My last trip in China was to Beijing and this time I was with a big group of friends.
I usually prefer to travel in small groups but I was open for new adventures with more friends.
After Chinese class we all headed with our small luggages and bags to the right railway station, with excitement and good mood.
Arriving in Beijing the first thing we felt was the cold breeze touching our faces. It was so weird to freeze and getting red cheeks because for more than a half year traveling in Asia there was always hot summer weather and suddenly it was cold like back in germany.
We all woke up early at 7 am to see the “Summer palace”. This was very beautiful and if the sun had shined I think it would have been even more beautiful. Everything was surrounded by nature and the beautiful palace was next to the big lake ( which reminded me of Hangzhou west lake ). This area was very big and it took us hours to discover everything. My favorite point of the summer palace was the Suzhee street – a street next to the river, under the bridge with beautiful old Chinese buildings.
After that we went to the vintage area “Nan Lu Gu Xiang” and this was for sure my favorite spot in Beijing. This area was full of good food, bars, little boutiques and souvenir shops. Also this area was perfect for taking good pictures ! Haha also I surprisingly met the American guys I met in zhangjiajie few weeks ago. That was so funny ! The world is really too small …
After hanging out for about 4 hours we went to another area called “San Li Tun” – the opposite of Nan Lu Gu Xiang. This area was modern and full of shops, westernize fusion restaurants, pubs and clubs. Because the first day was so tough we didn’t went out but our dinner was fantastic. It has been a long time for me and the others since we got to eat western food. That’s why we decided to eat burger at blue frogg. It was kinda expensive but so worth it. Nomnomnom. After this long and exhausting day everyone was dead. We all were just looking forward for the cozy bed.
The second day was a lot of adventure – we finally went to the GREAT WALL and this was for sure an amazing experience. I don’t really like full crowded touristic places so I planned to go to a spot of the Great Wall outside of Beijing with less tourists which I really recommend you : “Great Wall in Jinshanling”
The way to this place isn’t that complicated. You can take an EXPRESS bus number 980 from the metro station Dongzhimen. Outside the metrostation are some signs which will show you the way to the bus station hall. Because there are two buses with 980 you have to ask which one of them is the express one ( about 1,5 h drive ) if you ask they will tell you when you should get out of the bus … and now the adventure really starts. Fortunately we had 2 Chinese in our group so there was less problems but if you can’t speak Chinese it will be a little bit tricky . When you get out the bus there are always people waiting for you with their private cars/minivans and they will try to persuase you to bring you to the Great Wall. They will try to get the most of you so You always have to negotiate . We paid 120RMB/ person ( include alround drive cost, highway tax, parking cost ). They will bring you to the Great Wall parking point and from there you will walk a few hours, you will make out the point where the driver will pick you up and bring you back to the bus station.
The way up to the Great Wall was very exhausting but a little exercise never killed nobody. Finally arrived, it was just a breathtaking moment to stand on this famous wall. To get this experience to walk on this wall is crazy – it isn’t only a path you walk on … No there were a lot of big stairs up and down, slippery areas and easy ones too. There were more and less dangerous parts but it was really awesome ! If the weather had been better the view would have been probably nicer but with all the fog the landscape looks very mysterious, what I really liked.
Reaching the “end” of the Great Wall was a good feeling too haha. Everyone totally exhausted and tired. On the bus way to Beijing the whole group felt deeply asleep.
And of course after a whole day hiking there was nothing better than a warm yummy Chinese dinner. Thanks to the recommendation of my friend Jen we went to a super yummy duck restaurant. There were two good places in Beijing which she recommended me :
duck the Chinese ( fancy and more expensive ) and Xiang Mang Lu duck restaurant ( less fancy and cheaper ).
We decided to go to the second one and it was really really worth it ! I actually don’t like duck but this was really tasty – not like the duck in Chinese restaurants in Germany haha.
Altough the day was long and tiring we couldn’t stayed at home on a Saturday night and so we went to one of the more fancy nice clubs called Express. We had a lot of fun ! Also tonight we suddenly met the same American guys again in the club and partied together. Destiny or only Stalkers? hahaha .
On our last day in Beijing everyone was kinda tired but there was still one thing to check out : “The Forbidden City”
It was crazy full and to get into this place was such an act, as well. After getting out of the metro you couldn’t go straight to the attraction – no there was a huge queue in front of the security check. I think, this is the most secured place on earth.
Inside the forbidden city everything looks the same but still it was impressive. It was a huge place and really beautiful. I still can’t imagine how the emperors have been living in such a big place…
Beijing is really different than Shanghai – more culture and Asian flair. I like Beijing and if the pollution wouldn’t be there Beijing would be even more beautiful. If you are in Beijing never take a cab at rushhour – you will die in the cap….traffic jam all over. So better take the metro and even this will be totally crowded.
I still can’t believe this is my last trip in China ( for this year 2015 hehe ). Don’t know when I will be back again …