Hidden Treasure In hutong
Pick up from your hotel lobby at 9:00am. Transfer to Beihai Park. Enjoy a relax walk on the dykes of beihai park (with breathtaking scenery and lesser tourists)(1.5 hours), then walk to jingshan park (1 hour), climb to the top and have a panoramic view on Forbidden city.
Baihai Park is situated in the Xicheng District and has a history of more than 1,000 years. This park was built up through five dynasties, the Liao (916-1125), the Jin(1115-1234), the Yuan (1271-1368), the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911). Though it was a royal garden, it remains grand with a hint of exquisite elegance as well. It covers an area of 69 hectares (171 acres), with over a half covered by water. The whole park can be divided into four scenic areas: Qionghua Islet (Jade Flower Islet), Circular City, the eastern bank area and the northern bank area.
The best view of Beijing is from the Pavilion of Everlasting Spring (Wanchun-ting) perched on top of the middle peak, which used to be the highest point in the city. Northwards, one can see the Drum and Bell Towers, a traditional feature of old Chinese cities. To the northwest, the two slabs of water of the Shichahai and Beihai Lake are intersected by Dianmen Dajie. To the south, the golden roofs of the Imperial Palace can be seen stretching into the distance.
Lunch at a characteristic restaurant(1.5 hours).
In the afternoon transfer to hutong area. Take rickshaw for sightseeing of inner hutong, visit a local family and learn D.I.Y Chinese dumplings,then visit to Drum tower and Drum beating performance. Return to your hotel.
Learn D.I.Y Chinese dumplings:
To make Chinese dumplings, first of all, chop the meat into pieces and mash them, then add salt, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, scallions, Chinese cabbage and MSG if you like. Mix thoroughly the ingredients; add two spoonful of water if necessary. In a big bowl, add water to flour gradually. Mix and knead by hand to form soft dough, then cover it with towel and put it aside for about an hour. Then scatter some dry flour on the board, knead and roll it into a sausage---like dough about 5 centimeters in diameter, then chop it into small pieces. Press each piece with your hand and get a pancake. Finally, to hold the pancake with your palm and put the filling in the center and wrap into half-moon shaped and seal the edges. The next step is easy. Put the dumpling into boiling water, when it is well cooked, it is ready to be served. Before eating, you need to prepare some small dishes to contain the mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil or pepper oil to your own taste.
Located 100 meters(109 yards) south to the bell tower, it was placed on a 4-meter-high (13 feet) stone and brick base. It is 46.7 meters (153 feet) high, a little bit lower than the bell tower that is 47.9 meters high (157 feet). It is also a two-storey building; the first floor contains the China Committee for the Promotion of the Minority Art. The second floor contains the exhibition area. Originally, there was one big drum and 24 smaller ones, but only the big remains. The method of beating it is to beat it quickly for 18 times and then slowly for 18 times. Altogether there are three rounds and 108 tollings. People knock the bell and the drum 108 times, because 108 times represent one year in ancient times.