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  • Kaylabar

Beijing, China

The great China Adventure Part 1 BEIJING... Decided to write in 3 segments since there is so much information on this trip!



I set out to China one hot summer with my aunt. China is not the easiest place to travel to but one of the most culturally rich places I have ever been to. There is so much information to absorb which is ironic because sharing that information is a bit difficult considering the social media/ internet restrictions. If you NEED to be connected, I highly suggest a VPN. See below for the top best VPNs to use.


My aunt and I traveled to Beijing, Xian and Shanghai for 10 days. Beijing was our first stop. We stayed in the Double Tree Hotel which was connected to a shopping center. Upon arrival, they give you those famous chocolate chip cookies. Not very Chinese, but hey it was delicious. The day we arrived we had a free day, so we ventured to the shopping center to find some dinner. One main recommendation is to download a translation app and a VPN. There are very limited people who speak english and menus are all in Mandarin. Some have pictures that you can point at, but if you are not used to the food it will be really hard for you to determine what to order. After walking around and trying to sort out which place to eat, we finally landed on a place that had hot pot. Hot pot is a Chinese cooking method, prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of East Asian food and ingredients. It took a good 30 minutes to get our order in because of the language barrier, but it was so worth it. Successful first meal in China.



The next morning, we went to the all inclusive buffet in the hotel which was absolutely delicious. It had all different kinds of food and was extremely fresh. The fruit they had were so beautiful in color, they looked fake. We met up with our tour group roughly 25 people to embark on our first day out in Beijing. We started the tour by heading to Qianmen Street. This street was a commercial entertainment hub because of its prime location connecting the Imperial palace with other communities in the city. As we walked through this main street, it connected us to Tiananmen Square, "Gate of Heavenly Peace" It was once the main gate to the palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was filled with people and tourists from all over the world. One of the most interesting things I would like to note is that there were a lot of Chinese tourists as well. China is so large that a lot of the Chinese people still haven't been able to visit these historic spots which means this was the first time they see westerners. Our guide warned us that we might be approached to take a photo, but I did not realize it until it actually happened. Families and children would ask to take photos of us. Now I know how celebrities feel. The Tiananmen Square is now home to many different museums and monuments.


I was told that the Forbidden City was big but did not expect it to be so big. It has 800 buildings covering 720,000 sq meters. It is the world's largest palace complex. Our guide was incredibly knowledgable when speaking about the history of China and the dynasties.


Afterwards, we all returned back to the hotel for a good dinner and a good nights rest. Lots of walking because there is lots of history.



Following day was a very exciting day, it was the day we went to the Great Wall of China. You always read in history books and see photos of these places, but when you are actually there in person, it is an electric feeling. It is like finally seeing the Mona Lisa in person, or the Van Gogh you studied in art class. When you are finally there, you cannot believe it. The Great Wall is one the man-built architectures that can be seen from the low orbit of earth. It was built to keep intruders from invading the mainland. It stretches over 4000 miles. It was a huge undertaking that began under Qin Shi Huang ( first emperor of China ) in 200 B.C ( yes, before christ ) and it was not completed until the Ming Dynasty in 1640.


Beijing was exhilarating but the adventure continued on to Xian. ( click link for Xian post )


My best advice is to book a group guided travel to China. Click here to request more information.

 

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