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melissa Beijing - A travel report by Melissa
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Beijing,  China - flag China -  Beijing
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melissa's travel reports

My Great Wall In Beijing

  18 votes

A high up view.
A high up view.
Sometimes when we travel we hope to come across the secret spots that are like a hidden gem. Well since I have been a permanent resident of Beijing for 9 months I have had the chance to discover the finner aspects of this extremely large and crazy city and wanted to share them with you! Beijing on the whole is a great place to visit because you can see a billion things and feel like your time was well spent. The best times to visit Beijing are May-September, since the weather is deccent during these times. In the winter it does become cold and unperdictable. Beijing is home to 15 million residents and has multiple districts. I live in the university district called Haidian. This particular area has alot of things to offer especially to the budget traveler. So some of the places I will talk about are located in this district, which is quite easy to get to by local transportation.

Favourite spots:
The Great Wall.
The Great Wall.
Well I have to first tell you about "The Great Wall" called Cheng Chang in Chinese, it is one of the greatest wonders of the world and in Beijing you can experience many areas of the wall which is one of the largest alures for visiting Beijing. The "Great Wall" was built 2,000 years ago in the northern region of China with 1,500 miles of grand magnificence. To experience it's beauty I reccomened 2 areas to visit. The 1st area is if you have limited time and want to see the Wall. The section is called Mu Tian Yu, to get there any of the better hotels offer tours to this section of the Wall at deccent $'s. The next place which is the best on my opinion is somewhere you may want to go if you have some extra time in Beijing. The section is called: Huang Hua Cheng, this is untouched by restoration and is amazing. The wall is in an area of a reservoir, and walnut/chestnut orchards, surrounded by many mountian ranges and a lake, which is beyond amazing!

What's really great:
The Lama Temple close up.
The Lama Temple close up.
The best temple in Beijing is The Lama Temple, Yonghe Gong. The admission is 15 yuan all year around. This was constructed in the 1723 and survived the Cultural Revolution. They say it is one of the most famous Tibetan Buddhist Temples in all of China. You can get to the temple very easliy by subway (di tie) on the circle line, get off at the Yonghegong Station, it will say(Lama Temple) on the sign, it is about a 5 minute walk from the exit. The temple has many buildings that are amazing, you will go thru many of them until you come to the one that holds the worlds largest sandalwood Buddha, they say that it was carved from a single tree. Well it made it to the Guiness Worlds Records Book! You can not take photographs inside the temples or any of the buildings but there is so much on the outsides to take pictures of that it doesn't matter. A culture tip: When you walk thru a doorway there is usualy a large bar on the bottom, step over the bar not on it! It is seen as ill fourtune.

Water Lilies.
Water Lilies.
If you come to Beijing in the spring you must go to: Fragrant Hills Botanical Garden, Xiangshan Zhiwu Yuan: Admission is 10 yuan and 50 to go into the conservatory. It is easy to get there by bus, you will want to go to Wudaoko subway station which is on the east to west line and take the 331 bus. It will take you right outside. The park is a nice place to go, especially if you are a flower lover. The park is filled with millions of flowers from bedding plants to tulip gardens that stretch over tons of the park. There is also a musical water park that is great for kids and adults. If you feel like getting some exercise you can climb up the mountian and see some sights along the way. This is a full day excursion, so I reccomend lots of water and snacks since there is a lack of resturants and stores in the area. There are however vendors in the park but they are way over priced, especially for tourists! The conservatory is worth the 50 yuan if you are a flora and fuana enthusiast!

Roof corners.
Roof corners.
A couple of clubs I can reccomened: The first club is really great: It is called the Beijing Hikers Association: Before you visit go to their website and they always have a scedual posted for hikes that can be done with them, there are diffrent levels of intensity and many great places that you can go!!
The second on is called: The Chinese Culture Club;, this is a great way of seeing a variety of things such as hutongs, acrobatic shows, learning how to do traditional Chinese folk arts. Just log onto their website and look under events and they have a calender for 2 months with all the activites posted that you can go to.
The 3rd club is somewhere you can go for a great drink and enetrtainment. It is called: Lush, which is located directly across from the Wudoakou subway station. They have theme nights from Thursday to Sunday. You can learn how to Laitian dance before the night begins, or listen to poetry readings.

The view of Huang Hua Cheng from a tower at the Great Wall.
The view of Huang Hua Cheng from a tower at the Great Wall.
If you visit Beijing there are 2 foods you must eat. 1st one is Beijing Duck:kao ya, this prepared a special way where the skin becomes crisp and it is sliced and served with wrappers, green onions and dipping sauce. You then make a little wrap out of the duck slices, yummy! But this meal is really pricey and not always that great. I reccomened a 2 resturants called: Au jun which is located on Chungfulu Street at Wudaokou station, you just walk towards the Beijing Language and Culture University. The other resturant is: Quan Ju De, this is a chain resturant and can be found thru out Beijing, just ask a taxi driver.
The 2nd food is called hot pot: Huo Guo, this is a fun meal where you dip food into a boiling pot of broth and have a selection of tons of food that can be used for it. The best place to go at a deccent $ is called Jing Chang Shan, which is also on Chungfulu street at Wudoakou station but in the opposite direction as the resturant above.

Published on Monday May 10th, 2004

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Tue, Sep 28 2004 - 02:45 PM rating by mortimer

Hei Melissa
I have been in Bejing to and your report brings back some sweet memories, well done!

Wed, May 12 2004 - 01:32 PM rating by travelalain

Great report and photos, and of the things I want to visit, too bad that I'm only in the industrial area's in China. One of these days I need to hava a holiday there. Your reports and photos make we want to explore China, thank you, Alain

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