument of Jingdong – Cool Boundary monument. It is famous for humanities, history, animals and plants. The monument is located in the north of Wuling Mountain and in the elevation of 970 meters. It is the huge granite which is 28.4 meters high, 30.8 meters wide and weighing 24000 tons. In the middle of the monument has six words “Cool Boundary of Wuling Mountain.” The words were written by a minister named Liubo Wen in the Ming Dynasty. The magnificent north gate, the rich Ecological Museum and the huge carved out of a cliff are also located in this scenic spot. In history, the Wuling Mountain was the important border area. There are hundred kilometers Great Wall around it. Now you still can see the relics of the Great Wall. In the Ming Dynasty, guarded heavily here and emerged many excellent people. Because of it is in the shaded side of the mountain the scenic spot is rainy and has rich resource of animals and plants. The forest coverage is more than 99%, you will be attracted by the grass, flowers and old trees, also singing birds and winding path. There are many strange peaks and stones and more than 20 little scenic spots including Wuling Golden Mountain, Sanxiang Stone and Eagle Beak Peak. Also have thousand years old poplar which is need six people can surround and the mysterious Heaven Dram Peak, as well as the Five Generals Peak and the Tianhou Peak.

Wuling Mountain (Wulingshan)

The Longtan Pond

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Mountain Areas, Waterfalls & Pools, by Jack Li

The Longtan Pond is the biggest valley in the Yanshan Mountains. It is famous for the Longtan cataract whose waterfall reaches 55 metres. There are four attractions and three gates in the Wuling Mountain Forest Garden. The Longtan Pond is one of the four attractions. It lies in the northwest of the garden. The pond […]

The Longtan Pond is the biggest valley in the Yanshan Mountains. It is famous for the Longtan cataract whose waterfall reaches 55 metres. There are four attractions and three gates in the Wuling Mountain Forest Garden. The Longtan Pond is one of the four attractions. It lies in the northwest of the garden. The pond is well-known for the thirty-two spots such as Jingxiu Peak, Pomo Peak, Yuxiong Peak, Songyun Peak, Jiangjun Peak, Hukou Waterfull, Goddess Cliff and Kiwi Fruit Garden. The waterfall in the Longtan Pond is like a big white ribbon. The sound of the waterfall is like thumb and drum, echoing around the valley. If you arrive here at the hottest time, you will feel so cool that it doesn’t feel like it was summer at all. There is another waterfall named Hukou 1.5 kilometres underneath the Longtan cataract. It does not have such a steep waterfall, but the Hukou waterfall is very special. It is water column that pours down there. The cliffs in the two sides of the waterfall are very steep. Visitors may take the stone steps to go up and appreciate views. The Jiangjun Peak is up there. ‘Jiangjun’ in Chinese means ‘general’. The Longtan pond is like a water pot that takes water from the Miyun Reservior to the capital Beijing. The peaks are special, the cliffs are steep, and the forests are green. These views form a beautiful picture. When you go around the Longtan Pond, you can feel that nature is amazing and stunning.

Wuling Mountain (Wulingshan)

Lotus Service Center

On August 26, 2011, in Accomodation, Beijing, Parks & Gardens, by Jack Li

The Lotus Service Center is built in the 1780 meters high above the sea level in the Wuling Mountain. The highest temperature in summer is 28 °C. When hot summer comes, the visitors passing along can not help but stay and appreciate the lotuses in the pool. The view there is very attractive. The center […]

The Lotus Service Center is built in the 1780 meters high above the sea level in the Wuling Mountain. The highest temperature in summer is 28 °C. When hot summer comes, the visitors passing along can not help but stay and appreciate the lotuses in the pool. The view there is very attractive. The center can provide with food, accommodation and shopping services for travellers. It is very nice to get up in the morning when you hear the birds’ singing. When you walk into the woods and see those trees, you will feel comfortable, and refreshed. The hotel there is equipped with air-conditioners. Visitors can enjoy tasty dished there like roasted lamb. You can also take a walk in the stone garden where there are peculiar stones lying around the path. The sunset there is gorgeous. Astronomers are able to see the stars very clearly at night without using telescopes. The stone garden is famous for peculiar stones, pines, flowers and grasses. It is a perfect place for vacation.

