Top 7 Things to do in Beijing

Beijing is great. I actually went to Beijing without Tanbay as part of a school trip. If you're in Beijing for a week what are the things you must do in Beijing?

1. The Great Wall of China (duh)

The longest wall in the world really lives up to it's name: It's in China, it most definitely is a wall and it really really is great. I don't think you could go to Beijing and not go to the Great Wall of China.. So just so you're pre-warned, all along the wall are these little houses - and they smell like pee. 

great wall of china

The Great Wall of China was a lot lot steeper than expected and not for the faint hearted, but very rewarding once we'd walked along a section. We were a little miffed when we started walking the wall because it was so misty you couldn't see anything! But when we walked back down, the mist cleared and we got some incredible views:

great wall of china stairs

It really was beautiful and spectacular, breath taking and awe-inspiring. So I really urge you to visit the Great Wall, but if you're lucky enough to have a flexible schedule pick a day when it's not raining! 

great wall of china stairs

great wall of china end

2. Tiananmen Square

I found it weird to stand in Tiananmen Square - having just learnt in history class what happened there in the late 80s.  If you're in Beijing you must visit the Forbidden City, and as Tiananmen Square is right next to it, you might as well have a look. Watch out for the massive painting of Mao.

tiananmen square china

I think this is where Mao is mummified and you can go and see him. I'm not sure if it's because we were a group of girls or because you can wait at least four hours to get in, but we didn't see Mao.

tiananmen square mao

3. The Forbidden City 

The Forbidden City has undeniably beautiful architecture, when you get through the first 'house' you oo and ahh and take lots of pictures, then you go through the next 'house' and do the same, with a little less enthusiasm, then you go through the next 'house' and it happens again, and again and again.. The Forbidden City stretches nearly 1000 metres from north to south - it takes so long to get through it all!

the forbidden city china

But it's pretty impressive and worth a look.

the forbidden city china

We appear to be enjoying it.

4. The Markets - in Particular Silk Market 

I really enjoyed bartering in the markets, once I'd brushed off my English politeness and shyness I got right in there and fought to achieve counterfeit designer goods at cheap cheap prices. I now have a Dolche and Gabbana (fake) wallet which I got down from £30 to £3 by walking away and asking the next door neighbour. Yey.

5. The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven was, well, heavenly! I think it's absolutely gorgeous. Walking up to the Temple there were lots of salesmen selling beautiful trinkets and musicians playing traditional songs. It was pretty crowded but the atmosphere was nice. 

6. Ride on a rickshaw  

rickshaw beijing china
This is a fun way to see Beijing, and does make you feel like you're rich and Chinese and from the 1800s. However, it is a bit awkward as a man has to pedal you along. I felt uncomfortable doing this and like a slave driver. Especially when he had to get off and push us up a hill (lol).

7.Tai Chi in the Park 

If you get up really really early (okay like 6am) you can participate in free Tai Chi in the Beijing Parks. There are so many groups there that it will suit everyones needs (unless your need is to stay in bed). There are some beautiful sights there too. 

tai chi beijing park china

beijing park china

tai chi beijing china

China is beautiful and so crazy all at once.

Oh yea also they have lots of these guards everywhere, or at least everywhere we went.

chinese guards

As with all good showy offy travel stories, there needs to be a bit of drama and bad luck, so when you get back people aren't jealous of you and kill you. Well here is my bad luck in China: We got quarantined! Click the image below to read that post.

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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