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北京中國旅遊自行車游

2011-12-30 10:41 ChineseTime

Bicycle Tour in Beijing China tours - China tour guide Because of the city's size, and the difficulties associated with public transport, the bicycle may be the most practical way of touring Beijing. Special cycle lanes make it generally safe, but great caution must be exercised at intersections and on roads without special lanes. An additional consideration is to secure the bike when you leave it. Allow 2 hours for this tour; longer if you want to explore the various locations en route.

Begin at the intersection of Xinjiekou Bei St and Deshengmen Dong St, then turn on to the Xihaibeiyan path along the north bank of Xihai Lake.

Xihai Lake
This is the first in a series of lakes stretching southeast towards the city centre, forming a pleasant open space surrounded by hutongs (old neighbourhoods). Local people come here to fish, and compared with most of Beijing's public places, these lakes have a wild and ragged look which makes them all the more attractive. Cross Deshengmennei St and join the Houhaibeiyan pathway along the north shore of Houhai Lake.

2. Houhai Lake
The tree-lined, rutted lakeside pathway is a bustle of hutong life and colour: students making for class, street traders, housewives with fresh fruit and vegetables, pungent cooking smells, and throngs of cyclists. Heavier traffic generally avoids this lane. Cross the stone bridge to the Qianhaibeiyan pathway along the western shore of Qianhai Lake, past the Lotus Flower street market. Then cross Di'anmen Xi St, and stop at the entrance to Beihai Park.

3. Beihai Park
Bicycles are not permitted in the park, so leave yours at the stalls outside and explore the park on foot. This was formerly a playground of China's ruling women, favoured by the Dowager Empress Cixi, and by Jiang Qing, wife of Chairman Mao. Its highlights are Jade Islet and the White Dagoba. Return to Di'anmen Xi St and collect your bike. Cycle east a short way before turning right into the narrow lane through Gongjian Hutong.

4. Gongjian Hutong
This offers a fascinating glimpse of Beijing as it used to be, away from the crowded apartment blocks taking over elsewhere. These small, tumbledown houses, all jumbled together, have an almost rural air. Emerging on Jingshan Xi St, take this narrow, busy road between Beihai Park and Jingshan Park, then on to Beichang St, then Nanchang St on the west side of the Palace Museum. Turn left into Tiananmen Square.

5. Palace Museum
Tiananmen Gate, with its giant portrait of Chairman Mao, stands on the left, and through the gate is the entrance to the Forbidden City. This colossal monument to the glories of imperial China is worth an extensive visit, and is best tackled separately if time permits. Cross over into Tiananmen Square proper. Cycling is not permitted, so you must push your bike across it.

6. Tiananmen Square
Passing the Great Hall of the People on your right and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution on your left, you arrive across the vast expanse of the square to the Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, where the embalmed body of the late leader is on display. Exit the square around the monumental Qianmen Gate at its southern end, into Qianmen St. Turn left into the Hutong district on Zhushikou Dong St, then right into Nanqiaowan St and Jinyuchizhong St, completing your tour at Tiantan Park.

7. Tiantan Park
Cycles are not permitted in this 267-hectare monumental park which was sacred to the emperor as a centre of the state cult; he would come here each year to pray for a good harvest.

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