Wuling Mountain (Wulingshan)

Wuling Mountain (Wulingshan)

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Mountain Areas, Valleys and Scenic Spots, by Jack Li

Wuling Mountain lies in Xinglong County, Hebei Province. It is surrounded by four cities, which are Beijing, Tianjin, Tangshan and Chengde. The mountain covers an area of 14,247 hectares. The forest coverage of Wuling Mountain preserve reaches 93%. The main peak of the Wuling Mountain, 2118 metres high, is also the main peak of the […]

Wuling Mountain lies in Xinglong County, Hebei Province. It is surrounded by four cities, which are Beijing, Tianjin, Tangshan and Chengde. The mountain covers an area of 14,247 hectares. The forest coverage of Wuling Mountain preserve reaches 93%. The main peak of the Wuling Mountain, 2118 metres high, is also the main peak of the Yanshan Mountains. In a temperate continental climate, it rains most in summer which is also the hottest season in the year. The winter is relatively long. Four seasons are different from each other in the Wuling Mountain. The views of the peak and the root of the mountain are also different. Sometimes peach flowers blossom at the root while in the peak it snows. Sometimes it rains a couple of days at the foot but it is sunny at the peak. This happens a lot. The annual average temperature is about 7.6°C. In the hottest month, the average temperature is 17.6°C, which makes the Wuling Mountain a popular summer resort.

The Wuling Mountain scenic zone is a national protected preserve. There are more than 1870 kinds of plants. The scenic zone is a well botanical garden, a green treasure house and a natural gene bank. The animals here are various, including Felis Pardus, Rhesus monkeys and gorals. There are four main attractions in the scenic zone with more than 100 views to see. Each year numerous visitors come here for vacation. The service facilities are fully set.

Wuling Mountain Attractions

Fairy Tower

Five Dragon Heads Scenic Spot

Lotus Service Center

Longtan Pond

Cool Boundary Scenic Spot

Wuling Mountain story

1. Fairy Tower

It was said after Liu Bowen had helped Zhu Yuanzhang become the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Liu was titled as the military adviser, but not the fairy. He was very angry about this, so he quitted the position, went to the Wuling Mountain and lived there for over ten years. In the mountain there lived a couple named White and Black Dragon. They were capable of using magic powers. One day when they had nothing to do, an evil idea came to their mind. They wanted to feel what it was like to be the emperor. So they went to the royal palace immediately and tried to attack the Emperor Yongle. Although Liu was not an official at all, he still cared about the safety of the authorities. So he went to the capital immediately to catch the White and Black Dragon. The couple was astonished by Liu Bowen. So they went back to the Wuling Mountain by the stream of the sea. When Liu Bowen came back to the capital, he blocked the steam and headed back to the Wuling Mountain again. He knew the White and Black Dragon couple would not stop. There it was. Just when Liu arrived at the south pass of the Wuling Mountain, he saw there was a big flood surging. It was the couple. They were trying to merge the capital Beijing by water. There was not too much time for Liu to think carefully. So he took out his bag and threw it into the sea. Just in a minute, there rose a tower pushing the couple down. However they would not surrender like that. They tried to move to get rid of the tower. They were so close to success when there were three fairy signs coming down right from the heaven. The three fairy magic signs tightly fixed the tower to the ground and it could not be moved at all.

The three magic signs were from the Guanyin goddess. She knew Liu Bowen would have difficulties when fighting with the Dragon couple. So she helped him. Afterwards it became a kind of blessing to tough the Fairy Tower.

