An Adventure in 北京 (Beijing)

Beijing has so far been one of the most amazing cities I have ever been to.  Even with my hectic travels, it was soooooo worth it.

After my Spartan Race on Saturday, I opted for heading to bed rather early and tackling the Forbidden City Sunday morning.

I awoke today to one of the most beautiful days I’ve experienced in China so far.  It was 27°C without a cloud in the sky.  While absolutely beautiful, it gave me my first sunburn of the summer.

I got to the Forbidden City (Palace Museum) at 8:30 when the ticket sales started and wandered around until 11:30. I really didn’t realize how huge this place was. I got lost walking along the different paths, and I’m sure I only saw maybe half of the whole place. 

It really was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been too — even with the massive crowds. Surprisingly enough, there were a few spots you could find that were fairly empty.

The buildings were just breathtaking and it really is amazing to think about what a rich history this place has.  I opted for a guided tour — but I quickly realized how little I knew of Chinese history.  It made the tour audio hard to follow — so I’m hoping to catch up on my Chinese history soon!

After my tour at the forbidden temple, I headed for a quick lunch before my journey to the wall. I had decided that I’d stay at a hostel nestled in a small village for a bit of a getaway from the city.  It was the right idea.

The 120km journey outside of Beijing brought me across mountains and through quaint small towns. I was amazed by it’s beauty, and the hostel did not let me down.

It’s sitting right against some of the old and overgrown parts of the wall, and I can literally see the wall from my dorm bed. I opted this evening for a short hike up the wall to the top of a mountain to see the sunset, and I couldn’t get enough of the amazing views.

This part of the wall has been totally overgrown, but it made for an amazing quick hike.

Tomorrow I have an early morning planned to hike the crouching tiger section of the wall.  I’ve been told it has some of the best views and will require me to literally crawl up on my hands and knees.

I will be going with the only other two people staying in my hostel tonight – and I look forward to the new adventure!

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