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