Traveling in China and Beijing is a unique experience. I love the deep history and rich culture in Northern China.
In my practical Beijing travel guide series you will find the best places to eat, the best cultural experiences and useful insider travel tips.
There is a very creative, fresh vibe happening in Beijing. After decades of repression and control (recommended reading on China’s history below) the city is producing some incredibly creative and interesting emerging artists. Beijing locals are friendly with a positive outlook on life, and the food is interesting to say the least!
*recommended watching prior to embarking on a trip to Beijing China ‘Ai Wei Wei Never Sorry’ – a great cultural insight into how artists were formally viewed in Northern China.
A Travel Guide Beijing:
WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN: You will hike the Great Wall of China. You are not going to Beijing without really is magnificent and the only man-made structure visible from space. Quick note to self and you: Do not drink and do karaoke all night with fun-loving locals before a (as much fun as we had those Great Wall stairs punished us the next day). Also PS.DO NOT buy ANYTHING from or around the wall- hunger pangs made us purchase a disgusting $20 weird egg thing in a bag from the bottom. There were 3 of us, so $60 later we had 3 x weird eggs that did not end up being digested!
*Insider tip: Beijing can be expensive, especially for food. If you are on a budget be careful of areas that are high tourist areas like The Great Wall.
WILL PROBABLY HAPPEN: You will feel alienated and like a proper foreigner. Unless you are with a tour group or are fluent you will feel like a tourist. When we say tourist its not always negative, it’s a great feeling being out of ones comfort zone, life would be boring if we did not do this from time to time. But you will feel out of sorts in Northern parts of China and even a large city like Beijing where people do not depend on tourism and most do not speak a work of English. Find a guide online-we did and will give you tips in the next section on China.
PROBABLY WON’T HAPPEN: You’ll see the Beijing Sky. Yep, that’s right, you will not see the sky while in Beijing- just wont happen friends! A result of the label: MADE IN CHINA* The pollution is just too thick from the surrounding town’s factories.
*FACT: During the Olympics they brought in big fans to blow out the pollution so tourists could see the sky.
DEFINITELY WON’T HAPPEN: You will leave without feeling like you have had a life-altering and totally unique experience. China is an interesting place and Beijing in itself is a paradox- a melting pot of artists, traditionalists and the super wealthy. This town is really evolving and its recommended to visit soon.
Traveling in China and Beijing is a unique cultural experience. For more of my Beijing travel guide series see 10 Things To Do In Beijing