Friday, November 22, 2019

A WEEKEND IN BEIJING: NOVEMBER 2019

I have finally done it! After months of putting it off or being too busy, I managed to visit the capital of China, Beijing. Because of how busy I have been with teaching, I was only able to go for a weekend, meaning I could not see a lot, but the main purpose of my trip was to walk along the Great Wall of China, thus completing my bucket list that I set for myself at the beginning of the year!


I just want to display the pictures I took and give information and advice for travelling to some of Beijing’s top tourist attractions. Enjoy!

I arrived at about 5pm on Friday afternoon (luckily, I only teach one class every Friday morning, so I easily caught an early flight). Instead of finding my hotel when I landed, I visited the Beijing Olympic Stadium (called the “Bird’s Nest – 鸟巢, to get here, I took line 8 to Olympic Sports Stadium station, 奥体中心). I specifically wanted to visit it when it got dark so I could see it lit up in all its glory! I didn’t go inside, just wondered around the Olympic park and took some pics. The metro system is incredibly easy to get around. Much like the metro system in Chengdu, it is very cheap, and like the underground in London, massive, but easy to navigate. 

Flight from Chengdu to Beijing (2 and a half hours)

 Me outside the Beijing Olympic Stadium (奥体中心)

The next day, I was awake at 5:30am to get ready for a morning at the Great Wall! The section I visited was the Badaling section (八达岭), one of the most popular areas of the wall to see. I read online is was easy and cheap to reach. I took the metro from my hotel to Jishuitan station (积水潭) on line 2 and followed the directions to take the 877 bus directly to the wall. The bus costs 12 RMB there and back (£1.32) and is direct. It took about 2 hours to get there. Once I got to the wall, I paid an entrance fee of 30 RMB (£3.30) and was required to show my passport upon entering. It was 2 degrees on the wall, but I did not care! It has been a dream of mine to visit ever since I started learning Chinese 10 years ago, so it was a privilege to see it in all of its marvel.

 Badaling section of the Great Wall (八达岭长城)

  Badaling section of the Great Wall (八达岭长城)

 Badaling section of the Great Wall (八达岭长城), featuring yours truly x 

After seeing the wall, I travelled to the Summer Palace (颐和园) and the Temple of Buddhist Incense (佛香阁). Both located in the same place, on line 4, at station Beigongmen (北宫门). The entrance fee for the Summer palace was 20 RMB (£2.20) and it was 10 RMB (£1.10) to visit the Temple of Buddhist Incense. They are beautifully designed buildings and are so cheap to see, you can’t go wrong. 

Entrance to the Summer Palace (颐和园) 

 Entrance to the Temple of Buddhist Incense (佛香阁) 

 Details on the Summer Palace (颐和园) 

Entrance to the Summer Palace (颐和园) 

Tickets to the Summer Palace (颐和园) and Temple of Buddhist Incense (佛香阁)

I woke up the next morning (Sunday) with aches and pains everywhere from my hike up the wall so I took it easy. I visited the Temple of Heaven (天坛). This is located at Tiantandongmen (天坛东门) station on line 5. The entrance fee for the temple is 28 RMB (£3.08). Next to the Great Wall, this was probably my favourite place. The temple itself is located on top of a hill, overlooking downtown Beijing. A stunning building, with intricate details and colourful designs. I went straight from here to visit Tiananmen Square, accessible via line 1 at Tian’anmen East and Tian’anmen West stations (天安门东and 天安门西). Entrance here was free. Also, if you decide to come here, you must bring your passport. After this I headed back to Beijing Capital Airport via the Capital Airport Express and headed home to Chengdu. 

Temple of Heaven (天坛)

 Tiananmen Square (天安门广场)

I am incredibly proud of myself for seeing everything I planned to on this trip. I can now return home in 2 and a half months having successfully completed my bucket list. I look forward to my next visit to the capital! 

B x 
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