Beijing – China

Oh Beijing, such a wonderful city full of culture, modern sides, famous spots, delicious food and party possibilities. We spend five days in this city in October 2016 as a short break in between our exchange semester. It was gorgeous! The smog was hard on us and it makes me sad how humans influence the nature so much but still, I was in awe all the time. Here you’ll have my favorite spots in the city:

Temple of Heaven

The first day was short so we just dropped our stuff at the hostel and made it to the Temple of Heaven. It is a very beautiful and traditional park in the middle of the city.

The Temple of Heaven. One of the few shots with blue sky.
Wonder why there are so many umbrellas even though the sun is shining? Well, that is exactly the reason why. In China and most of the Asian countries being pale is what you’ll want to be so many people protect their skin during the day.

Food and shopping

We went shopping south from Tianโ€™anmen and north the Temple of Heaven. There is a big shopping district and you can eat delicious food. Not just there but in all the city we had mouthwatering food. Try a traditional hotpot, a Chinese duck if you’re not vegetarian like me, a fruit stick with cherry tomatoes on it (not as bad as it sounds, in China tomatoes is seen as a fruit) and order tons of different meals while sharing with friends. I was there is a friend from exchange, she is from Switzerland and met two fellow students from my Germany university.

On another day we went to the Pearl Market where similar as to the Luohu Market in Shenzhen you can bargain for fake products but also traditional Chinese clothing.

Hot pot, one side spicy (yes, really spicy!) and the other more custumed for us.
Delicious fruit sticks.
In love with lanterns.
Rainy night.
It’s a really hard job to sell silk scarves ๐Ÿ˜‰

Summer Garden

My favorite spot in the city is the Summer garden with an incredible view over the city as well as beautiful flora and lots of traditional buildings, religious places, a big lake and cute boats on it. We spend a day here but could have spent way more. I definitely recommend you to go!

Little pond in the middle of the gardens.
The mountain gives you a nice view over the city.
Challenge – get some of this buildings in one photograph.
Isn’t this view stunning?
Lots of cute litte spots are spread though the gardens.
Make a wish.

Nights in Beijing

Nights in Beijing offer diverse possibilities. I actually had my first visit in a strip club where my female friend and I got invaded in for free with lots of cocktails, a fruit plate and a shisha. It was weird at the beginning but they treated us like stars and the ladies where actually really cute. Another place to visit is the Houhai are with one bar by the other. There you can find diverse live acts, strip shows or KTV.

If you enjoy more cultural experiences have a night at a traditional Chinese opera. That is what we did as well. The singing is a matter of taste, not my taste actually, but the outfits and show is incredible, so I was still happy we went to see it.

Way to young, but she knew how to move her body.
Bar night at Houhai.
One of the hunders of beautiful outfits at the Chinese Opera.
The performances where really diverse.
Drama is a huge part of the Chinese Opera.

Forbidden City

We actually went to a area right from the Forbidden City and first thought that is already it but since the entrance is a lot less, it is not so crowded even though we went on a weekend and it was covered with freshly weds posing for their wedding photos. A lot of red dresses which is very popular as being the color of China but also white ones. It was really beautifully so see so many beaming smiles.

How many couples do you spot?
One, …
Two, …
Three, …
Four – She actually was my favorite and posed for us never letting her huge smile fade away, …
Five, …
Six and many more.

Surely, we found our way into the real Forbidden City. It was full of people and even if the area is fascinating and gives you a deep inside into the Chinese culture the tourist masses somehow made it less special. Short before the closing hour it got better. So, if you can make it during the week try it, I heard it is better that way.

The entrance spot into the Forbidden City.
Dragons all over.
Cute little places, you can really get lost here.
A shot short before we left with less people and you can have a glimps of how big it is!
I smuggled in a picture with me petting a phoenix, one of my favorite mystical creatures.
Love this details!

Chinese Great Wall

Our whole weekend was covered in smog, one of the first bad weekends that fall as people told us. Still we did the best of it and the Chinese Wall welcomed us with a mystified look. I always thought you’ll have an easy walk along the wall but it’s not. We went to the Mutianyu Great Wall. There are multiple spots near Beijing where you can experience the great wall. Actually, I had muscle aching the next days but it was definitely worth it!

View over the Chinese Wall lost in smog.
Climbing up…
… climbing down.
Mystic Chinese Wall.

Lama Temple

Our last few hours lead us to this beautiful temple in the middle of the city. It has is home to a huge 18 meters high buddha figure. I adore that in Chinese cities, no matter how crowded and chaotic they are, there is always a temple nearby where you can calm your mind and get amazed by all the details and love people put into building this religious places.

Incent is an inmportant part of buddhism.
Look how small we are.
As I already said a couple of times. this architecture amazes me!
The huge wooden buddha.

Sure, we did more in Beijing, but this are the favorite points we went to. Five days where not enough but better than nothing. Except for the smog it is one of my favorite citys in China.

Thank you very much for your time and interest. I hope you are enjoying my blog. Feel free to follow and leave me feedback. I am thankful for every advice and happy to answer questions. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook for photography and stories or FindPenguins where I track my journey to get a general overview. I am happy to see you back soon.

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