48 Hours in Beijing: Part 2

0900 – Panjiayuan Flea Market
If you are fortunate enough to be in Beijng over the weekend, the Panjiayuan flea market is well worth a visit. This was another of Felicia’s suggestions and, again, I was surprised by how interesting this place turned out to be. It seems you can find just about anything here, from Tibetan beads, antiques, pottery, toys, arts and crafts, and even a tiger’s claw! Bring money, because chances are, you are going to spend some here.

1200 – The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City is probably the next most popular tourist destinations in Beijing after the Great Wall. It is located just to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rumored to be the largest palace on earth, the Forbidden City has 9,999 buildings. From here, the Chinese Emperors ruled their empire for 500 years. If you only have a few hours, it’s very important to control the amount of time you spend at each site or museum. Just remember, it gets better the further in you go. Incidentally, if you are looking for Starbucks at the Forbidden City, its been closed since July.

1900 – Reflexology and Dinner
By now, your feet must be pretty beat up and well deserving of a foot massage. These massages, also called reflexology, are an ancient art form. The Oriental Taipan Spa gives it a modern twist it by including a buffet of sorts. While you are having your feet rubbed and massaged, you can order up some food – noodles, dumplings, rice, and vegetable and fruit juices. You could have different massages and treatments, but it might be difficult to eat at the same time. The menu is small, but the is food quite edible. This spa is quite reasonably priced and you can make reservations at 65025722.

Thanks to Felicia Soh of The Ascott Hotel, Beijing, for providing us with the above suggestions.

Photos:
Top: Jack Wen, Photographer. While wlking through Panjiayuan Flea Market, I came upon some beautiful black and white photographic prints for sale. This is a picture of Jack Wen, the photographer who made those prints from all over China.
Right: I made a ‘stealth’ shot of this tiger’s claw for among other relics up for sale at Panjiayuan Flea Market.
Center: Guardian of the Forbidden City. This gilded unicorn stands guard at the rear entrance to the Forbidden City.
Left: Changing of the Guard. A portrait of Chairman Mao ovesees the changing of the guard at Tiananmen Square just outside the Forbidden City.

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