Our day was far from over in the centre of Beijing. After exiting the Forbidden city we made our way up to the top of the hill in JingShan park, which lies directly behind the city. From here you have almost a 360 degree view of the centre of Beijing.
The top of the hill in JingShan is also a great place to get an elevated view of the Forbidden City except… well… on this day the view wasn't too flash. We could see less than half the length of the city. At least the temple on top of the hill had some lovely under-roof paintings as some compensation. Lower in the park they were keen to keep people off the grass so they had erected this cute little sign that works in any language.
Located within the park is the location where the last emperor of the Ming dynasty hanged himself. After receiving news that the peasant uprising had broken into the city he did a bolt for it out the back door and took his own life rather than be captured and killed by the peasants.
From here we made it out into the old streets of surrounding Beijing. We walked through roads and dwellings that look like they haven't changed for 50 years or so. We stopped in a small local restaurant and had a feast of rice, dumplings, fried beef and garlic broccoli, served with a tepid and somewhat ho-hum tea.
With all the rain and so forth our Swiss companion found soggy socks more than she could bear. We eventually managed to find a store selling women's clothes and she managed to put an end to her sodden socks.
From here we made our way to Beijing's famous silk markets. Like other places in China, this is a multi-story complex full of shops selling all kinds of goods, including silk. There were shops selling tea wares, jade articles, jewellery accessories, wall hangings, customised stamps and a bunch of other trinkets. There was also a steady stream of foreigners all hunting for a bargain.
Nearby there were a few more familiar food places, where we eventually had dinner. It was a big day, a colossal day in fact. I don't know how many kilometres we walked but it was a lot. We saw everything from the biggest to the smallest Beijing had to offer and went to bed utterly exhausted, but loving our time in this culturally-rich city.