Blogger: Lauren Lucy Crowley
Being capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is the nation’s political, economic, cultural, educational and international trade and communication center. We spent three days there exploring the city and all it has to offer!
We arrived into the city quite late at night almost afraid to walk out the front door of arrivals for fear we would freeze to death! According to our pilot, it was minus 15 degrees Celsius as we landed!! Eager to get to our beds, we were delighted to see there were an abundance of taxi drivers available to take us to our hotel! (OntheQTtip: Be sure to have your hotel printed in Chinese also, as the taxi driver may not speak English and so will not understand where you wish to go!)
We stayed at Pentahotel in Dongcheng which I couldn’t recommend more! The room was spacious, the beds were SO comfortable, the entire hotel had funky décor, there was a beautiful gym and dance studios, a delicious buffet breakfast every morning AND the location was superb! Luckily public transport in Beijing is very easy to use, so if you’re booking accommodation make sure it’s located nearby to a subway station!
On our first day, I dressed myself in about 10 layers under my fur coat before setting out on an adventure for the day! It was FREEZING! We went to explore the forbidden city, which was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty! It was beautiful to walk around admiring the intrinsic designs! Ringed by a 52m-wide moat at the very heart of Beijing the Forbidden City is China’s largest and best-preserved collection of ancient buildings, and the largest palace complex in the world! It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years!
Our second day was extra exciting as we were headed to another one of the seven wonder of the world – the Great Wall!! About a 2 hour drive away from our hotel it was a little surreal when we hopped out of the car! We set off on a mini – hike taking an abundance of photos along the way! Although it was artic, the scenery was stunning and so we ended up walking for over an hour! On our way to the city we back we stopped in a tea factory – to go tea tasting! Who knew there could be tastier tea than Barry’s! J Our final stop for the day was at the Olympic park where the Olympics were held in 2008!
On our last day in Beijing we headed to the “Temple of Heaven”, a medieval complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. Although there was a smog alert in place the park was full of people doing their morning exercise, playing cards, playing music even painting pictures… it was so relaxing to walk around! We couldn’t leave the city without doing some shopping and so we headed to the Silk market across the road… which was by far the best market we went to on our entire trip! Some excellent bargains to be found!
Although sad to leave Beijing, we were looking forward to seeing what Shanghai had on offer and so we packed up our suitcases again and off to the airport we went to for yet another flight!
As always if you have any questions about Beijing be sure to e-mail OntheQT.firstname.lastname@example.org or Lauren@OntheQT.ie! Be sure to follow the #OntheQTontour live on snapchat (username: ontheqtie), and watch out for our daily updates on Facebook and Instagram!
Over and out for now! x