Our hotel area south of Tienanmen square.

There are lots of supercheap (relatively speaking) local hotels among these actionpacked hutongs (alleys)

if you can stand the spitting & farting...and cigarette smoke seeping into your room.

The latter got me !
so we moved to one of the more pleasant "courtyard hotels" , ~ $10 / night.

Wangfujing Dajie , Pekings very pale version of Nanjing Donglu in Shanghai.

Tiananmen square, " the biggest square in the world "
Itīs big.

At night

The peoples heroes

The Palace, Forbidden city.

surrounded by a mote

a minicity from where dynastybosses ruled their lands & subjects.

VERY extra sterile & boring indeed....at least today...maybe it had more "colour" in centuries past.

An average Chinese city park

The prettiest possible picture of Peking which is normally covered in pollution,
partly construction haze in preparation to show off China for the 2008 Olympics.

Pekingīs giant "boulevards"...Brand new taxis cost about a $ ! Probably the best value on the planet !
Even though they are chauffeured by the most honest & helpful taxi drivers in the world
itīs virtually impossible to make them understand where the hell you want to go.
A very clear Chinese character map is absolutely necessary !

Tiantan (temple of heaven) park.

A miniature, pay to enter, carbon copy of Hangshou (near Shanghai).
The area obviously created by the same designer in accordance with
ancient Chinese recipe for successful Sunday outing.

THE GREAT WALL, at Simatai.

We hiked 10km in 40 + degrees Celsius ! up&down up&down...

Wouldīve been ok if the guvna didnīt charge you "entrance" at every conceivable step of the way !
(crossing hang bridges etc.) taking capitalism to an extreme. The USA would be proud !

Supposedly the $$$ go to maintenance etc...

Yeah.... and not a toilet or trash can in sight. Had to carry my damn empty waterbottle 10k !

What you do get though are a plentiful supply of pestering fools
trying to sell you crap you donīt need every 10 yards or so (somehow they get in for free, of course)

Worth doing once though...