I returned to Beijing for the last few days in China. Having initially taken to Shanghai my second visit to Beijing swayed my attentions. Clearly it did not diminish Shanghai, which remained more compact, clean and still had that intangible sense off somehow being friendly. What it did do was point out how much more Beijing had to offer among its sprawl.
Different areas with changing characteristics, the large parks and their substantial lakes (entrance fees applied but they are hardly prohibitively expensive nor are they inflated for foreign tourists.
The forbidden city is not so easy to access, attempts were made but they were attempts that were not supported by research and in this instance there are regular demand issues, excessive demand for gaining access entrance vs the permitted number of people to wonder about there in. So you need to get in early and get yourself a ticket if you want to be making your entrance. Personally, not a morning person and learnt this issues about getting hold of tickets a good hour or more after the last of the tickets had been sold… Aim to be early if you really want to to get in – i went and saw some parks instead and enjoyed my days more than well enough.. It was warm, travelling with water and replenishing that water from some of the street side stores a good and necessary idea.
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