Circular Mound Altar and The Echo Wall

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

Circular Mound Altar: The Circular Mound Altar embodies the roundness of heaven in. There are three layers of altar with one is bigger than the other from bottom to top. The total height is 5.17m while the biggest altar measures 54.92m in diameter and the smallest 23.65m in diameter. Each layer is nine steps higher […]

Circular Mound Altar:

The Circular Mound Altar embodies the roundness of heaven in. There are three layers of altar with one is bigger than the other from bottom to top. The total height is 5.17m while the biggest altar measures 54.92m in diameter and the smallest 23.65m in diameter. Each layer is nine steps higher than the one on its top. At the center of the top altar is a cobblestone plate encircled by nine laps of fan shaped marble slabs. The number of marble stones in each circle is nine or multiples of nine, also the railing boards and balustrades for ancient Chinese consider nine as a heaven number.

The Echo Wall:

The Imperial Vault of Heaven, made of brick and timber, is 19 meters high and 15.6 meters in diameter. It is surrounded by a circular wall of polished brick with an opening to the south. This is known as the Echo Wall and is 3.72 meters high, 61.5 meters in diameter and 193 meters in circumference. If a person whispers close to the wall at any point, his voice can be heard distinctly at any other point along the wall. This is possible because the wall is round and hermetically constructed with smooth, solid bricks.

Temple of Heaven

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest

On August 26, 2011, in China Attractions, Historical Relics, by Jack Li

The temple’s main building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, where the emperor prayed for a bountiful crop each year. The round hall, 38 meters high and 30 meters in diameter, has triple eaves and a blue, cone-shaped tile roof crowned with a gilded knob. Surrounding the hall is a 6 meter high […]

The temple’s main building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, where the emperor prayed for a bountiful crop each year. The round hall, 38 meters high and 30 meters in diameter, has triple eaves and a blue, cone-shaped tile roof crowned with a gilded knob. Surrounding the hall is a 6 meter high circular stone terrace with three levels, each edged with a balustrade of carved white marble. Without the use of steel, cement, nail, or even big beams and crossbeams, the entire structure is supported by 28 massive wooden pillars and a number of bars, laths, joints and rafters. The furnishings within the hall are still in their original positions from Emperor Xianfeng’s era. In the forefront and above the throne are tablets enshrined in honor of Heaven. On either table on each side are tablets of the emperor’s ancestors. Each tablet is fronted by an altar. A total of 24 kinds of offering were made on the altar, including soup, wine, assorted grains, and calf. The feudal monarchs and their sacrificial rites have long vanished into history. However, this group of magnificent and lofty structures stands as a fine testament to the ingenuity of the ancient Chinese and a piece of mankind’s cultural heritage.

Temple of Heaven

The Hall of Imperial Zenith

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

The Hall of Imperial Zenith, with various memorial tablets of God kept in house-like shrines, is a place for emperors to pray for good harvests. Built in 1420 (18th year of Ming Emperor Yongle’s reign), this hall is to the north of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. With a tricolored glazed door leading […]

The Hall of Imperial Zenith, with various memorial tablets of God kept in house-like shrines, is a place for emperors to pray for good harvests. Built in 1420 (18th year of Ming Emperor Yongle’s reign), this hall is to the north of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. With a tricolored glazed door leading to an altar surrounded by stone balustrade, the hall was built with blue glazed roof tiles. The platform in front of the hall has eight steps on each of its three sides. Guxi Gate stands in the west part of the courtyard. The plaque inscribed with Chinese characters—Huangqidian—were written by Ming Emperor Jiajing.

Historically, on the first and the fifteenth day of each lunar calendar month, the officer in charge of the worship ceremony would send his men in to clean the hall and burn incense. One day before the ceremony, the emperor would finish the worship process. Then, the Director of the Board of Rites would go on to worship God, and the officer in charge of the ceremony would move the memorial tablets of God to the double-dragon pavilion. Finally, the imperial guards would place them in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, More Places of Interest, Must-sees, by Jack Li

Covering a total area of 273 hectares, the Temple of Heaven was a place for the Ming and Qing emperors to “worship God” and “pray for good harvests” in the downtown area outside of Zhengyangmen. It is round in the north and square in the south, reflecting an ancient Chinese belief that “heaven is round […]

Covering a total area of 273 hectares, the Temple of Heaven was a place for the Ming and Qing emperors to “worship God” and “pray for good harvests” in the downtown area outside of Zhengyangmen. It is round in the north and square in the south, reflecting an ancient Chinese belief that “heaven is round and earth is square.” Two rounds of altar wall around the temple divide it into two parts with the inner altar containing most of the buildings.

