Strap on the ol’ traveling backpack! Its time for another international adventure – destination China!
My girlfiend Jenise and I decided to take a break from our 9-to-5’s and head out to this strange land for some new bites, sites and adventures. And we come back with all three… and a half!
First things first! When you’re going to China, Beijing especially bring an air mask!
After you get over the fact that the air is so polluted people are getting divorced over it you learn that and air mask will [literally] save you a headache and your lungs!
We stayed in Beijing for 3 days where we hit the usual tourist targets. First night was the Dongcheng expat district where you were never more than 100 feet from a Chinese live music act. The second day is when things got interesting – imagine getting out of the metro escalator being greeted to this:
That’s right the iconic larger-than-life portrait of Mao, the leader who freed the Chinese from their oppressive dynasty, hung outside of the famous forbidden city. Little history lesson – the Forbidden City is a massive square in the city full of temples, gardens and pavilions fit only for the royal family. After the overthrow of the Qing dynasty folks from all over China, err the People’s Republic of China, can walk the city.
Overall the Forbidden City was pretty neat and its definitely a must-do, but don’t be surprised if you get bored that all the building basically look the same :-).
But what’s a trip to China without a stroll on the Great Wall of China? You’ve heard about it and you’ve read about it being so massive it can be seen from outer space (but not really). Anyways this thing truly is HUGE! Not because the wall it self is giant, I mean it is big but the fact is when you visit the wall it goes right through the tops of mountains at almost 45 degree angles. They even have ski lift setup just to get you there:
The lift will cost you about 8-9 RMB you can also hoof it up but considering you only have a few hours you should take the lift.
You can see how steep it is in this video:
The section of the wall we hit is called Mitanyu and was great. It’ll take you about 2 hours to get there via tour bus – you can book one at your hotel or hostel. Don’t get fooled into booking when you get to the airport – they’ll rip you off.