After finishing my exams I had some time to explore Beijing before I set off to Vietnam for my last exchange adventure.
For some reason, during my semester I never took the opportunity to explore Beijing. Instead I traveled around Asia and spent my free time in Beijing eating or at bars. However, within Beijing there are tons of things to see. From museums to parks and heritage sites there are many sites you can visit.
My first stop was to Beihai Park. My friend really wanted to go there so I decided to tag along. As a former imperial garden, Beihai Park was inspired by various regions of China (Suzhou, Yangzhou, Hangzhou). Therefore, the whole park is quite scenic.
At Beihai Park you can also rent pedal boats, battery operated boats, and lotus flower boats to explore the lake. My friend and I didn’t do this, but it is something that would definitely be nice on a hot summer day.
Beihai Park is located just north of the Forbidden City. Since it was late in the day we decided to visit Tiananmen Square. It was fairly quiet when we got there so we were able to take pictures. Tiananmen Square looks pretty nice when the sun goes down, don’t you agree?
Just south of Tiananmen Square is a large area of Hutongs. Unlike traditional hutongs, this hutong is highly modernized with many popular shops, a tourist tram, and even a Madame Tussauds. While you’re at these whitings I suggest you try the jasmine tea ice cream at Wuyutai Tea Shop and some of the 15 kuai peking duck wraps. They make perfect snacks and the jasmine ice cream is just so unique and delicious.
What time of the year is it? It’s Summer Palace time. ahahaha. Sorry I’m not funny
To continue my journey around Beijing, I headed to the Summer Palace. Like many gardens in China, the main feature of the Summer Palace was a large lake. Since I didn’t rent a boat at either Beihai Park or the West Lake in Hangzhou I thought it was about time. We rented a pedal boat to take around the lake. Sooooo I got a lot of exercise that day.
The pedal boat was a great way to see the lake (especially since the boat had a canopy to keep the sun off). But walking around the lake was also a great way to take in the scenery. Much like the West Lake in Hangzhou, there was a large causeway that crossed the lake. I’m not entirely sure why this place is called the Summer Palace, but if it has anything to do with how this place looks in the Summer I totally understand.