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Besides visiting The Great Wall, while in Beijing,we also visited the Forbidden City, and you can take a virtual tour for yourself here. After several hours of visiting the many temples and being inspired by the amazing patterns and textures, we stood in Tiananmen Square, this was a restricted area as the 17th Party Congress was being held that week.

This was an indication of what will happen for the Olympics next year. This is a very important focus as we found out on visiting The Temple of Heaven.

As we entered the Temple area, we were greeted with a huge floral display of the Olympic rings and there was another Olympics display as we left, at the other end of the park.

There were shops selling memorabilia for The Summer games of 2008 One World One Dream being the slogan for the games

The Temple of Heaven was one of my favorite sites that we visited in Beijing. There was a tranquility in both the setting and the temple. The detailed art work was so rich and varied


The Taoist temple is set in a beautiful park. This was one thing that there were plenty of in Beijing and very much part of Beijing life.

On our first day in Beijing, Kath & I visited the Ritan park, where a choir was practicing in Russian, a woman doing tai chi, a painter was set up with an easel, painting in Monet style and I had my first taste of authentic Sichuan cuisine. We returned there on the Saturday with Kath, Richard and Angus and Cate our niece and nephew.( Our main reason for the visit) The park was again a place of the people, children were playing, kites being flown and there was the great restaurant to lunch in.

This greenery is like a haven in a city of grey. We were called the fair weather mascots by our hosts: although there was plenty of air pollution, we did see some blue sky and experienced one of the few sunsets that Beijing has.

Ritan Park