Written by: Suleman Sultan
Beijing, a city 13 times the size of New York City, with a population over two times that of the Big Apple.
In a city that large one often wonders what to do, especially if one is limited on time.
Beijing not only offers a modern city life but it has many sites that offer traditional Chinese culture. After all it is the capital of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
The Forbidden City
Built between 1406AD and 1420AD the Palace was home to China’s emperors until the Twentieth century. A major tourist attraction, many would recommend visiting the palace during the weekdays in order to avoid the huge crown of tourist and visitors that fill up the Palace on the weekends and holidays.
Entrance fees are quiet cheap ranging 40-60 Yuan, roughly 6-10 US dollars.
The Great Wall
Of course the most iconic image of China is the Great Wall. Located to the north of Beijing, it is one of the most visited sites in the world.
• Go during the weekdays
• If you’re planning to hike, bring good shoes
• Bring a map of someone who knows their way around ( yes it’s a road and you can’t get lost, but if you walk for miles and then get off at a certain point to venture off somewhere else, you’re going to regret it if you are lost in a wooded area)
Panjiayuan Flea Market
Located in the south east region of Beijing, the Panjiyuan Flea Market is home to over four thousand shop owners selling all kinds of hand crafted goods and merchandise. For those who want something unique and special to give to friends, family and coworkers this is the best place to find it.
Open Monday through Thursday 8:30am to 6:00pm and on the weekends 4:30am to 6:00pm, its one of the best places for both shoppers and tourists to spend their time, representing Chinese culture and craftsmanship.
All though those mentioned above are rated as the most visited and memorable locations in China, there are still many other interesting places.
1. Tiananmen Square (known more for its infamy than anything else).
2. The Lama Temple (known for its Buddhist architecture)
3. Temple of Heaven (built around the same time as the Forbidden City it is decorated with Taoist symbolisms)
4. Niujie Mosque (the oldest mosque in Beijing built in 996AD)
5. Recently the Olympics Stadiums have become a tourist attraction (mostly just to take pictures of than anything else)
6. The Capital Museum (houses numerous collections of ancient Chinese arts and technologies)
7. 798 Space (a former military factory turned into an thriving artistic community)