The driver dropped us off at the North Gate which meant alot of walking over a giant hill to get to the main part with the lake and the buildings.
I had never been here before and it was a little bit disappointing. Looked like every other place, nothing special just alot of walking. The best part really was the exercise park near the entrance with all the activities going on... fans, singing, dancing, badminton, streamers, Chinese opera, and a dozen more.
This was my site to visit this time. The lake was so peaceful and the park was so beautiful. Ironically, I think I spent the least amount of time there. Next time I definitely want to go back and spend more time there. At least we got to see the Nine Dragon Wall.
Very few remain and the ones that are still there are hidden behind "One World One Dream" walls. Kristina and Bruce visited the ones near Beihai Park. We also walked through the ones in Liulicheng as part of our shopping trip.
Great Wall at Simatai
I went here with my family last time and complained bitterly about all the climbing. This time was a little different because of the pathway that was built three years ago, but still really tough. Kristina and Bruce took the cable car up to the top (the thought of which was terrifying to me); Max and Missy took the zipline down (also truly terrifying to me); I walked all the way up, across to the 6th tower and back. I was pretty wiped out for the rest of the day!
It was filled with all kinds of flowers and tons of people because of the Olympics. Good thing we went on August 25 because on the 26th it was all being dismantled.
I did see the Forbidden City was I was in China last and so this was my first time. Unfortunately there were some "notables" visiting and so access to the best areas were cut off just as we got to them. We think it was the Swedish royal family. Overall it was nice, the size is impressive but I think I would skip it next time.