Our last minute flight from Shanghai was relaxing and we both had a quick nap. Beijing impressed me immediately, from the taxi on our way to the hotel I marvelled at the families in humming mopeds, silk lantern walkways, ancient architecture and glorious, modern buildings all blend in together. Everywhere I looked I found something new and extraordinary.
This is why I love to travel.
Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a total population of 21,150,000, as of 2013. Beijing is set in the rolling hills of northeast China, a landscape that’s particularly pleasing from the vantage point of the Great Wall.
I must say, I enjoyed visiting Beijing so much. Although it is another enormous city, Beijing offers a balance of the ancient and the contemporary architecture and it is more traditional. The feeling I got is that people clearly love the history and customs of their venerable city.
Beijing has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, Great Wall, and the Grand Canal. And now we had a chance to see a few of them!
Beautiful details of Forbidden City. I could have photographed these all day long. Every inch is a marvel.
View of the Forbidden City from Jingshan Park.
The Great Wall of China
You can read more about our trip to The Great Wall of China here.
Panjiayuan Antique Market
One of our favourite things on the entire trip was Panjiayuan Antique Market. You can read more about it here.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
We loved the food in Beijing, especially all the crunchy vegetable dishes and the succulent Peking duck.
Donghuamen Food Market
Our favourite spot in Beijing was Siji Minfu Restaurant.
This place is packed most nights, so be sure to book a table in advance or prepare to wait. We waited about 45-60 minutes each time. It’s a bit of a mayhem at the entrance which made it rather entertaining to us and you are served snack and fruit teas as you wait.
It’s worth the wait, as Siji Minfu maintains a commendable level of quality while keeping the price low – and every dish we tried was delicious! The duck is served in the time-tested Beijing manner, sliced tableside by an expert carver.
SIJI MINFU RESTAURANT
32 Dengshikou Xijie, Dongcheng district | +86 10 6513 5141
Address in Chinese to give to your taxi driver 东城区灯市口西街32号
China is hard to describe because few generalizations are very accurate. Its true some sites are blocked, but China has its own versions of YouTube, Netflix, eBay, and Google, and I actually really enjoyed being away from social media. The air in the big cities is polluted and therefore hazy, but it’s not the case every day.
As a tip – do bring toilet paper, as most Chinese toilets do not provide it. Hotels and nicer restaurants will have it available, but it’s always a good idea to carry a roll of toilet paper or a box of tissues.
China is such a big country that we have only seen a very, very small portion of it and it’s culture, and hopefully, there will be another chance for us to see and learn more.
谢谢 – xièxie – Thank you!