Temple of Heaven closed?

Jul 24th, 2005, 08:34 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 426
Temple of Heaven closed?

Hi,
I am going to China in September and remember reading somewhere that the Temple of Heaven is currently being renovated. Is it still open and if so, is it still worth seeing even with the construction going on?
Thanks!
quimbymoy is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 09:32 AM
  #2  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,644
The main structure is undergoing renovation but the complex is open. I enjoyed the other buildings and the "forest"; I think it would depend on the amount of time that you have in Beijing as to whether it would be worth it to you. For instance, if it were a choice between the Temple and Summer Palace, I'd go for Summer Palace.

There is a lot of renovation/reconstruction going on all over Beijing, possibly partly due to the 2008 Olympics, but there's still a lot to see and do! (I just returned yesterday from three weeks in China.)

Happy travels!
Amy is online now  
Jul 24th, 2005, 11:43 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,154
Amy, please tell us more about your trip. We're leaving at the end of August and are interested in any suggestions you may have.
Marija is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 05:28 PM
  #4  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,644
Hi, Marija! I'm hoping to get a trip report of sorts together once I've stopped spinning a bit but just a few bits of info:

I travelled solo to Beijing, overnight train to Xi'an, on to Chengdu, then Tibet, back to Chengdu and on to Hong Kong, in three weeks' time. I had no problems at all with getting around on my own and had many wonderful experiences with very helpful people. The heat was pretty intense-- and the pollution in the cities is pretty bad--but it's certainly worth it to see the Great Wall (I went to Jinshanling; very few tourists) and the Summer Palace and so forth.

I stayed five days in Beijing at the Marco Polo Hotel (good rates, good location) and then went on to Xi'an; the terra cotta warriors are a "must", of course, but it's definitely sorta Disneyfied. In Chengdu I stayed at Sim's Cozy Guesthouse and really enjoyed the relaxed backpacker atmosphere; I went to Leshan out of there to see "Big Buddha" and then went to Tibet with a Chinese group. (Even the guide didn't speak English--it was most interesting, but everyone was kind and kept dishing me food and pointing things out for me to see.) Ending in Hong Kong made things easier; tea at the Peninsula was a highlight there: very touristy thing to do, but it was exquisite and not at all crowded, unlike what I understand happens during the high season.

The trains and planes all ran on time and almost everywhere it was easy to get around; having your destination written in characters for the cabdrivers is very helpful. (In fact, if your guidebook doesn't have everything written in characters, pinyin, and English, get another guidebook! Seriously, I didn't use my one book at all as it didn't have the Chinese characters written.)

I'll be happy to try to answer any specific questions that I can, although three weeks is only a drop in the ocean for China!


Amy is online now  
Jul 24th, 2005, 05:47 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 426
thanks for the input amy! i am looking forward to hearing about your trip. we are also planning a walk at jinshanling. did you go straight to simatai? and how long did it take to get to the other side?

also, if we decided to go to the summer palace, is a half day enough to see it?

thanks again!
quimbymoy is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 06:00 PM
  #6  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,644
Well, the day I went to Jinshanling it was (gulp) 104 degrees, so I didn't make the whole walk to Simatai on the wall; there's a whole lot of straight-up-and-down on that walk, and the climb up to Jinshanling is a bit of a scramble in that weather. About six towers after the Jinshanling entrance there's a "shortcut" down through the surrounding farmland that eventually takes you to Simatai, where you can do some more climbing. Those who did manage the whole hike took about four hours or so; between Beijing smog in my lungs and the heat, I knew that it would be pushing it to walk the wall the whole way (wimp that I am.) But it is awesome!

I went to both the "New" and the "Old" Summer Palaces, and went back to my hotel from there by bus, so that took most of the day, but just the New Summer Palace by itself can easily be done in a half day. I took a cab out there, about 38 yuan. There were far fewer tourists at the Old Summer Palace, but of course that's mostly ruins of what had been built in European style. I liked the contrast, myself, but then, I'm a history fan.

Amy is online now  
Jul 29th, 2005, 11:31 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 90
Amy - Sounds great, except the heat. I have questions on the logistics...Did you go with a group or on your own? How did you get to Jinshanling? How much did it cost? Did you go back to Jinshanling after Simatai or did you go straight back to Beijing? Was your return pre-planned or did you go back when you were done?

Thanks for your help!
suzanne97 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 11:35 AM
  #8  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,644
I went to Jinshanling and then back to Beijing from Simatai with a bus trip from the Far East Hostel/Hotel. It was about $25, I believe, for the three hour trip out and back.

It worked out well as far as timing; everyone seemed to have ample time for doing the hike, even in the horrendous heat.

It is truly beautiful; just try to find a day that's a little cooler than 104!
Amy is online now  
Jul 29th, 2005, 11:39 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 90
Did you book in advance from the US or after you arrived in China or did you just show up? Was there a pre-set time to return or just when the group was ready. We are travelling with my parents who are in their mid-60s. None of us are really strong hikers. How hard is it?
suzanne97 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 06:50 PM
  #10  
Amy
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,644
I booked in Beijing the day before. There was a (apparently flexible) preset time for going back.

It is quite a climb at Jinshanling up to the wall; a narrow dirt path that can be steep in places. There are a number of uneven steps up and down on the wall as well. To me, it might be a bit much for 60ish non-hikers; perhaps others on here can give their perspective without the heat factor that was so much a part of my experience!
Amy is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:47 AM.