Exchange semester…. Or the best way to discover a country! Because I have to admit that, free times means travel, and while in China, I wanted to see as much as possible of the Middle Kingdom. Now that I’m just back form Bĕijīng(北京), here are the great times my friends and I’ve been through!
So I decided to split my trip into several articles, since all in one would be a way too long! So here it’s the part #1, and will basically sum up the first day there, and of course some more info about how we got there etc!
I thought changing habits could be good, and so with 2 friends (Pia and Loreleï) we decided to go to Beijing in November for a couple of days, and so ounce the dates OK for all of us [Nov. 17th/Nov. 21st] we wanted to start planning a bit. But no of course, because spontaneous trips are our things, we kinda planned everything at the last minute… Again! We booked our flights couple of days before, as well as our train tickets, since it’s always an experience in China, and the hostel just the day before.
So we arrived in Beijing on Tuesday around 6PM, and went to our hostel by cab, but I’d advice you to rather take the Airport Express Train, since the cab is more expensive, and also because they might not exactly know the place you’re going to..! Beijing’s metro is really nice, and easy to use, so just go for it! Tickets are between 3 and 6 Yuans.
So we stayed in Beijing Sunrise Hostel, for 3 nights, and it’s a great one, first because of the location, very close from everything thanks to buses and metro (and also 15 min walk from the bars street!), second because the people there are super nice, they’ll give you good advices, and ideas regarding things to do, and finally because rooms are pretty cool, we had a triple-room, which was a double bed with a bunk single one, private bathroom/toilets, everything to make tea, and they came everydays to clean and change towels. However, be prepared to have hard beds, and no heating in the room. When the temperature outside isn’t higher than 3°C, getting up isn’t the easiest thing ever! But the first night there happen to be really OK, so we were super ready to discover Beijing as much as possible as of the next morning!
Day 1: We planned our daily schedule with the lonely planet just the night before, and so, this first day was aimed to discover the main highlights of Beijing. We started by the famous Tiananmen Square, and the surounding streets, once there, we moved through the Forbidden City, and Jingshan Park before lunch. Actually it seems to be a lot, but evrything is close by, so very easy to walk from one to another, even tho it’s hugeeee! Like proportion I’ve never seen before! And actually the park offers a great view (when not too foggy) of this whole area.
Of course, after that much walking we went back to the small streets we’ve been before for lunch, and we really wanted to experience the Peking duck, so there we went, to a nice place where they serve the Peking duck (around 100Y for 3 people) with vegetables, some kind of panecakes, and sauces. It was seriously super good, and I’d totally recomand it if you’re going there. I don’t remember the name of the place, but very easy to find (Bus stop Tiananmen Square, first street on the right, and walk for around 100m).
And we kept going for a productive day! We spent the afternoon in the Temple of Heaven’s Park. The entrance ticket costs around 15/20 yuans, with student discount, and you have access to all the buildings in there. The very famous and nice temple of Heaven (天坛 – Tian Tan), Unesco World Heritage Site, but also, some other buildings in the park.
We ended up the day buy a walk in the Olympic Sport Center, which is really nice at night because of all the lights on the buildings. And after all we went to the insect market for dinner! Of course, there are some other things to eat than insects (good news), but I think that this kind of market is a must-seen since there are not a lot of them (at least less than what I expected), and it’s an experience!
I let you check the pics of this first day! And stay tunned for the incoming articles!!
Hope you liked it, and don’t hesitate to comment below!
See you (very) soon, xx