China’s capital city is a callose of 16000 km2 and more than twenty million people. But the tourist who travels to Beijing, you may think people are visiting a giant made up of various neighborhoods, rather than a big business, as they seem other major Asian cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong or Tokyo.
Photography by a_verdoy
Its size and history make the city the way mandatory for all visitors to China. We recommend to visit to spend at least 5 days to allow time and see the most leisurely monuments, including the Great Wall of China. As it is difficult to devote five days to a city on the long trips we take, we suggest three essential places to be visited if you go to Beijing.
The Forbidden City:
The Forbidden City was the political center of China and home of the Emperor of China for five centuries, from the Ming to the Qing dynasties. In this impressive complex of palaces full covers an area of 72,000 square meters, the visitor will need at least half a day devoted exclusively to walk in all the palaces if you go fast, or a whole day to cover it with more ease.
Councils in the Forbidden City:
- Do not you see the first queue for tickets, as there is no line to get inside the Forbidden City. To purchase the ticket (3 or 4 €) you traversing two palaces and the rows are more or less well marked, although it may confuse the ranks to rent audio guides with the entries.
- There are many Chinese with an acceptable level of English offered to make a guide for 2 or 3 hours inside the compound. Sometimes it is a good price, although it would have to buy into the guide as well. These do not like to haggle, as opposed to sellers.
The Temple of Heaven:
The Temple of Heaven is a Taoist impressive fifteenth-century palace is located southeast of the city (an hour’s walk from Tiananmen Square), surrounded by gardens and more palaces.
Photography by a_verdoy
China’s markets are one of the great attractions of the country, are filled with forgeries of any item. From toys, perfumes, even the most exclusive clothing and watches Swiss precision. In Beijing we recommend two in particular markets, the Silk Market and the Sanlitun Yashow market.
The Silk Market is a large four-storey shopping mall where you can find everything but go to eye with the vendors are very aggressive, and sometimes in negotiations you can get hit. Much attention also to the pockets, because with the influx of tourists arriving in this market is very typical to find a pickpocket.
Yashow Sanlitun market however, is the opposite of the silk market. In this market, much quieter, also four floors on the third floor you will find many tailors willing to make the costumes they want in a day at unbelievable prices. If you want to make a costume, we recommend visiting this market.
Photography by dprieto
More tips to survive in Beijing:
- Be patient with the cabbies. Most do not know English and is difficult to communicate with them, but most have very good will. I recommend before boarding the taxi, a map showing the location where you want to go to see if it knows how to reach as many taxi drivers do not know the whole city, especially the hutongs.
- Remember that it is very important bargain, since prices that sellers will tell you, many times are multiplied up to 10. Therefore, be patient when negotiating, to simulate that you leave the store, often it works.
- All sellers will “speak” English, and to all the languages that you can imagine!
- Be patient, also with Chinese tourists, these often prevent you from taking pictures, as they cross or put your hand with his umbrella.
- Watch the Chinese want to invite you for tea in a tea house, as many times end up paying a fortune for a cup of tea for two. Although they seem very nice, declined his invitation to a tea house. There are teas in China that can be worth thousands of euros per kilo.