24 hours in Beijing
After a long week of trekking the Great Wall we had one day left to explore Beijing. Now came the difficult choice. What do we do? What do we see?
The Forbidden City is a former palace surrounded by a moat in the centre of Beijing. There are five gates, four towers and three Great halls. The whole palace complex spans over 720,000 square metres!
As you walk through the Meriden Gate a great expansive courtyard awaits you. Continue across the outer court and you will come to the Gate of Supreme Harmony where the Lion statues stand guard. Further through the complex you can see the beautiful thrones in the Great halls and explore the imperial garden in the inner court. Because of its size, it can take a good few hours to get around and even longer if you spend time at the exhibits which are sometimes held in the smaller halls.
Beijing restaurants that I encountered are built for group eating. One thing I learned very quickly whilst in China is that rice is usually served at the end of your meal after your main courses to fill you up. Circular tables have moving plates in the centre which turns in order to share your food. Our night in Beijing started at a restaurant famed for its duck. Where the chef brings out the ducks on a trolley and carves it in front of the customers. It was delicious! After dinner we decided to check out the Beijing nightlife. On recommendation we headed to Chaoyang District’s Bar street. A lively street lined with bars near to the city’s embassies. Popular with foreigners, shisha bars, live music and karaoke can be found here. A wonderful fun night out, definitely worth a visit!
Sadly we had little time to spend in Beijing and there is so much more to do in this diverse and unusual place. Leaving without seeing everything is always a reason to return!
Have you been to Beijing? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below…