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PhotoSecrets Beijing, first published January 26, 2018. This version output April 21, 2018.
Curated, coded and designed by Andrew Hudson. Copyright © Andrew Hudson for PhotoSecrets (Photo Tour Books, Inc.). Photos, text and maps copyrights are listed in the credits section.
“‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversations?’”
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Thank you to the many talented photographers that generously made their photos available. Photos distributed by the following:
Text copyright of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).editors and contributors. Licensed under
Map data fromand its contributors. Open data licensed under the .
Cover image by Chungking/Shutterstock.
Back cover image by .
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any way without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner(s) and the publisher of this book.
The information provided within this book is for general informational purposes only. Some information may be inadvertently incorrect, or may be incorrect in the source material, or may have changed since publication, this includes GPS coordinates, addresses, location titles, descriptions, Web links, and photo credits. Use with caution; do not photograph from roads or other dangerous places or when trespassing, even if GPS coordinates and/or maps indicate so; beware of moving vehicles; obey laws. The publisher and author cannot accept responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this book. There are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, images, or graphics contained in this book for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.
For corrections, please send an email.
A great travel photograph, like a great news photograph, requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photographers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”
There are countless books that can help you with photographic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to wander around, track down every potential viewpoint, and essentially re-invent the wheel.
In my career as a professional travel photographer, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photographing instead of wandering about. It’s like having a professional location scout in your camera bag. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photograph on assignment.
PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”
Bob Krist has photographed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photographer of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.
For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photographer magazine as “the best book about travel photography we’ve ever read.”
The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photography, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photographs.
PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic shots, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Get ideas for composition and interesting viewpoints. See what piques your interest. Know what to shoot, where to stand, when to go, and why it’s interesting. Now you can spend less time researching and more time photographing.
The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. Twenty-plus years later, you have this guide. Thanks!
Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!
Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.
Andrew has published 38 nationally-distributed photography books. He has photographed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photography, Where, and Woman’s World.
Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.
At a Glance
|Fame:||capital of China|
the world’s second most populous city proper
|Population:||21.7 m Municipality (2015)|
24.9 m metro (2015)
|Time zone:||CST (UTC+8)|
Beijing, sometimes romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world.
The Tiananmen, or Gate of Heavenly Peace, is a famous monument in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||120 m (380 feet)|
|AKA:||Tian’an Men, Gate of Heavenly Peace||Wik:|
Qianmen is the colloquial name for Zhengyangmen, a gate in Beijing’s historic city wall.
Archery Tower was the forward gate of Zhengyangmen, and the two were connected by side walls to form a large barbican. The side gates were torn down in 1915 so Archery Tower now stands alone.
|Look:||Southwest ↙||Far:||70 m (230 feet)|
|AKA:||Qianmen, Arrow Tower, Jian Lou|
This revolutionary sculpture is one of a pair that flank the entrance to the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||50 m (150 feet)|
The Monument to the People’s Heroes is a ten-story obelisk that was erected as a national monument of the People’s Republic of China to the martyrs of revolutionary struggle during the 19th and 20th centuries.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||130 m (410 feet)|
The Imperial Ancestral Temple, Ancestral Hall or Taimiao of Beijing, is a historic site in the heart of the city, just outside the Forbidden City.
|AKA:||Ancestral Hall, Taimiao of Beijing, Working People’s Cultural Palace||Wik:|
The Meridian Gate (Wu Men) is the southern and largest gate of the Forbidden City. Its five arches are approached by five marble bridges over the Golden Water canal.
|Look:||Southwest ↙||Far:||140 m (440 feet)|
A Chinese lion guards the Gate of Supreme Harmony.
|Look:||Northwest ↖||Far:||16 m (52 feet)|
The northeast corner turret and Tongzi Moat.
|Far:||100 m (340 feet)|
The Gate of Supreme Harmony.
|Look:||Southwest ↙||Far:||60 m (190 feet)|
The decorated rotunda of a temple in the Imperial Garden.
The Nine-Dragon Wall is a screen wall with reliefs of nine different Chinese dragons. Built in 1771, it is located in front of the Palace of Tranquil Longevity.
|Look:||Northeast ↗||Far:||28 m (92 feet)|
A turtle guardian by the Palace of Heavenly Purity.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||19 m (62 feet)|
The Spiritual Valor Gate and Tongzi Moat, on the north side.
|Look:||Southeast ↘||Far:||130 m (430 feet)|
Jingshan Park is a public park covering 23 hectares immediately north of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||110 m (350 feet)|
Yongdingmen was the former front gate of the outer section of Beijing’s old city wall.
