After I climbed and did Backpacking the Great Wall of China in Beijing, now I wanted to share these travel guides based on my experience especially for first time visitors. Quick Intro Beijing, formerly know as Peking, is the capital of Peoples Republic of China. […]
Month: September 2017
Day 1: Arrival, Ni Hao!
It was overcast, gloomy and cold when I arrived in Beijing International Airport after the 7-hour flight from Abu Dhabi. Though sleepless, I’m slowly regaining energy as my excitement rise up to cross out my first Seven Wonder Buckelist.
After clearing the immigration, you have four options to reach downtown, Airport Express Train, Public Bus, Taxi or a Private Car for Hire. I took Airport Express Train for 25RMB or around Php190.00 for one way trip to Dongzhimen Station. From Dongzhimen subway station, you can transfer to other subway line (Line 2 and 13) or take a taxi going to your hotel. I reached my accomodation by 11:30am and luckily they allowed me to check in early. I was able to take a short nap then freshen up before I start my Beijing adventure.
Temple of Heaven
Firts stop, Temple of Heaven, which is only few blocks away from my hotel. The Temple of Heaven is considered the most holy of Beijing’s imperial temples. It has been described as “a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design”. It is where emperors came to worship Heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. Listed by UNESCO as one of World Cultural Heritage with land area bigger than the Forbidden City
Entrance fee is around the park is 15RMB but if you like to enter the temples inside the park 35RMB COMBO ticket is also available.
Wangfujing Walking Street
About 2hours later after roaming around area of Temple of Heaven, I decided to have a visit in Wangfujing.
From the park, I took Subway in Tiantandonmeng Station near the east gate of the park and get off at Dongdan Station. Wangfujing Pedestrian Street is about 10min walk from Dongdan Station. It is a famous walking street in Beijing that stalls several fashion boutiques and restaurants. Aside from the usual restaurants, here you can also find the street of exotic food- scorpion, crickets and starfish to name a few. Some scorpions are still alive and moving while on the skewer. So if you are brave enough, unlike me, try out these exotic Chinese food.
Day 2: Backpacking Highlight
The Great Wall of China
The highlight of my Beijing trip is to climb The Great Wall of China. The Great Wall is over 6,000 kilometers long and divided into at least 10 sections that can ve visited near Beijing.
Upon searching which section is best to visit, I came to these three, Mutianyu as the best-restored, considered as the most beautiful is Jinshanling, and by far the most crowded but nearest to Beijing is Badaling. I opted to visit Mutianyu where i also got the chance to see autumn foliage.
You can reach Mutianyu by public bus transport. Round trip fare is 30RMB on two bus rides from Dongzhimen subway station. Entrance fee in Mutianyu is 45RMB for adults, 25RMB for children and senior citizens. There is an optional cableway ride for 100RMB round trip. I recommend to avail this not only to save time but also energy especially going down when you almost used up all your energy climbing the wall. After all you would only want to sit and relax after 3hour walk.
Package tours are also available. I joined a group tour for 290RMB offered by Beijing Landscape. The tour already includes pick up and drop off to your hotel, entrance fee in Mutianyu, and lunch in the restaurant at the foot of the Great Wall.
It’s the climb…
This section of Great Wall has 23 towers. If you take cable car, you will be drop off at Tower 14. We were told that beyond Tower 23 is already off limits to visitor, this part of the wall is untouched and has not been restored but if we wanted to see it we can still explore it by ourselves.
It was a steep climb from Tower 20 to 23 and my legs were already feeling cramp, the feeling when you already wanted to stop and return. But with my eagerness, I reached Tower 23 one step at a time. There I met one of my group tour mates and asked me if I can go with his son who still like to go up beyond Tower 23. I was like, woooaahhh wait my legs are still cramping, yet I said YES.
Indeed it was worth the effort, I thought I was already in the peak of the mountain. The wall was surrounded with lush autumn leaves – red, yellow, orange on both sides of the wall. Sea of clouds were also there to cap the lower part of the mountain.
It took me almost 2 hours to see the beauty of Mutianyu Great Wall – that is only way up. Going down was faster since no more photo stops and rest stops are less. There was a prepared lunch for our group in a restaurant down the hill. After walking for almost 4 hours a cup of tea in a cold weather is perfect while you rest your cramped legs.
Going back to central Beijing, some of us requested to drop off in a subway station connecting to the Olympic Park. It’s just enough time to have some photo ops in the Birds Nest and Water Cube. Coming to Olypic Stadium at night will give you a treat of light display. The Birds Nest and Water Cube is well decorated with lights that makes it better for night photos.
Day 3: Last day
Beijing Forbidden City
This is my last day in Beijing, i check out early and leave my luggage in the reception. My flight is scheduled by midnight so i still have enough time to visit the Forbidden City.
Visiting the Forbidden City brought me back to my Asian history class during high school and i tried to recall some of famous dynasty in China. – Ming and Qing dynasty.
It is one of the most well preserve ancient palaces in China and considered as the largest ancient palace in the world. Forbidden City has been the home for 500 years of dynastic rule in China. Admission fee is 60CNY (9USD) from April to October and 40CNY (6USD) from Novembe to March. Forbidden City is a complex of ancient palaces and temples that houses several antique displays. Two to three hours may be alloted to explore the central area of Forbidden City.
After exploring Forbidden City, when you exit at the Northern Gate or known as the Gate of the Divine Might, accross the road is the Jingshan Park. The park located in Jingshan Hill and going up the hill is overlooking the Forbidden City. Entrance fee here is 2RMB.
It was past one in the afternoon when I felt hungry. I walked back south of the Forbidden City to see Tiananmen Square and to grab some lunch.
Qianmen Walking Street
Another known walking street in Beijing is the Qianmen Street. It was about 15min walk to from Tiananmen Square. The street has this big classic Chinese-design gate that is also a perfect for a selfie. Along the street are several fashion botique and resturants like the one in Wangfujing.
I also visited Madame Tussauds in Qianmen Street. It was my first time to visit a wax museum. I can say that i enjoy my visit – isn’t it obvious with these pictures.
Before I went back to the hotel, I just had some pasalubong shopping to conclude my Beijing backpacking.
Summary of Expenses
|Airfare (one way)||Php 2800.00|
|Hotel Accommodation, 2nights||Php 1600.00|
|Great Wall Join Tour||Php 2200.00|
|Forbidden City Entrance Fee||Php 450.00|
|Audio Guide||Php 290.00|
|Temple of Heaven Entrance Fee||Php 110.00|
|Madam Tussauds||Php 1250.00|
|Food expenses||Php 1500.00|
|Getting Around by Beijing Metro||Php 150.00|
|Airport Express (two rides)||Php 180.00|
|Taxi to Hotel||Php 1000.00|
Will be posting a separate topic for Beijing 3d/2n sample itinerary, travel tips and travel requirements.
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