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3 Days in Beijing (Part Two) Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Culture

With just three days to explore Beijing, the first one was pretty epic. Traveling along the city’s central north-south axis, you got to hit some of the biggest attractions in the city – the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and much more. Hopefully you got some good rest; there are still two more big days to go. Stretch your legs, because day two starts with a hike.

The Great Wall

An empty Great Wall at the Gubeikou section.

An empty Great Wall at the Gubeikou section.

According to Mao Zedong, “You aren’t a real man until you’ve climbed the Great Wall” (不到长城非好汉 – bù dào cháng chéng fēi hǎo hàn). Plus, no trip to Beijing would be complete without a stop at one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. From the city, you have plenty of options for visiting the Wall. If you’re looking for the easiest way possible, you’ll probably end up at Badaling. If you want a bit more of an adventure, you’ll most likely visit Mutianyu. If you want to see the rugged, wild Great Wall – and not hordes of tourists – you’ll check out one of the less restored sections, such as Jinshaling, Gubeikou, or Jiankou. We’ve got some more detailed info for you on these various Great Wall options, and we’ve even got you covered if you want to try and camp on the wall overnight. Check out some highlights of a hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu in this short video:

Wangfujing

Exploring Wangfujing.

Exploring Wangfujing.

A trip out to the Wall will take most of your day and can be quite tiring, so when you get back to Beijing it’s best to relax for a bit. If you’ve got the energy to go back out, there’s plenty more to do. Start your evening with a stroll along Wangfujing (王府井 – wáng fǔ jǐng), a huge pedestrian street full of shops and vendors. You can find all your souvenirs here, and you can also check out a wild night market that has tons of delicious snacks and plenty of weird ones, such as seahorse, lamb testicles, and even scorpions. It is incredibly touristy and overpriced, but you can put your haggling skills to the test and have a good time anyways.

Chaoyang Acrobats and Dinner

The amazing acrobats.

The amazing acrobats.

From there, you can check out the incredible acrobat performance at the Chaoyang Theater. Shows go on every day at either 5:15 or 7:15, and tickets can just be purchased at the door. Get dinner under the red glow of lanterns hung along Gui Jie (簋街 – guǐ jiē) – also commonly known as Ghost Street – where you’ll find a ton of Chinese restaurants. We’d recommend hot pot (火锅 – huǒ guō), a very Chinese and very fun dining experience. Order up meat, seafood, vegetables, and whatever else you like, and cook it yourself in a pot of boiling oil and spices. If terrible Chinese liquor is not for you, you can have imported wine delivered right to your table from a local store called Cheers.

Sanlitun

The place to party in Beijing.

The place to party in Beijing.

Since your dogs are probably barking from the hike on the Wall, it’s time for you to enjoy a cheap foot massage. These can be found literally everywhere in Beijing, and they vary from very good and expensive to mediocre and cheap. Head to Sanlitun (三里屯 – sān lǐ tún), where you can choose to go big at a place like Dragon Fly or take the cheaper route in one of the many small salons. While you’re there, you might as well sample some of the nightlife. If you get there early enough, there are some great Happy Hours. If you get there later on, the party should be raging, with bars packed full of people and plenty more eating and drinking in the streets. It doesn’t matter what night of the week or what hour it is – Sanlitun is always a good time. Take a tour of the area in our “Streets, Beats & Eats” video:

You’ve got one more big day in Beijing, so head back to your accommodation and get some sleep. After hiking the Great Wall, eating all that delicious street food, and enjoying a massage with a few drinks afterwards, that shouldn’t be difficult!

Day Two Itinerary

  • Great Wall

  • Wangfujing

  • Chaoyang Acrobats

  • Dinner on Ghost Street

  • Massage

  • Drinks in SLT

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


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