With a population 21 X that of my hometown Birmingham and hardly being the most touristy city in the world I expected a huge culture shock in Beijing, and this is exactly what I got! From randomly having a camera shoved in my face whilst eating food to locals hocking up and spitting on public transport Beijing definitely lived up to expectations!
The first day on the tour was probably the one I was looking forward to the most… The Great Wall Of China!!!! After getting up early and travelling about an hour and a half on a coach to the Mutianyu section of the wall, we were ready to tackle what I would later call the hardest physical activity I had ever come across!! After walking thousands of steps to get to the great wall we walked from tower 6 to 23 and back again! Fun fact, I managed to drop my phone after slipping over, walking 10 minutes without realising and managed to go back and find my phone in the snow!!!
After the great wall we went to the Temple Of Heaven. A temple Emperors used to go to pray for a good harvest.
On our 2nd day we got up and went straight to The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, Leon our tour guide was very informative about the history of the Ming and Qing dynasty which made visiting the Forbidden City even more interesting. We spent a few hours wandering around then Leon took us to a market where we could try all sorts of local delicacies, my choice being a scorpion!!
Few pics from the Forbidden City
The next few days we went to various temples and shows, ate more crazy food and took an overnight sleeper train to Shanghai.
Overview of Beijing
Accommodation – Cheap hostel £5+ ($8) Hotels £20+ ($32)
Food – £2.50+ ($4) or if you’re feeling brave a scorpion will set you back about £3 ($5)
Travel – Subway £0.20 ($0.32) per trip
Places of interest:
- The Great Wall – £4.50 ($7) Entry without guide
- The Forbidden City – £4-6 ($7-8) Depending on time of year
- Temple of Heaven – £3 ($5) Entry fee
- Summer Palace – £2-3 ($3-5) Depending on time of year
- Olympic Stadium – £5 ($8) Entry fee
- Pearl Market – Free
- National Museum of China – Free
- Chairman Mao Memorial Hall – Free