About a year ago I rolled in some vacation time with a work trip to China which gave me the opportunity to spend a day in and around Beijing.
First stop was the Great Wall of China.
First impression – Wow.
Second impression – Wow.
Yeah, it’s that impressive. There are a few different sections of the wall you can visit. I visited the Badaling section, which is the more common and popular section. If I ever have the change to go back I will probably try the Mutianyu section (which is supposedly less crowed and has more of an authentic feel) to compare.
The Summer Palace was interesting, not quite what I expected – lot of open-air parks and buildings. When I hear the word palace I typically think of one large building, and the Summer Palace was more of a collection of lakes, gardens, and palaces. Similar to the Great Wall it’s also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Walking though Beijing is not all that much different than any other city in China. You have the usual assortment of locals walking up to you wanting to practice their English or to invite you to a tea house (spoiler alert – the Tea House scam is fairly common, locals invite you to a tea house where they jack up the prices and stick you with a bill), luckily I had read ahead and was alert for that scam. Once you say no and keep walking, people don’t usually pester you after that. Definitely worth a visit.