China – Part I

China – Part I

I arrived into Beijing via Seoul in the evening hours making the jet lag pains manageable next morning. The drive through the city to the hotel gave the glimpse of a vibrant city that is preparing for a global Olympics party within a year. The construction projects everywhere were just amazing. This on top of a solid infrastructure across the city. Traffic is as bad as any major city, for some reason, the congestion used to hit the peak around 7pm daily.

Spent the first week in Beijing as the city and surroundings have a great deal to offer and can keep you busy for weeks. The compressed schedule however took us to the main sights – The Tinanmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and the most glamorous of all – The Great Wall of China. While others sites are impressive and have great historical significance, it is the Great Wall that truly captivates you. As you stand on this historic landmark traversing the peaks as far as the eyes can see in both directions, it take a while to truly comprehend the enormity of the task of building and managing logistics and support. Hiking up and down the serpentine alleys of the Wall was so cool that one almost forgets the sweltering heat. If you are heading that way – pick a site that is typically less crowded. It will allow you to absorb the surroundings and embed an experience that will remain with you forever.

The Great Wall at Mutianyu

The Gates of Forbidden City

The Temple of Heaven

The Summer Palace