Galaxy Soho is an office complex with continuous flowing lines connecting four oval-shaped buildings. By Zaha Hadid Architects, 2009-2012.
|Look:||South-southeast ↓||Far:||100 m (320 feet)|
The Temple of Confucius at Beijing is the second largest Confucian Temple in China, after the one in Confucius hometown of Qufu.
|Addr:||15 Guozijian St,|
MOMA Beijing is a complex of towers connected by skybridges.
|Addr:||1 Xiangheyuan Rd,|
|Look:||East-northeast →||Far:||90 m (280 feet)|
|AKA:||Hotel MoMc, COCO MOMA|
The Capital Museum is an art museum in Beijing, China.
|Look:||Southwest ↙||Far:||70 m (230 feet)|
The National Centre for the Performing Arts, and colloquially described as The Giant Egg, is an opera house in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
|Addr:||2 W Changan Ave,|
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||110 m (370 feet)|
|AKA:||The Giant Egg||Wik:|
|Far:||430 m (1410 feet)|
The Tianning Temple is located in the Guang’anmen district of Beijing, China.
|Addr:||Tianningsi Front St,|
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||28 m (92 feet)|
The Beijing Zoo is a zoological park in Beijing, China.
|AKA:||Gate of Virtuous Triumph||Wik:|
The Summer Palace is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing, China.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||50 m (160 feet)|
|AKA:||Boat of Purity and Ease||Wik:|
The Garden of Harmonious Pleasures.
|Look:||Southwest ↙||Far:||70 m (240 feet)|
Standing atop the Longevity Hill, the Tower of Buddhist Incense is the highest building in the Summer Palace.
|Look:||South-southeast ↓||Far:||40 m (130 feet)|
The Jade Belt Bridge, also known as the Camel’s Back Bridge, is an 18th-century pedestrian Moon bridge located on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing, China.
|Addr:||Old Summer Palace,|
|Look:||East-southeast →||Far:||50 m (180 feet)|
The Central Radio & TV Tower is a 405-metre-tall telecommunications- and observation tower in Beijing, China.
|Addr:||W 3rd Ring Rd Middle,|
|Look:||North-northwest ↑||Far:||0.59 km (0.36 miles)|
The Fragrant Hills Pagoda of the Fragrant Hills in Beijing, China was built in 1780 during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor as part of the Grand Zongjing Monastery.
|Addr:||Xiang Shan Gong Yuan,|
|Look:||Northwest ↖||Far:||17 m (56 feet)|
The National Library of China or NLC in Beijing is the national library of the People’s Republic of China.
|Addr:||33 Zhongguancun S St,|
The Pagoda of Cishou Temple, originally known as Yonganwanshou Pagoda, is a 16th-century stone and brick Chinese pagoda located in the Buddhist Cishou Temple of Balizhuang, a suburb of Beijing, China.
|Addr:||Ling Long Gong Yuan,|
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||90 m (290 feet)|
Moon Gate is located in Purple Bamboo Park, built around three major lakes formed in 1159.
|Addr:||Purple Bamboo Park,|
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||40 m (110 feet)|
The CCTV Headquarters is a 234 m, 44-storey skyscraper on East Third Ring Road, Guanghua Road in the Beijing Central Business District.
|Addr:||32 E 3rd Ring Rd Middle,|
|Look:||West ←||Far:||270 m (880 feet)|
The Beijing National Aquatics Center, also officially known as the National Aquatics Center, and colloquially known as the Water Cube, is an aquatics center that was built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
|Addr:||11 Tianchen E Rd,|
Beijing National Stadium, officially the National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, is a stadium in Beijing, China.
|Addr:||1 National Stadium S Rd,|
|Look:||West ←||Far:||230 m (750 feet)|
The Ling Long Pagoda or Linglong Tower houses a part of the International Broadcast Center.
|Look:||South ↓||Far:||130 m (410 feet)|
|AKA:||Linglong Pagoda, Olympic Park Tower||Wik:|
The Olympic Park Observation Tower is located on Kehui Road South, part of the Olympic Green in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, China.
|Look:||North-northeast ↑||Far:||90 m (300 feet)|
Wangjing SOHO is a complex of three curvilinear asymmetric skyscrapers in Wangjing, a suburb of Beijing, China between central Beijing and Beijing Capital International Airport.
|Look:||North-northeast ↑||Far:||150 m (480 feet)|
Juyongguan or Juyong Pass is a mountain pass located in the Changping District of Beijing Municipality, over 50 kilometers from central Beijing.
The Cloud Platform at Juyongguan is a mid-14th-century architectural feature situated in the Guangou Valley at the Juyongguan Pass of the Great Wall of China, in the Changping District of Beijing Municipality, about 60 kilometres northwest of central Beijing.
|Far:||70 m (210 feet)|
Haotian Pagoda is a pavilion-style tower in the Fangshan District of Beijing.
Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien is a cave system in Beijing, China.
Guyaju Ruins is a maze of over 100 stone rooms chiseled into cliff walls.
|Addr:||010 County Rd,|
|Look:||North-northwest ↑||Far:||50 m (150 feet)|
|AKA:||Guyaju Site, Guyaju cave homes|
Badaling is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately 50 miles northwest of urban Beijing city in Yanqing County, which is within the Beijing municipality.
|Far:||70 m (230 feet)|
Mutianyu is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou County 70 km northeast of central Beijing.
|AKA:||Great Wall of China||Wik:|
Simatai holds the access to Gubeikou, a strategic pass in the eastern part of the Great Wall.
Thank you to the many wonderful people and companies that made their work available to use in this guide.
Photo key: Tap the camera icon to see the photo. The two letters reference the distributor and license. Key for distributors: f:Flickr; s:Shutterstock; w:Wikipedia. Key for license: a:CC-BY-SA; b:CC-BY; h:Shutterstock standard; m:public domain.
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