To elaborate, a wall splits the inner altar into two sections. The northern part is the Altar of Prayer for Grain, used in spring to pray for a year of good harvests. The center here is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. The southern section houses the Circular Mound Altar, serving as the location on the winter solstice. The main building is a giant round stone platform called the Circular Mound. Measuring 360 m in length, the paved path above ground known as Dan Bi Bridge connects the two altars. All the constructions mentioned above form a 1,200 m long axis with ancient cypresses lining each side.

Inside Xitianmen, the Hall of Abstinence was built to the south for emperors to live in before praying. The exterior altar area includes the Office of Divine Music, the department in charge of teaching dance and performing during the worship ceremonies. The major attractions in the Temple of Heaven are as follows: the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, the Hall of Imperial Zenith, the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Hall of Abstinence, the Wanshou Pavilion, and the Echo Wall.

The construction of the Temple of Heaven began in 1420 (Emperor Yongle’s 18th year, Ming Dynasty). After that, the magnificent temple was enlarged and renovated by Ming Emperor Jiajing and Qing Emperor Qianlong. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government devoted funds to protecting and maintaining the antiques in the Temple of Heaven. Its rich cultural connections and distinct architectural style make this weather-beaten temple a symbol of ancient Eastern culture.

Being the largest as well as the oldest architectural complex in the world, the Temple of Heaven was designated an important heritage site under state protection in 1961 and was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998.

The Temple of Heaven Attractions:

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest

The Hall of Imperial Zenith

The Circular Mound Altar and The Echo Wall

The Temple of Heaven Story:

1.   Guxi Gate (meaning: Gate of the Septuagenarian)

Guxi Gate stands at the south-west corner in the Hall of Imperial Zenith. In the 46th year of Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign, the emperor was already aged over 70. The elaborate formalities of worship ceremonies were taking their toll on his strength. To shorten the trip to the Hall of Imperial Zenith, the place was relocated to just outside the west wall of the hall. The emperor provided an explanation of his action in an imperial edict: “Since ascending the throne 46 years ago, I have always participated in the worship ceremony in person every time. Thanks to God, I have been blessed with a long life-span of over 70 years. However, I am no longer quite as strong as before; the trip to the Hall of Imperial Zenith fatigues me. In addition, I do not intend to allow my ministers assume the duty for me. Therefore, I hereby declare that the place of worship be moved to the outside of the hall’s west wall for convenience’s sake. If my descendants are also granted by God a long life like my own, they may also follow my example.” And so, the name of Guxi Gate comes from this story of the old emperor.

2.   Huajia Gate (meaning: Gate of the Sexagenarian)

Huajia Gate refers to a door to the west of Dan Bi Bridge, located outside the South Brick Door of The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. Legend has it that when Qing Emperor Qianlong came to the Temple of Heaven to pray when he was sixty years old, he did not dismount the imperial carriage until he reached this gate so as to spare himself the walk. After that, he went to the Hall of Imperial Zenith and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest to finish the worship process by burning incense and using other sacrificial tools. Huajia Gate came into existence for this reason.

3.   Nine-dragon Cypress

This Nine-dragon Cypress is over 500 years old. With a gigantic straight trunk, the tree is famous for its deep ridged bark, distinguishing it from other old cypresses. The bark of the trunk is strangely full of rivulets, intertwined like nine dragons flying around the cypress. It is the symbol of “nine dragons welcoming God.” People say this old cypress by the road was waiting for the emperor to pass by, but now it is here to welcome visitors from all over the world.

