Exploring Beijing

Hey! if you follow my Instagram or Twitter you might already know that I was in China for a couple of days this summer! We visited a friend who is living in Beijing. And we took the opportunity to explore the city and doing some sightseeing, visiting The Great Wall, among other things. Here’s a short video I made from our trip, along with some pictures! ^_^

Exploring Beijing from Erika Henell on Vimeo.

And onto the pictures ~ Very picture heavy!

 

Where we stayed in Beijing:
We stayed at a hotel in SanlitunHoliday Inn Express Beijing Dongzhimen, which was a really good hotel! Although there was no bathtub which is kind of a deal breaker for us ;_; but we chose this hotel anyway because it was so nice and fresh, and helpful staff. Even though we had a bit of trouble understanding each other because some of them didn’t speak much english (and we don’t speak a word Chinese haha), but we managed.

Food and drinks:
So we had really close walking distance to The Village in Sanlitun, where there are many fancy shops, and cozy (but not always so fancy) pubs and bars, haha. So that was very nice! Our friend took us to some great rooftop bars, and strange underground techno clubs (Lantern)😀

We had some amazing dumplings at Din Tai Fung (Yuyang)
Tasty peking duck at Dadong Roast Duck (TuanJieHu)
Delicious hot pot at Haidilao Hot Pot (Sanlitun)
Drinks in the sky at the Atmosphere bar (Shangri-La hotel)

Places we visited:
During the days we explored some famous sights such as Tiananmen Square  The Forbidden CityTemple of Heavenand of course The Great Wall (we visited at Mutianyu) and I also had some shopping days in Wangfujing – mostly at APM Beijing – and at The Village Sanlitun ~ Was planning to go to Xidan too, but there was no time ;_; Oh and we also visited the “Friends Cafe” in a deserted shopping mall😀

My Beijing experience:
I would have loved to see more of Beijing and of China, but we only had 6 days there and we wanted to spend as much time with our friend as possible. So we had to squeeze in a lot of stuff in a short period of time. But it was really amazing. This was my first time ever visiting Beijing and China, so I had no idea what to expect. But I must say it was a pleasant surprise. I had imagined Beijing to be more.. dirty or something, I don’t know. But it was extremely clean! And although there was some bad smog at least one of the days we visited, much of the time it wasn’t so bad at all. I even got sun burned one day! (dit not expect that haha)

But yeah I would say I was surprised with how clean the city was. At least central Beijing. And also how different the various districts are. Some with huge buildings (mostly empty?!), and some with tiny Hutongs cramped together. Since we only stayed in central Beijing I guess I didn’t really get to experience much of it, but I would love to go back sometime and explore some more places🙂

Surviving without Google:
Ok so you might know of “The great Firewall of China“, and that Google, Facebook, Twitter and many other apps that we use here are blocked in mainland China. How to survive without Instagram?! But fear not! There are some ways around it, using VPN services. So that’s what I did haha. I need my daily dose of social media. :p

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