Beijing: Modern City with Ancient Influence

Caleb and I arrived at the Beijing South Railway Station from Qingdao around noon and had no idea where we were going to stay. We were also very hungry. We decided to get on the local metro and get off at one of the stations.  The plan was to find wifi, get some food, and find a hostel. It sounded easy, but for some reason it took us four hours to find wifi and food. We were looking for a vegetarian restaurant but settled for Chinese fast food after multiple failed attempts to find the vegetarian restaurant. After some food, we found a cheap hostel close by. Although walking around for four hours was tedious, we did get to see a local side of Beijing. We also got some help from two Chinese kids to find the metro.

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Walking around Beijing

 

Yoshinoya, Fast Food

Yoshinoya, Fast Food

 

Eggplant, vegetables, and rice

Eggplant, vegetables, and rice

 

Local assistance for finding the metro

Local assistance for finding the metro

 

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Finally found a hostel

 

Later in the evening we went out to see Qianmen Street which is a modern business district with ancient architecture.

Traditional archway in Qianmen Street

Traditional archway in Qianmen Street

 

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One of the Zhengyang Gates by Qianmen Street

 

The following day Caleb and I headed to see the Great Wall of China. We traveled three hours north of Beijing to see a part of the wall called Jinshanling. The section is the most preserved area of the wall with many original features. The view was breathtaking and there were very few visitors due to the steep hike and distance from Beijing which made the time there even more enjoyable. I would go back and see this section again. I could actually just sit there all day and look out to the wall. I’ll make another post for the Great Wall.

Jingsangling section of the Great Wall of China

Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China

 

The last day in Beijing we did some more sightseeing around the city.  We first went to the Forbidden City to look around. It was outrageously hot and did not go all the way inside. Instead, we headed to the National Library of China and got ourselves our very own library cards. We spent two hours in the library using their free wifi and looking through their foreign books section (taking a break from the heat was nice too). At sunset, we headed to the Beijing Olympic Park where the 2008 Olympic games. The complex is nicely lit at night.

 

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Entrance to the Forbidden City

 

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Tall archway into the Forbidden City

 

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 National Library of China

 

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Reading Room in the National Library of China

 

Oprah made it to the China National Library collection

Oprah made it to the National Library of China collection

 

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Beijing traffic

 

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One has to enter the metro quickly or the doors will close on you like it did to Caleb

 

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Bird’s Nest (Beijing National Stadium)

 

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