Beijing was everything I wanted it to be, and more! I was actually the least excited about seeing the Great Wall of China because I was afraid I would get there and feel disappointed. Thankfully, there was absolutely no disappointment. As we hiked along the Great Wall, my favorite thing was watching it wind along the mountain range as far as the eye could see. It was truly spectacular. We went to the Mutianyu portion and I would highly recommend it because it wasn’t overly crowded and there is a toboggan ride you can take off of the Wall that was so fun!
That same day we did Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Both were really wonderful but by the end our feet hurt from walking ALL day and jet lag started taking over so by the end of the Forbidden City I just really wanted to go home. We had to squeeze it all into one day because our time in Beijing was limited. I’m really glad that we got to see everything but I would suggest spreading it out over a couple of days if you have the time.
The next day we went and saw the Temple of Heaven and the Yonghe (Lama) Temple. I love Buddhism and learning about it so I found both temples very fascinating. My very favorite part of that day, however, was the park outside of the Temple of Heaven. It was filled with older (like 70-80 years old) Chinese locals who were exercising, playing games, knitting, and doing Tai Chi. They were all so healthy and happy and most of them were doing stretches and exercises that I couldn’t even come close to doing… like the picture of the man with the leg behind his leg. What??!! If you go to Beijing, you have to go to that park! Also, if you go to Beijing, be prepared to have lots of people ask to take pictures with you 🙂
Our trip was short and sweet and at the end of the second day we headed to the train station and boarded our sleeper train for the 19 HOUR ride to Guilin.