Beijing, the capital of China was calling so I took the high speed train from Shanghai station and 6 hours later I arrived just in time for dinner and sleep.
The next day I immediately headed to the Great Wall of Mutyianu and it was simply breathtaking. For me, this is defiantly one of the the primary reasons to visit Beijing and you should allow at least spend half day to admire the Wall and the beautiful nature around
I managed to climb around 5km of the over 21km long wall during this very hot summer day. Unfortunately the traffic is very bad especially during the rush hours so I suggest you leave the hotel early and return early afternoon or late evening. The day after we went to see the Forbidden City, Meridian Gate, Gate of Heavenly Peace and Hall of Great Harmony which is of course a must do when in Bejiing including a taxi tour of the Tiananmen Square. Right on the arrival we have been contacted by a tour guide offering himself to us for a tour of 2hours and he ran us through the Palace Museum. The former residence of the Emperor is impressive but not very well kept. Make sure you come early as the queue is long.. Please be very careful by hiring tour guides as they also receive commission from the stores and vendors they take you to. You will get offered a tea tasting which on the first impression is a very nice experience but can become a very expensive one as the prices for the teas are completely over the roof and exaggerated. Having finished our museums tour we took again a taxi and stopped at the Temple of Heaven, which is a big park with the temple in the center and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.
Close is the Pearl Market we went to see and as expected it was packed with tourists trying to bargain for pearls and all kind of souvenirs. Over several floors you´ll find one store after the other trying to sell jewelry, especially pears of very different kind of quality. Be careful as you can easily step into traps. Try to bargain as much as you can and offer firstly around 30% of the asking price and then take it from there.
As I decided to stay only 2 and a half day I didn´t had much time, therefore if you have more time I suggest you to visit also the Lama Temple, National Museum of China, the Bell and Drums Tower and maybe the Olympic Park with the Qube and Niaochao National Stadium.
Coming to Beijing there is one thing you defiantly cannot miss and this is a restaurant serving the world famous Beijing duck. Here are a few suggestions you could try: Siji Minfu Restaurant Peking Roast Duck, Jingzun Peking Duck Restaurant or Quanjude Roast Duck. In regards to hotels I think it´s not really easy in Beijing as but we booked in the Shangri-La World Summit Wing and the location as well as the hotel itself was outstanding. Otherwise of course you can book into all major hotel chains. Sincerely I liked Shanghai more than Beijing because of it´s much better infrastructure, architecture, less traffic and better restaurants, but all in all who visits China should defiantly have a stopover in the capital of the with the biggest population in the world. Have fun and I hope you enjoyed to be part of my China trip…