Nearly 600 years ago, the Ming emperor Yongle moved his capital from Nanjing to Beijing. After constructing the Forbidden City, he built a 40km wall to keep out the Mongols.
Sadly, all that’s left of it today is a 1.5km stretch, which together with a narrow stretch of grass and flowers makes up the unimaginatively named Ming Dynasty City Wall Ruins Park.
Normally you have to contend with the roar of traffic tearing down neighbouring Chongwenmen Dongdajie. But since the park is open 24 hours, head there before most people go to work and you’ll have some alone time with China’s imperial past.