With a history stretching over 3,000 years, a population of over 21 million people and more ancient cultural sites then any Dragon Tripper could hope for, Beijing is one of the most anticipated stops on our China adventure tour. It’s an intoxicating blend of history and modernity and provides an intriguing snapshot into modern China. In this blog, we explore the 5 best things for budget travellers to do in Beijing:
Camp on the Great Wall of China
Although it stretches 6,300km from the deserts of Western China all the way to the seas of the East, most travellers visit the sections of the Wall near Beijing, which were last fortified and re-built by the Ming Dynasty about 500 years ago. How you visit the Wall is important, as it’s easy to get caught up in a busy section, crowded with seas of tourists. We recommended travelling just a little further out from these sections, to deserted sections where you can camp overnight. Watching a sunrise over the Great Wall has to be on the bucket list for any wanderlust-filled adventurer and an essential part of any China adventure tour.
Beijing Roast Duck
Although within China, each region has many of its own famous dishes and cuisines, it seems that Beijing or Peking Roast Duck is the standout dish for many a visitor to the Middle Kingdom. We recommend Quanjude Restaurant in Qianmen (get their after 7.30pm to avoid the queues) or Siji Minfu Restaurant is also rumoured by locals to have the best flavours.
Tian’anmen Square, Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum and the Forbidden City
Conveniently these three must see sites are all within walking distance of each other, so it makes for an interesting afternoon exploring these three areas by foot. You can still see Chairman Mao’s embalmed body lying in his glass coffin within his Mausoleum, then walk under his huge portrait at the end of Tiananmen Square as you enter the Forbidden City, the ancient palace where the emperors used to reside. Our tip is to finish the afternoon at the top of the hill in Jingshan park, just by the exit of the Forbidden City, for sunset views of the city.
Cool Off With a Beer at a Micro Brewery
Many a local Beijinger will be proud to tell you how cosmopolitan their city is becoming, and no where is better to appreciate the laid back city vibes than at a micro brewery in one of the cities Hutong areas. We like the Great Leap Brewery or a bar called Jing A.
Morning Meditation at the Temple of Heaven
Rise early and head to the park surrounding the Summer Palace. Find a quiet spot in the park and settle down for some meditation. If you’re feeling extra ‘zen’, then join one of the many Beijingers practising Tai Chi in the park – they will be more than happy to show you the basics, and Tai Chi is one sport which can easily be learned even with the language barrier! Afterwards, explore the exquisite Temple of Heaven with it’s blue tiled roof. As you gaze at it’s beauty, do bear in mind that the entire structure was build without a single nail!
This is just a taste of the many things on offer in this city filled with culture and history. All of these activities are included in The Dragon Trip’s China adventure tour, so we hope you can join us in exploring Beijing together soon!
The Dragon Trip is thrilled to have been chosen as an official partner of the Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau’s Online Forum taking place on September 22nd and 23rd, 2020. More information about the Forum can be found here: http://traveltrade.visitbeijing.com.cn/forum)
Kochi, India - 5 Feb 2017: A traditional house boat is anchored on the shores of a fishing lake in Kerala's Backwaters, India. The backwaters are a popular destination for yoga retreats and nature lovers.