Hannah’s Top Touristy Beijing Picks

(下面有中文版)

I tend to recommend more unusual places or things to see, since I think it makes for a more memorable trip. However, I would be remiss if I neglected to mention some of the main things that attract travelers. Of all the things in Beijing, here’s what I found the most worthwhile:

***NOTE: For Great Wall info, check out my other post.

1) Boppin’ around Tiananmen Square
This is a no-brainer, and should be your first stop if it’s your first time in Beijing. This is because this is a great area to explore, because several historical spots are linked together: The Forbidden City, the National Museum of China, The Great Hall of the People, and even Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. Obviously the most chilling part was the mausoleum, because visitors are not allowed to stop and take pictures, and must remove hats as a sign of respect. The end result is a brisk walk through a tomb, where most of the body is covered in a blanket (not that I’d want to see the whole body).

2) Seeing the Summer Palace
Another place on most “Top 5” lists, the Summer Palace is worth a stroll. As the name suggests, this is a place to visit in the summer. Many of the buildings are propped up on a hill, and there’s a nice collection of lotus flowers in the summer. If you’re lucky, you’ll also meet the erhu/violin/calligraphy street performer I met, who taught me a couple bars of Chinese opera.

3) Wandering in the Hutongs
Hutongs are the traditional neighborhoods of old Beijing, and though most of the areas have been renovated for tourism, they’re still fun to explore. Nanluoguxiang is a nice compromise between tourism and hutong life. The ACTUAL hutongs of Beijing are much less open to public, and are such twisted labyrinths, that if you find them, you shouldn’t be surprised to see a minotaur sipping tea with some of the locals.

4) The Temple of Heaven
The temple as a whole features pretty impressive architecture, much of which is restored due to previous wear and tear. My favorite parts were the “Circular Echo Wall,” “Three Echo Stones,” and “Celestial Heart Stone,” because when you stand on/near them, you can experience very unique acoustics. I won’t say any more. Just check it out!

5) Admiring graffiti in the 798 Art Space
This area is known for its explosion of art, which can be found everywhere, especially the walls! Though there are several museums in the area and boutique shops to enjoy art, I liked the spontaneous work spray-painted on buildings the best, which are very detailed and something I don’t often see in China.

6) The Bookworm Beijing
Okay, so if you’re only visiting Beijing, or even China, for a short while, this probably wouldn’t be high on your list, but for someone living in China, this well-stocked and active English bookstore is like a gorgeous oasis. Not only does it have many of the latest releases, but it also hosts events and activities for the literary world. I always make time for it on my Beijing itineraries. Check out their website here.

我比较会推荐稍微了不起、与众不同的景点因为这些地方让我的旅行更精彩。但是我也感觉不应该忽略那种“更吸引游客”的景点。我个人感觉这五个地方算是比较值得看。

  • 在天安门广场逛逛

这个是很容易的,是你去北京的第一站,因为这里很好探索景点,很多景点是合在这一部分,比如:紫禁城,中国国家博物馆,人民大会堂和毛主席纪念堂。无疑最使人恐惧的就是毛主席纪念堂,因为游客不能停下来拍照,而且要为了尊重他而摘下帽子。结果是你很快地走过陵墓,也看不到毛主席全身(当然也不是说我想看),所以会感觉有点奇怪。

  • 观看颐和园

这里也是排在前五位的北京景点,因为这里的风景也不错。按照它的英文翻译”Summer Palace,”你应该夏天去。楼在山上,而且夏天会有很多莲花。如果你运气比较好,你有可能也会见到教我京剧的在街头卖艺小提琴家。

  • 在胡同里漫步

胡同就是老北京的传统房子。虽然胡同是最近为了旅游业而修复的,它们还是很值得观看的。南锣鼓巷把旅游业和传统生活结合了起来,但是真正的胡同没有那么容易找得到,也不是很开放。这种像迷宫一样复杂的小区让游客很快就会迷路,如果你真的能找到,那么无意中看到弥诺陶洛斯也是很正常的。

  • 天坛

虽然这里因为磨损也是被修复的,这里还是有令人钦佩的建筑。我最喜欢的几部分就是天心石和太阳石,因为你站在那里的时候会发现很独特的声音……我不用多说了,你自己去体验吧!

  • 在798艺术区赞美“乱画”

这个艺术区是因为它的丰富艺术作品而成名的,这种作品也包含在房子的墙上!虽然到处都有博物馆、小店,我更喜欢墙上的又精细又无意识的画,尤其是因为我很少在中国会看得到这种画。

  • 《老书虫》书店

当然,如果你只是在北京或者中国很短时间,你肯定不会来到这里,但是如果你像我在中国比较久,这个有很多书、有活动的英文书店就像沙漠里的绿洲。它不仅是有最新出版的书,它也有很多文学活动。我每次到北京都会去这里逛逛。

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