Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, is often overlooked in the world of travel with Tourists opting to visit the hustle and bustle city of Shanghai, or the westernized once colonized by Britain, Hong Kong instead.
Unlike what people may think, Beijing has so much potential.
Home to the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, world-famous Peking Duck, and the Tiananmen Square, Beijing is the perfect destination for tourists wanting to soak up some culture, history, enjoy a delectable local cuisine and even shop.
Here are a couple of Khaleejesque suggestions on what to see and do in Beijing:
– Visit the Tiananmen Square: One of the most famous squares in the world, ever symbolic of communism and the residence of the famous Chairman Mao (the father of Communist China) portrait.
– Forbidden City: Right next to Tiananmen Square (you can hit those two tourist destinations in one day), a Palatial once the residence to the Imperial family that ruled China and formerly forbidden to any commoners outside the Royal Court, the Forbidden City is one of the most important historic sites in all China. It’s huge, so be wary and wear comfortable shoes; for there’s so much to see and so much to cover on foot.
– The Great Wall of China: Stretching almost 4,000 miles across Northern China and once built to keep trespassers and Mongolian Raiders out, this Wall is a sight for sore eyes. An hour or so car ride away from the city, this Great wall is a considered one of the Great Wonders of the world and is more than 1,800 years old. It’s a must-see, for who in their right mind would go to Beijing and not see the Great Wall?
– Pearl Market: A traditional Chinese indoor bazaar selling everything you could possibly imagine; from traditional Chinese Souvenirs to China-pimped out blackberries and electronics, with the odd counterfeit “Made in China” knock-offs. A great experience, haggling-wise.
– Malls at Oriental Plaza, 1 Dongchang’an Jie: One of Beijing’s upscale mall and in the heart of the famous luxury shopping district; where you can find all kinds of western luxury brands. This mall houses the Grand Hyatt Hotel and is a rocks throw away from the Chinese version of Time’s Square- a busy neon-lit square with all the malls, a couple of open air Bazaars and restaurants encompassed in it; a nice place to people-watch.
When in Beijing, you must taste the local delicious cuisine such as the Peking Duck, Chinese noodles and dumplings. Restaurants are clean, and the city has various upscale eateries than can contend with International Western eateries. But be wary, when venturing through the open air markets, for as much as the food that’s cooked fresh in front of you and sold by street vendors looks appetizing, you might as well not have any and risk getting sick thereby missing out on your vacation. Stick to restaurants instead.
We recommend spending a minimum of 3 nights at Beijing, to fully enjoy and see everything this marvelous historic city has to offer.
Flights regionally to Beijing are offered by Emirates Airlines, and Qatar Airways.