After visiting no less than 3 new Publishers and a supplier of Goods that we will keep a business-secret for now we are calmly awaiting some business decisions and await news from Tiantan Park and Administration. Unable to upload our latest site-information, we decided to head out again to make new photos and assemble some new Reports on the Great City of Beijing. Todays program – The Summer Palace at the (former?) outskirts of the City at the foot of the Western Hills. With yet again warm weather a great day to visit and photograph.
As you may have noticed, the Summer Palace is one of our Reports unfinished and in dire need of extra photos to map out this rather large Park and Imperial Garden. Today was the day for those additions. Here a small review of our findings: first of all – growing Chinese internal Tourism is making it increasingly difficult for us to upkeep our level of quality (photos without people are preferred). After taking Bus 826 from QianMen on the South Flank of TiananMen Square, and having an hour to view all of drab Haidian District, we arrived at the South Gate to The Summer Palace to find it overcrowded with many many chinese tourgroups. So many visitors we had not encountered here before. Entering the Park here-after we found that the Summer Palaces main Hall (Western Longevity Hill) was sadly under construction and therefor not open to visitors.
These wre the main obstructions of the day. Trying to enjoy and make the best of it, we did manage to cover new parts of The Palace & Park. A great day! We hope to bring you these additions soon. However, true .. with still at least 20.000 photos of Beijing and all it’s Major and Minor sites, in reality this may take us a substantial time. We do our Best and give much of our energy!
Tommorows program: The Western Hills. An area hitherto unvisited by Doc Ben for his China Report.
As mentioned The Main Hall (with Buddha Statue) of the Summer Palace is under construction, as are many sites in Beijing Today. In preparation for the 2008 Olympics, many repairs are being undertaken around the City (and many hutong are flattened to be replaced by soul-less appartment highrises that all look the same).
Here a short list of Monuments and Landmarks under (re-)construction :
1) The Forbidden City Outer Court (plus some of the Central Inner Court in front of The Gate of Heavenly Purity)
2) Tiantan – Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (Main Hall Temple of Heaven) and Hall of Fasting (West Park)
3) WanChun Ting , or Everlasting Spring Pavillion, the Central Look-out Pavillion atop Jingshan ( Coal Hill) and it’s adjacent smaller Pavillions (5 in all).
4) QianMen, or the Front Gate to the Inner Imperial City- located at the South side of TiananMen Square
5) The MiaoYing Temple, or 2nd Bai Ta Si. The White Dagoba Temple at 171 FuchengMen NeiDajie, in the western XiCheng District
6) ZhiHua Temple, the Temple founded by Eunuch Wang Zheng in 1443 AD, at Lumicanghou, near ChaoYangMen in the Eastern parts of DongCheng District
7) Bai Ta Si – The White Dagoba of Beihai Park at Jade Island, also under reconstruction
8) As mentioned the Central Pavillion on the Western Shore of Kunming Lake at The Summer Palace.
So far we haven’t seen or remembered any other sites under re-construction, except maybe the Hutong directly South-East of The Forbidden City. All these hutong are being demolished and rebuilt in traditional style, a process that has been going on since the year 2003.
More News on Beijing to come !