5 days in Beijing.....

Beijing Travel Blog

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after india, china was a shock to they system in a lot of ways. i am not sure what i was expecting, but what i encountered in beijing was not what i had imagined. the city is huge....and just so much more developed than i had thought or envisioned in my mind. we had five days to explore the city and in reality we could have spent a couple of more since everything was so spread out. the easiest way to explore the city was on bike, not my idea, but i am glad i was convinced to take the chance. the first day on bikes we set off for the summer palace which is about 12km from the city center, the guide book advised it could be a nice bike ride that would be 1 1/2 hours. well, we must have taken a couple of wrong turns along the way since it took us three hours to get there. we did get an opportunity to see alot of the city, and also had the expereince of dodging buses and 10 lanes of traffic. the summer palace was worth it, it was an oasis in the middle of a chaotic city and was absolutely breathtaking. just as we were about to head back the skys opened up and it began to rain. so we journeyed back in the pouring this point i was cursing my travel companion and hoping to make it back in one piece. riding a bike in busy beijing traffic in a downpour is not the best way to expereince beijing, but it does make for a great story.

the next couple of days we spent exploring the forbidden city, the temple of heaven, and visiting mao. we also took a day trip outside to the great wall and walked along the wall. we were lucky to arrive at mutianyu early, so for about the first hour or so the wall seemed like it was ours alone to experience it. by the time we left it was swarming with other tourists. little did we know that the swarms would get bigger and bigger as we moved into "holiday week" in china. this is the first week of october and it is when every person in china takes holiday.....if we thought there were crowds so far we had no idea what was in store for us....

by the end of five days in beijing, we were set to move on. we were able to book a train to Tai Shan a Taoist Mountain 6 hours south of Beijing....and we started to prepare mentally to climb 6660 steps......

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photo by: Deats