Day 2 – Bejing: Forbidden City, Swiss Embassy and Beijing duck restaurant

Our first official day in Beijing started with a wake-up call at 7am. After breakfast with sushi and noodle soup we met at the lobby to walk to the Forbidden City. With myriads of Chinese people we walked through the large historic sight. Our kind tour guides gave us interesting information about the Chinese history. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five hundred years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. In ancient times, there were over 8’000 houses within the walls and it would have take about 6 days to see the whole place. After the tour we climbed the “Kohlenberg” which is located right behind the Forbidden City. Everyone was exhausted when we reached the summit, but the view was teriffic. Continue reading

Day 15 – Beijing and the Forbidden City

Day 15 was the final day of the International Management 08 class in China. After numerous check-ins and check-outs in various cities and hotels we packed our bags for the last time and left the splendid Prime Hotel.

Our first stop of the day was the Tiananmen Square. It is the largest city square in the world with 440’000 m2. It is named after the Tiananmen Gate which translated means Gate of Heaven’s Pacification. The gate separates the square from the Forbidden City in the north. On the southern side, the square borders to the Qianmen gate. After we crossed the Tiananmen Square we entered the Forbidden City at the south gate, walking underneath the oversized, 1.5 tonnes heavy portrait of Mao Zedong. The Forbidden City was China’s imperial palace from the Ming dynasty until the end of the Qing dynasty. It comprises 980 buildings and covers an impressive area of 720’000 m2.

The next stop of the day brought us to Tian Tan, the temple of heaven. The temple complex was built during the same time as the Forbidden City and was used by the reigning monarch to pray to heaven for good harvests.
Since the temperatures in Beijing were rather low, the students were looking forward to the warm restaurant and a last traditional Chinese lunch.
The afternoon brought another interesting insight into the Chinese culture with a visit of a traditional Chinese tea-house. We learned about the importance of tea and its ceremony.
Our last sightseeing stop before dinner was the Hutong area of Beijing. It is known for its traditional buildings and the small narrow streets.
The most famous dish you can get in Beijing is probably the “Beijing Duck”. To round off a successful study trip, we went for a last dinner and enjoyed and exquisite meal and reflected on the past two weeks.

Day 4: Summer Palace and trip to Handan

Still having the great impressions of the great wall in mind, we had to pack and to check out from the hotel because later that day we had to catch the train to Handan. After loading the baggage into our bus we didn’t leave Beijing before visiting the awesome Summer Palace. The weather was very nice that day, so Petrus was with us. Continue reading

Day 2: Forbidden City and Swiss Embassy

Our second day in China started with a typical Chinese breakfast which would be for Europeans more a lunch or dinner. After this cultural experience we drove to the biggest public area in the world: the Tian´anmen square. The government showed parades with millions of people but there were several incidents. The last one was in 1989, where thousands of people demonstrated for democracy, freedom of press, against corruption and censorship. At the end the army ended this demonstration with a massacre. Continue reading