Overline Bridge Travel Tips

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Getting Around, More Places of Interest, Travel Info, by Jack Li

Overline Bridge is located at the outside of Zhengyang Gate in the east of Xuanwu district. The marble bridge was constructed over a small Longxugou river, flowing from west to east. The emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasty used to cross the river through this bridge on the way to the Temple of Heaven. Therefore, […]

Overline Bridge is located at the outside of Zhengyang Gate in the east of Xuanwu district. The marble bridge was constructed over a small Longxugou river, flowing from west to east. The emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasty used to cross the river through this bridge on the way to the Temple of Heaven. Therefore, it is also called “Tian bridge’’ in Chinese (‘tian’ meaning heaven in Chinese). The range of the Overline Bridge scenic spot is from the south of Zhushikou to the north of Yongding River including the street of Zhengyang Gate. Afterwards it gradually changed into a market with Beijing characteristics.

Best Time to Visit Overline Bridge

All year round

Overline Bridge Tickets

Free

How to get to Overline Bridge

By bus: first take the subway of line 2 and get off at Qianmen station, then take No. 17 bus, get off at the west gate of Temple of Heaven and proceed to Overline Bridge on foot.

Self-driving: 1.Start from the Beijing station towards the west; go along the west street of Beijing station for 900 meters, then turn left. 2. After 20 meters, drive in the street outside of Chongwen Gate. 3. Drive along the street outside Chongwen Gate for 700 meters, turn right into the east street of Zhushikou. 4. Continue straight for 1.9 kilometers, into the west street of Zhushikou. 5. Drive along the west street of Zhushikou for 670 meters, turn right into the Qianmen Street. 6. After 460 meters, go straight into the south street of Overline Bridge. 7. Drive 120 meters along the south street of Overline Bridge and pass the Shengjin Overline Bridge after 220 meters, turn back into the south street of Overline Bridge. 8. Drive 240 meters along the south street of Overline Bridge, finally arrive at the Overline Bridge (on the right side of the road).

Overline Bridge (Tianqiao)

On August 26, 2011, in Beijing, Getting Around, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

Constructed over the Longxu ditch, the original OverlineBridge was located in the northwest of the Temple of Heaven. In the ancient times only the Emperor was allowed to cross this bridge, symbolizing the son of Heaven entering to the Temple of Heaven. It was therefore called the “Tianqiao” (Overline) Bridge.  In the past, the Overline […]

Constructed over the Longxu ditch, the original OverlineBridge was located in the northwest of the Temple of Heaven. In the ancient times only the Emperor was allowed to cross this bridge, symbolizing the son of Heaven entering to the Temple of Heaven. It was therefore called the “Tianqiao” (Overline) Bridge.  In the past, the Overline Bridge was a single—hole high—arch bridge, made of white marble. In 1906, as a result of the renovation of the road between “Zhengyang”Gate and “Yongding”Gate, the Overline Bridge was shortened.  In 1929, to allow the the streetcars to go through, the bridge was Bulldozed; only its handrails on two sides were left.  However, in 1934, the handrails were tore town to make place for the further expansion of the road. From then on, the Overline Bridge lost everything from its original form.  At present, the Overline Bridge is a flat ground which has become a goods market and a gathering place for the folk artists.

 Overline Bridge Stories

1. Bridge artists.

The OverlineBridge has been long considered the main spot in Beijing by the local artist.  It is a hub of folk open-air art.  Over five or six hundreds artists are living, teaching, learning and performing there.  They can be divided into two groups: juggling artists, who perform acrobatics and Chinese kungfu; and rap artists, specializing in drama.  The most famous Overline Bridge art project are the statues of the “Eight Freaks” – figures in unusual positions, immortalizing personages of different periods, from “Qiong bupa” to “Cu nigao” and “Han mazi”.  In the present times, the most prominent opera actors, Meng xiaodong and Li guifen, as well as the cross talk master Hou baolin, have performed on the bridge.

2. The disappearance of Overline Bridge

The Overline Bridge has disappeared for many years.  “The Records of Xuanwu distract in Beijing” state that” In 1929, to make way for the streetcar, the bridge was Bulldozed; only its handrails on two sides were left. However, in 1934, the handrails were tore town to enable the further expansion of the road. From then on, the real Overline Bridge lost its original form. Even though overtime it had been leveled with the ground, it has still been called “Tianqiao” bridge.

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