Beijing: Tour Guide
Beijing is a city that is speeding towards the future with new concepts and ideas emerging out of it. Yet it is closely linked with its incredible past. The city is just as simple as it is intricate. You see Chinese food all around the world. It has a lovely aroma and taste about it mixing sweet, sour, salty and spicy all in one. For the Chinese, it is almost an obsession. As you walk around the city you will see the complete joy that the locals have in eating the array of food on offer. Going to eat in the city is at the centre of there social life. You will find the 60,000 plus restaurants on nearly every street with menus tickling your taste buds with the iconic pecking duck and dumplings. Beijing has so many world heritage sites to see ranging from the forbidden city with a royal palace to the dreamy tiny streets entangling the city together. Not forgetting the world famous great wall of China which winds its way in the hills across the north part of Beijing. Architecture is also at the front of the minds of tourists as the city also offers outstanding modern buildings showing off China’s capital. This includes buildings such as the NCPA concert hall and the Olympic Stadium. All these monuments shout out you to look at them. There are also performing arts which you can enjoy across the city from acrobatics to opera. Beijing will keep you busy day and night.
When this fascinating and simply outstanding Olympic stadium was built around the summer of 2008, the whole of Beijing changed. There were entire blocks and areas cleared to allow for new hotels, modern buildings and sports centres. It was like a clear out of Beijing affecting every part of the city in some way or another. If you want to see some parts that still stand you can head to the Olympic park. Here you will find the Herzog and de Meuron stadium. It was designed out of 42,000 tons of steel. Or nearby lays the aquatic centre. If you go there for the day you will be entertained by the riding a Segway around the track for 20 mins or splashing around the waterpark created in the aquatics centre. For a slightly different view of the buildings and just to see the architecture, visit the park at night where you will see both buildings illuminated.
Great wall of China:
Given the name, this an essential part of any visit to Beijing. You can see the wall in two different ways and it depends on what you prefer. You can see the perfectly reinstated sections of the wall which are walkable or the crumbling parts or even both! It takes an hour by car from the centre of China’s capital to reach the part at Badaling and this part is great if you just want a quick look. Although it can get crowded here so go a bit further to find a bit more peace and quiet. The part of the wall at Mutianyu is a little further a filed but you can get a cable car to the highest restored part to get some stunning views. If you fancy doing a long hike, then you can head to the wall at Jinshanling which is the least visited but you can enjoy a 4-hour walk towards Simatai which is for the more adventurous lot.
Still standing from right back In 1302 when it was built. The temple pays tribute to China’s long-lasting Confucius philosophers. Worshippers till come here to offer things such as gifts just like Buddhists do. The central shrine features a large collection of ancient musical instruments. In the front and main courtyards lye the names of thousands of people who passed the examinations during Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Beside it, there is a development that has been combined with the temple of an Imperial academy which was once the highest educational schools in the country and up to a very high standard of mastering the Confucian classics.
Transport in Beijing:
The transport is already big but is still growing with more new lines for the subway by 2021 the subway system is modern safe and a cheap and easy way to get around. Although it can sometimes get crowded avoid the queues and get a travel card and get 50% off bus journeys too. You can recognise a station just like the London underground apart from it’s a blue capital D with a circle around it. You can get hold of the subway map on your phone. You can also flag a taxi down by looking for a red for hire sign which will be illuminated in the windscreen. A fun way to get around is by bicycle which is safe to use with almost every road having a bike lane. Walking is the best way to see the city whilst on the move but is for the active ones among you. Buses are cheap but dirty and quite hard to negotiate a fair without speaking Chinese. A few things to note is that everyone rushes for a seat on the subway and as taxi drivers don’t speak English have the place you're going in Chinese characters ready to show them.
Nightlife in Beijing:
Beijing is totally different at night than in the day. Their nightclubs are a chance to see their electronic music and the city’s party animals. There are varied options for places to go but here are a few:
- Mix Club (Nightclub, good cocktails)
- V Plus lounge (nightclub, seekers of dancing and a great view)
- Global (great for university students)
- Canvas (social hub, cosy and cool)
- Jing (beer, craft brewery, barbecue)