Days 7 through 11 were spent in and around the capital city of Beijing (北京).
1) Hawkers: Right when we got off the bus from the airport we were ambushed by hotel/taxi hawkers. Luckily, I had already booked a hotel within walking distance. Because Beijing is packed full of sights and tourists, hawkers are everywhere and you have to train yourself to a) look too busy to care, b) to say no a lot.
2) Security: There’s an abundance of police officers and soldiers especially as you get closer to the city center.
3) City Area: Not as many skyscrapers as Shanghai, feels more spread out.
Sights: Beijing has a bunch of spots, I’ve only listed a few that I checked out.
1) Tiananmen Square (天安门广场): A huge public square located directly south of the Forbidden City. This is where the police and soldiers are in full force as well as plain clothes cops. I really like the space but I get the feeling I’m being watched.
2) Forbidden City (故宫): A great old school imperial architecture and gardens in this grand area.
3) Yuanmingyuan Gardens (圆明园）：aka The Old Summer Palace. In 1860, this palace was burned and looted by French and British troops during the Second Opium War. This experience along with others in Chinese history can be an indicator of why China’s wary about other foreign powers and getting involved abroad.
4) The Great Wall (长城）：Outside of the city with multiple sections to visit. The gf and I went on weekday and to a less visited section, so we were able to get a feel of the “greatness” of the wall without the masses of tourists and hawkers that flood the wall on the weekends.