Cultural Experience | Beijing

Bring Your Spirit And BackPack Through China!

China is a great choice to go backpacking through, with so many amazing sights all around the country, it can be difficult to chose just one city!

The best way to travel…

With a long flight ahead of you, wear comfortable pieces, easy to take off shoes and a soft scarf to wrap as a scarf or cover up.  I love layering my clothes when I travel, it makes it easy to roll in my back pack and transition from hot to cold areas. Backpacking through a country can be demanding, so trying to travel light is the way to go. Take key pieces to help you brave the cold winds and chilly days.



Any tour of Beijing would be incomplete without a visit to the Forbidden City. Most travelers enter the Forbidden City through Tian’anmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Through the gate, across an expansive brick-paved square, you will reach the main entrance to the palace. The Forbidden City falls into two parts, the outer court and the inner palaces.

The Temple of Heaven is located in Beijing. The Emperor of China was known as the son of heaven in ancient times, his prayers were believed to bring good harvest and a strong stable government to the people. Today, the temple is a beautiful place for tourists to visit. UNESCO even labeled the temple as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1998!

If you’re staying in Beijing for a while you can’t miss the infamous Great Wall! Hiking up the wall can be quite an experience, though it isn’t recommended. Taking a cable car is the best way to see the main parts. During the winter it can be slippery and cold, so making sure you’re wearing the proper footwear and also bundled up for the wind.  The Great Wall also has amazing views of the surrounding areas and taking a hike there can really take your breath away, and your time.  Travelling through this part of China can remain quite warm in the wintertime.  The Great Wall is always full of tourists and students alike, make sure you only take a few essentials for this excursion, as the hike can be quite weighing on you if you’re not used to the activity! Much of the wall north of Beijing and around larger tourist centers have been preserved quite well.  What’s so cool about it? They say you can see the Great Wall from the moon!

If you’re not as adventurous to climb the Great Wall, perhaps the Lama Temple is more your speed. Upon entering the temple, you can observe monks praying, possibly the most amazing experience ever if you want to learn more about other religious practices! This temple is a must visit for anyone interested in Eastern religion. The best part about the tour, is that it is not only one temple but there are four more! They say there are many artifacts that bless you as you walk past them, so walk mindfully!

If you’re looking for excitement and a show, the Chaoyang Theater is an exciting thrill! Established in 1984. Chaoyang Theatre works mainly on the performance of an acrobatic show, the theatre covers an area of 3,000 sq. m, even the cheapest seats in the house have great views of this acrobatic display complete with motorbikes.! The show takes a few hours, so plan around your day. In the past 20 years, those seats have held over three million foreign audiences!

A great way to get emerged into the culture are taking cooking classes right in China! If you’re a foodie, theres no better way to take a taste of China home with you than to learn a new skill. The Black Sesame Kitchen is located right in Beijing and offers classes to all. There are multiple classes you can choose from, such as cooking with dumplings and cooking with colors!

The most amazing birds eye view…Hong Kong

If  you have a little time on your hands, you’ll want to pull your camera out of your bag as you travel up Victoria Peak. Located on the western part of the Hong Kong Island, you have the perfect view of the upscale residential areas, parks, and gardens surrounding the summit! Riding the Peak Tram is the most fun way to view the breathtaking view. Because of the location,  some of the rich and famous also chose to live there with the perfect view over some of the most beautiful parts of Hong Kong and beyond. For more breathtaking views, head to the South Side of Hong Kong Island to Deep Water and Repulse bays. There’s great shopping and bargins to haggle over at Stanley Market, full of clothes and souvenirs.  Stanley’s popular beach is the site of the Dragon Boat Races every June. The bus ride can be a little hairy on the windy and steep roads, but worth the trip along the coastline.

Temple of Heaven, China

Right below the peak is Victoria Harbor, the skyline offers an amazing view of the city of Hong Kong. It would be nearly impossible to visit and not see this place! Even when the weather is bad, the view is still breathtaking and a sight for sore eyes! You can travel down the peak and to the harbor, relax and enjoy the scenery.

Take a ferry tour across Hong Kong Harbour  and get up close and personal in the action of Hong Kong. The light and sound show takes place every night at 8PM. The show lasts about 12 minutes, but there are several boat rides you can take to enjoy the breathtaking display! The skyline view is definitely a monument to mans ability to build. Named as the ‘World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show’ by Guinness World Records, there are five main themes: Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership, and the finale, Celebration.

Get around on the Tramways, it’s a great way to see the area without having to worry about getting lost or getting tired. You can purchase the “hop on hop off’ ticket that allows you to be dropped off and picked up in multiple places so you can have time to enjoy some places more extensively than others. Conveniently the trams have audio to explain the surrounding areas.  It’s certainly worth the money to take a load off of your feet and take in the scenery.

For the history buffs you can visit the Hong Kong Museum of History, perfect to visit on a rainy day.  The museum is a great place to learn about the history of Hong Kong and see some amazing artifacts.

China is a great place to travel to if you want to experience beauty and culture all wrapped into one. Happy traveling!

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Jamie Coulson

Flagler College | 3 stories

Jamie Coulson is a senior at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. She is majoring in Journalism and Documentary Production with a minor in Creative Writing. Jamie also writes for the Flagler College Gargoyle, the colleges online publication. Throughout her life, and moving almost 900 miles away from home to pursue her future, Jamie has always loved to travel. She has visited many different places in her three years at school, and is hoping to be traveling to Ireland next spring. After graduation Jamie would love to be an international investigative journalist working with non-profits, a news company, or as a freelancer.

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