The home of the infamous Great Wall of China. One of the most talked about attractions in the world, and also found as 1 of the 7 modern Wonders of the World.
When planning our trip to China we chose Beijing so that we could visit the Great Wall. We arrived in Beijing on a Saturday night thinking we’d drop our bags at the hotel and hit a couple of bars. You know the adrenaline you get when you land somewhere new for the first time! Far too excited to go straight to bed…we had exactly that feeling! Unfortunately the district we were in didn’t feel the same.
After dropping our bags at the hotel we couldn’t find a bar or restaurant open. Instead, what happened next made for a funny little story! We found a small confectionery shop that sold everything you could think of from food and drink to fancy dress clothing, so we camped out here for a bit to feed our adrenalin. We cracked open some beers and made friends with the shop owner who coincidently sold tours from Beijing to the Great Wall of China. Result! We bought our warm clothing from him and a tonne of snacks, which we later realised were all out of date! Including the beers we’d been drinking! Anyway, we bought 8 tickets from him to the Great Wall of China and our tour would start early hours the following morning.
It was an early start and we were all waiting anxiously for our transport, after paying for our tickets in cash the night before from the guy with the out of date food! But we were in good hands, our car arrived. The journey took around 1.5 hours from Beijing to get to the Mutianyu part of the wall. This is one of the best preserved parts of the wall, and not as crowded as other parts so we chose to visit here.
When you arrive at Mutianyu you walk towards the wall with its grand beauty in front of you before taking a cable car up to it. The views, along with the grand size of the wall are breathtaking. Let alone the many years of history you’re standing right on top of.
As one of the modern Wonders of the World, the Great Wall of China really is worth visiting. It’s history, beauty and breathtaking views are just some of the things that make it so special.
There is another reason that we chose the Mutianyu part of the wall…it’s the only part where you’re able to take a toboggan ride back down! If it’s good enough for Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us!
What else do you do when you come to China…drink lots of tea. We visited a tea plantation and learned about the traditional Chinese methods of processing tea leaves. They had every type of tea you could imagine, and being a lover of herbal tea it was great to try out new flavours.
One of my favourite parts of Beijing, and something that’s commonly found in Northern China is the Hutongs. They are narrow streets or alley ways that consist of restaurants, market stalls and courtyard residencies. We spent alot of time at Shichahai, a famous scenic area in Beijing comprised of a lake in the middle. We enjoyed a stroll around the area and dived into some local Chinese beer and food. This place had a great relaxed vibe and offers something authentic to Beijing.
Our main reason for visiting Beijing was to see the Great Wall of China, as I’m sure it is for many. If you find yourself here for longer I’ve listed below a breakdown of my recommendations of things to see and do.
- The Great Wall of China
- Bead Factory
- Tea Plantation
- Silk Factory
- Shichahai Hutongs
- Houhai Lake
- Forbidden City
- Summer Palace
- Tiananmen Square
In Beijing the streets are lined with small, traditional dumpling eateries. This is the best way to experience traditional Chinese food.
Love a Vibe
Shichahai Hutongs – you can spend all day here, exploring, walking, shopping, eating and drinking in the traditional Beijing way.
From the top of a watch tower at the Great Wall of China.