"Beijing" Beijing by clairegeordio
Beijing Travel Guide: 6,194 reviews and 15,410 photos
Situated in northern China, Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and has a population of 12 million. It is 160 kilometres from east to west and over 180 kilometres north to south and it has 18 districts and counties.
Nearly everywhere in Beijing is now preparing for hosting the Olympics in 2008 such as extra lines being constructed for the underground system and improvements to buildings such as the Forbidden City. It is also trying to go green despite it having a big pollution problem – it is estimated that around 800 more green spaces will be made available in time for the Olympics.
Beijing has some amazing sights – from the biggest central square in the world - Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, which is the largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex, the Great Wall, to the largest sacrificial complex in the world - the Temple of Heaven.
I really enjoyed my 3 days of hectic sightseeing here end of October 2006 – it was an ideal time of year to go – sunny with temperatures of around 20-21 degrees centigrade. We had perfect sunny weather for our trip to the Great Wall!
Ideally I would have liked an extra day in Beijing, but I feel that I did get to see everything that I set out to see. Another good reason for visiting Beijing end of October was that there didn't seem to be many tourists - at least nowhere seemed too crowded.
I have to say that my trip to Beijing was probably one that I have most dreaded and looked forward to at the same time – I was quite apprehensive about how we would get around, how we would make ourselves understood, whether we would get ripped off etc. Thanks to fellow VTer
homanded 's help and advice, we had a contact in Beijing who met us at the airport, accompanied us the Great Wall, plus generally looked out for us while we were there, he was really an invaluable part of our stay whom I shall mention in my tips.
For any of you looking to visit Beijing with only a few days to spend there, then here is my itinerary as it worked out. It is not perfect, and I know that there are extra sights I could have seen, but this is how it worked out with the time that we had, traffic jams etc, with us being at the sights at around 8am for the last two days of the three spent there.
Evening of arrival - spent some time looking at Tiananmen gate lit up.
Day 1 - Arrived at Great Wall, Mutianyu just before 11am, spent 4 hours here. Journey there and back was about 2 hours each way. Evening spent at Wanfujing.
Day 2 - Temple of heaven - am, Summer Palace - pm (5 hours spent here)
Day 3 - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden Palace, passed through Beihai park, Drum Tower, walk around hutongs, Lama temple. Evening at Chinese theatre.
- Pros:Impressive, beautiful sights, friendly people
- Cons:Polluted, crowded, difficult to communicate
- In a nutshell:So worth the effort, the sights will be with me forever....
During some of our time in Beijing we had guidance from a contact that we had made through homanded on VT. He is called... more travel advice
Unfortunately we only had time to really pass through Beihai park on the way from the Forbidden City to the Drum tower,... more travel advice
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