A Whirlwind Journey: 72 Hours in Beijing, China

Atop the Nice Wall, the winter wind was biting and the crisp air surprisingly clear. Two days earlier once I’d flown into Beijing, the colours of the sundown had been muted within the hazy sky.

Looking from the airplane window, I had strained to catch my first glimpse of the megalopolis from above. Beijing is notorious for its polluted air, however that day on the Nice Wall the sky was clear with only a little bit of haze selecting the mountains within the distance.


The 2700-some years of historical past beneath my toes mix with different sections of the wall stretching a whopping complete of 13,171 miles to the east and the west. The superior scale of these numbers takes a minute to completely sink in.

Your entire journey to Beijing had been a whirlwind, from rapidly finishing my visa within the 24 hours earlier than I used to be scheduled to depart Mexico Metropolis and head residence to the States for Thanksgiving, to the 22 hours it’d taken me to fly from Mexico Metropolis to Vancouver, and at last the 12-hour lengthy flight that introduced me into Beijing.


However on the Nice Wall, all this frantic preparation blew away within the chilly breeze. There’s one thing about visiting the Wonders of the World and witnessing these unparalleled feats of lasting human creativity.

Throughout this latest journey to Beijing, China, the place I stayed for a fast three-day 72-hour journey, I realized that China is a rustic of partitions.

Cultural Actions

Past the Nice Wall there are a number of lesser partitions which might be additionally necessary in Chinese language tradition. Beijing, we realized, had a large metropolis wall, replete with 9 metropolis gates, which had been eliminated in 1960s beneath the political impetus of the ultimate phases of The Nice Leap Ahead (1958-1961). The house, too, can also be typically protected by a wall.


The Forbidden Metropolis

One other palpable barrier within the metropolis, and in Chinese language historical past, is between frequent individuals and the noble, elite ruling class. The distinction between the 2 courses is clearly demarcated and even color-coded. Common buildings within the metropolis are a boring gray, whereas the Forbidden Metropolis, in distinction, is awash in vivid reds and its exact detailing in hues of inexperienced, blue, and gold.


The Forbidden Metropolis is additional separated by the moat that surrounds it, a medieval defence system to enhance all of the partitions. From the Forbidden Metropolis you possibly can spot pagoda’s on a ridge a number of kilometers away. Actually, the ridge was created by the dust that had been dredged out across the partitions to assemble the moat.

The Forbidden Metropolis is huge. After making our means by the grandiose entrance, we spent hours wandering by the principle open-air passageways. It was rumored to have 9,999.5 rooms, half a room lower than God’s palace which was stated to have 10,000 rooms. The precise room rely is at 8,704 rooms.


The Forbidden Metropolis is the imperial metropolis constructed throughout the Ming dynasty and utilized by the royal households all through the Qing dynasty, for a complete of practically 500 years from 1420-1912.

24 emperors lived right here over the span of those two dynasties. Past offering housing for royalty, the Forbidden Metropolis was additionally the political heart of town and the location of an important ceremonies.

The Nice Wall of China

The Nice Wall, at over 13,000 miles lengthy, is the longest wall on the planet. Early development on some elements of the wall started in seventh century BC throughout the Ming dynasty. Naturally, the wall has modified considerably over that point, with new sections being constructed and others falling into disuse.

Badaling,the part of the wall we visited was nearly 300 miles from Mongolia, and it might’ve been constructed to guard from invading forces of the Huns. The wall itself is about 20 toes tall and it was constructed, largely, by slaves and poor farmers.

The Meals

Chinese language meals is ubiquitous all through the world. However as any traveler is aware of, “Chinese language” delicacies is a cultural chameleon of kinds, amazingly adaptable to the tastes of the native nation wherever it’s discovered, so I used to be curious to strive the unique, genuine delicacies and it didn’t disappoint.


Each meal was a colourful array of many plates served on a lazy susan and shared household type. There have been many various preparations of greens, from black Chinese language mushrooms to bok-choy and Chinese language broccoli. As a bonus, I found how a lot I really like fried yam.

One other spotlight was having dinner on the well-known Quanjade Roast Duck restaurant, the place recent roast duck was carved for us proper on the desk. Roast duck is a Chinese language delicacy that has traditionally been reserved for emperors, and the restaurant we visited has been very profitable in rendering this delicacy accessible to the lots.

Conventional Chinese language Drugs

One of the fascinating elements of touring to China was studying about Conventional Chinese language Drugs (TCM). TCM has existed in China for hundreds of years and to this present day it continues to be a quite common observe in lots of Chinese language households.


Problematic components of TCM consists of the poaching that it has generated, notably concerning using rhino horns, that are thought to be a really potent ingredient in lots of remedies.

In response to the practitioners we spoke with, legal guidelines have been handed to guard these endangered species and TCM practitioners are required to search out different treatments, though issues with poaching persist and TCM has definitely contributed to this ongoing drawback.

Tigers and bears are additionally thought of to have potent medicinal qualities. In complete, animal remedies make up for 8% of TCM components, 91% of components come from crops, and fewer than 1% are mineral based mostly.


TCM remedies embody medicinal teas and medication baggage which might be stated to stop numerous illnesses. There are some TCM soups and different meals that may be discovered at abnormal Chinese language eating places reminiscent of people who line the Wangfujing Market.

Throughout our journey, we drank chrysanthemum tea which may help with complications and dizziness, medication bag to fight the flu. Reiki, tai chi and therapeutic massage are different TCM practices that we skilled throughout the journey.


Sensible Suggestions For Getting Round Beijing

The day I used to be flying out of town, I had the day to discover by myself. There are some apps that actually got here in helpful (even with out being geared up with a SIM card or any sort of native service I used to be in a position to get round on my own and navigate town).

There are three apps specifically that I might advocate downloading.

1. BaiduTrans

It is a totally offline translator. You possibly can communicate on to the app and it offers you a translation. It will probably actually turn out to be useful, since there should not very many English audio system.

2. Pleco

Pleco is one other Chinese language-English dictionary.


3. Metroman Beijing

Metroman was actually helpful for exploring town by its very environment friendly and inexpensive metro system. This app features a obtain of the complete metro system of Beijing. You possibly can put in your station of origin and your vacation spot and the map offers you a step-by-step rationalization of all of the transfers you must make to get there.

The app consists of how a lot time every leg of the journey will take and the whole price of the journey. It’s totally useful with no service or web connection.

Beijing is a vibrant and engaging metropolis. Historical historical past is built-in with each day life in all places you look, each by the observe of Chinese language Drugs and the traditional structure that’s the backdrop to the bustling metropolis. The savory meals and the unimaginable sights make for an unforgettable journey.

Thanks to Ctrip and Juicer Journey for internet hosting Amanda and making this wonderful journey doable.

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A Whirlwind Trip: 72 Hours in Beijing, China

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