Tuesday, April 12, 2016

China 2009 - Toronto to Beijing

I only started blogging in 2009 when we were planning a trip to China. Hence the name Junkboat Travels. In looking back my posts were very sparse so I thought I could rectify that here by showing photos from the various cities we visited.

We (John) had booked a private tour for us and another couple. We were lucky that my BIL gave us first class tickets for our very long flight!

Sat 02-May-09 Air Canada Tor (8:30 am) flight 063-Van flight 029-Beijing

Breakfast on our way to Vancouver.

We had a layover in Vancouver.

On our way!

Ice floes over Russia.


Flying into Beijing.

We are met by Shawn, our guide and we quickly get our luggage and he escorts us to our car and hotel.

01. Sun 03-May-09
Arrive in Beijing, Flight No. AC029 ETA 14:20 Sunworld Hotel Beijing ****
Airport to Hotel Transfer (Beijing)

It was the middle of the afternoon so of course we were too wired to relax and headed out.
We were around the corner from Wangfujing literally: "Prince's Mansion Well") is one of the most famous shopping streets of Beijing, located in Dongcheng District. The majority of the main area is pedestrianised and very popular shopping place for both tourists and residents of the capital. 

St, Joseph's Church

Many exotic foods are served on Wangfujing, home to the Night Market.

It was getting dark after an early dinner.

02. Mon 04-May-09
Beijing Sunworld Hotel Beijing ****
The Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, the Temple of Heaven,Beijing Ba guo bu yi Restaurant(Lunch)B,L

We were up bright and early and headed out to Tiananmen Square.

It is hazy.

From here it is an easy walk to the Forbidden City.



The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912. It is located in the centre of Beijing, and now houses the Palace Museum. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

Very crowded with many Chinese tourists.

Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (180 acres) The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987,and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.


Next was lunch at Beijing Ba guo bu yi Restaurant, our first taste of real Chinese food. It was one of my fears about this trip that I wouldn't find anything to eat. Not so, it was some of the most delicious food I have ever had. And you learn to use chopsticks real quickly.

 We then went to the Temple of Heaven which is is a medieval complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing.  


Hall of Prayer for a Good Harvest

It is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings. First built in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), it was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion.

Imperial Vault of Heaven

We were on our own for dinner and had made reservations for Peking Duck, a must when in Beijing.
Quanjude is known for its trademark Quanjude Peking Roast Duck and its longstanding culinary heritage since its establishment in 1864.

03. Tue 05-May-09
Beijing Sunworld Hotel Beijing ****
Mutianyu Great Wall(with round way cable car), Xing Shuang Quan Restaurant(Lunch), Hutong Tours in a Rickshaw, Cloisonne Factory B,L

Our first stop this morning is in the Hutong district 

In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.[1] Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods.

Since the mid-20th century, the number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically as they are demolished to make way for new roads and buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history.

 Our rickshaw awaits.

Our guide demonstrating a wedding custom.

Another amazing lunch at Xing Shuang Quan Restaurant on our way to the Great Wall.


Like any good tourist attraction you have to walk by the souvenirs stands first.

Then you board a cable car to the wall. 

It is hazy again today and I have not Photoshopped any of these.

Someone's not keen on the cable car ride down.

 More souvenirs stands as you exit.

 Next stop a cloisonne factory.

Not on the itinerary but Shawn takes us to the site of the 2008 Olympics.

An incredible building containing apartments and hotel across from the Olympic grounds.

The Water Cube

Known as the Bird's Nest.

Alan, Shawn and John

 4. Wed 06-May-09

Shan Shui Jian Yang Jie Zi Restaurant(Longtan Park Branch)(Lunch), Summer Palace with boat Cruise and The Garden of Virtue and Harmony,  Helitang pearl store, 

We then fly to Xian at 4:30 Hotel to airport Transfer (Beijing), Airport to Hotel Transfer (Xian)B,L

 Summer Palace 

The construction started in 1750 as a luxurious royal garden for royal families to rest and entertain. It later became the main residence of royal members in the end of the Qing Dynasty. However, like most of the gardens of Beijing, it could not elude the rampages of the Anglo-French Allied Force and was destroyed by fire.

 More good food!! At Shan Shui Jian Yang Jie Zi Restaurant where we insisted the driver and guide sit with us.

 After a quick boring  visit to a pearl factory we were whisked off to the airport for our flight to Xian.


  1. WOW!!! What a trip. So many things to see. The Great Wall really caught my attention.

  2. Excellent shots! The Great Wall in particular is something I'd like to see.

  3. Wow. Thanks for the huge post. I was fascinated by the orchestra photo and would loved to have been able to eat the food. It looked amazing. I also wish my BIL would give me first class tickets lol.


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