As I already mentioned in A taste of life in China, while in college, I went on a six-month student exchange to Xiamen, China. There I met a nice girl from Sweden. We were dorm roommates and we became friends. We decided to take a four-day trip to Beijing together.
Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and the second most populous city in the world. It’s known for its rich history and culture, great political and economic influence, breathtaking modern and traditional architecture and many unparalleled monuments.
* Low-quality photo alert!!! 🙂 In Xiamen, I bought, probably, the worst camera in the world because I didn’t have enough money to buy a decent one. My photography skills were very poor as well. I’m sorry! 🙁 Thankfully my roommate took some nice photos. 😉
My four-day Beijing travel itinerary (things to see and things to do)
On our first day in Beijing, my roommate and I went to see Beijing’s number 1 attraction – the famous Forbidden City, a palace complex in central Beijing. For almost 500 years (until 1912) it served as the home of Chinese emperors and the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. Now, it houses the Palace Museum. The wonderful Chinese architecture and the site’s size blew our minds – the complex consists of no less than 980 buildings! It took us almost the entire day to walk its grounds.
Afterwards, we took a taxi to Houhai bar street, a lively lakeside street in Shichahai district, known for its many fine restaurants, stylish bars, great nightlife, and beautiful scenery. After dinner and an evening stroll around the lake, we went back to our hostel.
After waking up and having a delicious breakfast at a nice little restaurant near the hostel, we went to see the Temple of Heaven, also known as Tian Tan. Tian Tan is an imperial complex of temples and other religious buildings, where they held annual prayer ceremonies and asked heaven for a good harvest. We loved the architecture – the unusual shapes and bright colors.
In the afternoon, we went to Wangfujing, the busiest commercial street in Beijing. It was souvenir shopping time. 🙂 And in the evening, we went to the movies. 🙂
We woke up early in the morning, walked to the metro station, took the metro to the outskirts of the city and there we took the 877 bus, which took us directly to the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. Public transportation from Beijing to Badaling is reliable, fast (it took us around 2 hours to get there), and most of all cheap – we paid 28 RMB, instead of 260 RMB, which is how much an organized tour cost at the time.
Badaling portion of the Great Wall was built around 1504. It was the first section of the wall open for tourists and it’s the most visited one. Seeing this legendary, huge structure took my breath away. I didn’t expect it to be this high, nor did I think it had so many ups and downs.
We bought our tickets, entered, and decided to go right. It was beautiful but very crowded. We were slowly making our way through the crowd and admiring the picturesque hilly surroundings along the way. After a while, we returned to the starting point and went to the left side of the wall. The stairs and pathways are much steeper on the left side, but it is much less crowded and the view is absolutely fantastic. <3 I definitely recommend going to the left! 😉
You can’t go to Beijing without visiting the so-called hutong streets. These old long narrow residential alleys are an important part of Chinese cultural history, therefore we decided to check them out.
Later that day we decided to visit the Yonghe Temple, also known as the Lama Temple, the Temple of Confucius and the Imperial Academy (Guozijian).
After that, we went to the airport – it was time to go back to Xiamen. 🙂
♥ Top experience
Since Matic wasn’t able to join us on our trip to Beijing, I wasn’t really looking for adventures or romantic sights. However, my favorite experience was visiting the Great Wall of China. <3
Are you wondering about the daily budget, the best time to go, visa and immunization requirements, local customs, currency, electricity standards, safety tips and where to stay? Here you can find out all you need to know before visiting China.
Have you already been to China? We invite you to share your top romantic experience and top adventure in the comment section below. 😉