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The Top 3 BIGGEST Beijing Attractions:
1. The Great Wall
Beijing like many of the world's major attractions was built so long ago as a defence against the country’s northern invaders. You can see this wall from up in space, they say, and really, this place needs no introduction.
The walls wind all the way as far as the eye can see. Badaling is the portion of the wall most people may tell you to go because it has been rebuilt and you will get all the towers and rebuilt walls for your camera. However, JinShanLing and SiMaTai attract good reviews from the more adventurous tourists because there will be less people there and the scenery more picturesque.
2. Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
Wow, if you think you have seen enough palaces and castles from travelling around the world, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Forbidden City is fronted by the Tiananmen Square, the worlds largest public square (if there is anywhere close to this, it would be absolutely amazing) and scene of the Tiananmen Massacre. The sight of green-uniformed, red badged guards stationed around the square gives a real feel of the old communist state ruled with an firm fist.
Common folk were once forbidden from entering the great palace that you see beyond the square, and when you enter the most enormous courtyard you have every seen, and thus the beginning of a place that feels like a whole different world by itself. Architecture here is also quintessentially Chinese, and perhaps the best bird’s eye view of it all can be seen at Mao’s Mausoleum (located outside, next to the Tiananmen Square)the resting place of the father of communism in China.
3. Summer Palace
Beijing gets pretty hot in the summer, and once you’ve been to the Forbidden City, you will imagine its a real oven there especially! So the royalty moves to the Summer Palace then, where the collection of palace temples, gardens, pavilions, and lakes served as a cooler retreat for the imperial court. Whilst a major part of the place is taken up by Kunming Lake, its boats and lakeside resting places, along with the main tower/hall, a personal highlight is also the a long corridor along one side of the lake, filled with mythical paintings and scenes.
Things You Should Know
1. The People
There are just so many of them! That alone is alright, but many smart local Chinese folks start having the dollar sign in their eyes when they spot the foreigner walking by. Taxi? Souvenir?
Take photo with mascot dressed up as Chinese Emperor? You want woman?! They will sell you anything, and be aware that a big number of unlicensed/selling low quality products/pricing goods depending on how rich you look. No kidding. Best advice may be
a) don’t start, because they will NOT let you off that easily thereafter; and b) inspect goods’ quality and know your prices before you start - what is cheap to you may be a killing to them, especially if they are selling you non-authentic souvenirs.
2. Extreme Weathers
Beijing is located quite far from the coastline, is packed with people and mega- structures, and is in fact next to the desert. Winters (subzero temperatures) and summers (above 40 degrees Celcius) are extreme so autumns may be a good time (with less tourists as well).