My sisters and mom just left from their vacation two weeks ago and life is back to normal. Hahahaha! If you want my sister’s account of her travels in the city, check her commentary on her blog site. As for myself, I did all that I can do in Beijing on my first year here with Marco.
So.. before we take into consideration as to how many days.. we must consider what kind of trip would you like to have. Do you want an amazing race adventure or a light and easy trip? When you’ve decided if you want to kill or relax yourself, decide how many days would you like to stay in the city. 3, 4 or 5 days?
In any case, here’s a 3 day itinerary for you. When I say 3 days, that’s 3 whole days so make the necessary adjustments.
Day 1 - Wake up early in the morning and go to the nearest street corner to eat some “Jian Bing”. That’s a Chinese pancake. If that won’t wake you up, head to the nearest park and join the morning exercises of the old biddies. For places to see, head to Temple of Heaven and start from the south gate. Buy the all access pass for RMB 35. Allot 2-3 hours there and exit the east gate for the subway line. After lunch, hop on the subway and proceed to the Olympic Park. The home of the 2008 Olympics, you’ll get a chance to see the Bird’s Nest, Water Cube, National Indoor Stadium and the NBC Tower. You can check the inside of the Bird’s Nest for RMB 50. Allot 2 hours there and be trigger happy especially on a clear, blue sky day. Take the subway again and get off at Tuanjiehu station, eat some Peking Duck at Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant for dinner.
Day 2 – Rise and shine early in the morning and head to Qianmen Street to catch a tour bus to the Great Wall – Badaling section. If you don’t want to mingle with the throng of people, hire a car for RMB 450 (2-4 ppl) or RMB 650 (6-8 ppl) and head to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. For car hires, you can contact our friendly local guy Mr. Wang Dong @ 13311332360. Get your Chinese friend to tell him where you want to go and be dropped off. You can also get Kung Fu and Acrobat show tickets from him at a discounted price. Allot 3 hours @ Mutianyu wall. I suggest take the cable car going up for RMB 40 plus entrance fee of RMB 35 then walk on the wall till you reach the toboggan area and toboggan down for RMB 40. After your hike, grab some lunch at The Roadhouse at Mutianyu(大路馆儿). In the afternoon, have yourself dropped off at the Summer Palace (颐和园). You can either grab the all access pass of RMB 60 or the regular entrance fee of RMB 30. In any case, the must see places inside are Suzhou Street, Seventeen Arch Bridge, Tower of Buddhist Fragrance, East Gate and Marble Boat. If you can do all of these in the whole afternoon, you’re a fast walker. In the evening, grab some dumplings and fried rice at Din Tai Fung.
Day 3 – By now, you’re so tired after the gruelling day before. Today, it will be filled with walking again! Take the subway and get off at Tiananmen West. Get some photo ops outside “The Egg” or the National Center of Performing Arts. Afterwards, take a cab and get off at Jingshan Park. Climb up the hill to get a bird’s eye view of the Forbidden City. After getting a glimpse of what’s ahead of you, walk down and head towards the north gate of the Forbidden City. Stroll around the home of the emperors (RMB 60) and check the clock museum (RMB10). Audio guides are RMB 40 for a history of the place. Exit the south gate and you’ll get the chance to see Tiananmen Square. By the way, once you exit, have a photo of yourself with my man “Mao”. Cross the street to reach Tiananmen Square and have a photo of yourself outside Mao’s maosoleum, Hall of the People and the Museum of National History. Your day is not yet over as you take the subway to Hujialou Station to watch the 715pm Acrobat Show at Chaoyang Theatre.
Still up to it?? Just writing it makes me tired as that itinerary is really tiring. You don’t even have time to shop and go out and enjoy the nightlife! So.. better make it to 4 or 5 days. If you have 4 days, your itinerary will be something like this.
- Day 1 - Temple of Heaven and Olympic Park
- Day 2 - Great Wall and shopping at Hongqiao Market or Yashow Market
- Day 3 - Summer Palace and Acrobat Show
- Day 4 - “The Egg”, Jingshan Park, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Qianmen Street
Still a bit tiring but it’s better than combining the Great Wall and Summer Palace in one day which will tire your legs out. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and visit Beijing. Don’t forget your visa as most countries are required to have one before arriving the airport.
If you want a 5 day itinerary or longer, let me know and I’ll make one up for you. If you want any other information about Beijing, send me a note or write your comments.