In the beginning of January, we had a string of really bad air days, so when we finally got a nice day, we went out to explore. We decided to explore some parks by the Forbidden City.

Jingshang Park

We started off by going to the Jingshang Park, which overlooks the Forbidden City from the North.  This is something that I definitely recommend doing, but make sure you go on a good air day or you won’t see anything!

It was quiet when we arrived at the park.  We took some paths that led up the hill.

img_0630
View of Beihei Park from the top of Jingshang Park

Once we made it to the top, we took got a nice view of the Forbidden City.  I loved the little hike up and then the views were amazing.  It wasn’t too crowded when we went either.

After finishing our walk up, we then made our way back down and stopped for some pictures along the way.  It was all very pretty. It was fun walking along the water too!

 

History from Ben

If I understood the history correctly, this hill was formed when the Chinese excavated the Forbidden City.

Beihei Park

After exploring Jingshang Park, we saw that we were close to Beihei Park, so we decided to walk over there.  It was actually just a short walk across the street.  Beihei Park was a lovely park and also not too crowded.  You could view the top of Jingshang Park from Beihei Park.  I definitely want to come back and walk around when the weather warms up and there is more green on the trees!

History from Ben

Beihai Park, which was built close to 1420 AD and is West of Jingshang Park and North West of the Forbidden City. There’s a huge lake on the other side of the hill.

After Beihei Park, we decided to head home.  We looked at the map to decide which subway to take since there wasn’t one right there.  The one we took over had us then taking a nice walk through the Hutongs to get to Jingshang Park.  I noticed on the the map that there were some temples on the way if we walked to the Tiananmen stop.  It was a bit of a walk but it was a nice day, so we decided to do that.  We actually did see any temples (they may have been off to the side).  Once on the metro, we pass by Ben’s favorite stop (Wangfujing), so we stopped there so Ben could take some more pictures (and I could do some shopping!

Wangfujing

Once we made it to Wangfujing, we explored the main shopping street.  It was busy but not as busy as I’ve seen it.  We walked to the end of the street and ended up checking out an Apple store inside a mall.  The mall has signs that said Beijing AQM–something like that–and how that have air purifiers in the mall to help with the air quality on bad pollution days.  I’ll need to keep that in mind the next time the air isn’t so good (although, you can never be too sure how those air filters work if they are not your own).

After the mall, Ben headed to take pictures of the food again and I went to explore some of the shopping.  You really do start to see the same things over and over in all the different sections.

We were inside for about a week after the bad air, so it was nice to spend a whole day outside!

TOTE:  Get out and explore when the weather is good!