Beijing Traveling

Beijing, the capital of it all lies in the north of China, in a dry desert established way back by Ghengis Khan’s Grandson, Kubulai.

Intro to Beijing
Beijing is the cultural and political capital of the Peoples Republic of China. One of the most vibrant, historical and booming cities in the world Beijing has a lot to offer to visitors. Warning! Many come here for a week and stay here for a year; there is an unexplained gravitational pull to this place!

How to get there

As one of the hubs of China you will more than likely arrive at the capital airport. The easiest way to get into the city is to take a taxi. This will cost 70 – 100RMB.

The airport express, the subway to the city center is also an option, costing 25RMB.

What to see

A city with nearly a century of history has a lot to offer.

A city with nearly a century of history has a lot to offer.

TianAnMen Square – One of the largest squares in the world and full of history, this is a don’t miss. To the north you have the Forbidden City, to the south the Mao Ze Dong’s mosoleum, and surrounding is full of history and culture.

Forbidden City – Just to the north of TianAnMen square see where the emperor held court.

Home to the Emperor

Home to the Emperor

Temple of Heaven – a gorgeous park full of history.

HuTongs – One of the signatures of Beijing are the Hutongs. These small alleyways wind through the center of the city full of Courtyard houses, ancient architecture and delights. This is where Beijing history comes to life.

The Birds Nest – The center of the Olympic park it is a site to see.

Houhai – A lake surrounded by Hutongs is a treat to visit anytime. Try to visit at night and enjoy dinner or a drink along the lake, this is the China you picture in your head.

Sanlitun Village – A modern village and the center of nightlife. The area is full of shopping, entertainment and food. Enjoy the modern China.

Qianmen – This is the ancient trade center just south of TianAnMen Square. While the nice new street they built is cool, it’s new, venture off onto the side streets to get a feel of China 200 years ago.

The Great Wall – The Chinese say “You are not a man until you go to the Great Wall!” So, I guess there are billions of little boys running around out of China, well, get here and become a man my boy! There are many sections to see, but I would avoid Badaling, it’s like the Disney land version of the Great Wall that they drag all the foreigners to. Try to go to Simatai, it’s a big more rugged, not reconstructed, totally real and in the mountains.

Ming Dynasty Tombs – These are pretty cool, but if you only have a few days you can skip it.

Summer Palace – There are two, the old Summer Palace and the new. If you have time see both, but the New Summer Palace is beautiful, but you guessed it, very new.

What to eat

Beijing Duck – The classic Beijing dish of international fame. If you have a few bucks in your pocket and want an experience go to the restaurant that invented Beijing Duck, QuanQuDe. Visited by presidents, leaders and stars it will run you around 300 to 400RMB for a party of two, depending on how much you splurge. Duck costs around 200RMB for a whole duck. If you never had duck, this is the place.

The famous dish of Beijing is served by a professional duck slicer in a local restaurant

The famous dish of Beijing is served by a professional duck slicer in a local restaurant

DouChi – I am suggesting this crazy fermented tofu dish because it is old Beijing style food. You will find everything is in Beijing, and only a few are real Beijing. You may cringe when you try it, but we all know when you go home you will be saying “Oh my god, when I was in Beijing I ate Dou Chi and it was ???????” Your welcome for the travel story!

Hot Pot – Not to be missed, Beijing or not, it’s awesome here. Get your butt over to HaiDiLau, this one I go to at least once a month. And while there you have to try the Majong (Sesame Sauce), shrimp and fatty beef. So good you might eat there every day. But beware, this establishment has a few spots in Beijing but is seriously popular, so prepare to wait. When you wait they have seating, games and free drinks, well worth the wait.

Anything – Beijing may be the food capital of China. People from all over China move to Beijing and their food comes with them. Food from all around China and the world can be found.

Where to sleep

Beijing is full of hostels for varying prices. You will find many HuTong hostels that I would recommend highly. Stay inside the second ring road and close to Houhai.

If you are looking for a hostel near a train station the Beijing International Youth Hostel is cheap and clean.

If you are looking to party all night long stay at the Sanlitun Youth Hostel.

Best time to visit

Spring and Fall are the best times, in particular May and October. These times of year are not too hot and not too cold. Winter can be freezing and summer times can be very hot.