6 Things to Do When You Need a Break From Beijing

The Best City Breaks From Beijing

6 Things to Do When You Need a Break From Beijing


A uniquely vibrant city, Beijing combines historic charm and modern splendor to form the ultimate vacation destination. On occasion, however, you may find yourself wishing for respite from the big city. When that time arrives, don’t hesitate to hit up these top destinations:

1. Caves of Zhoukoudian

One of China’s most important archaeological sites, the Zhoukoudian cave system has supplied researchers with a vast collection of remains linked to the extinct species Homo erectus. Known as the Peking Man fossils, these remains offer intriguing insight into the role evolution has played in the history of multiple species.

A short walk from the park’s well-known archaeological sites will take you to a relatively recent addition: a large museum housing thousands of relics and interactive displays.

6 Things to Do When You Need a Break From Beijing in China


2. Great Wall of China: Mutianyu Section

One of China’s most iconic structures, the Great Wall attracts millions of visitors every year.  Mutianyu is one of the site’s most accessible sections, but it typically lacks the crowds associated with Badaling.

Beautifully preserved, Mutianyu is surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Each season brings its own source of visual delight, but Mutianyu is especially impressive during the autumn months. No matter when you visit, you’ll be struck by the scope of the Great Wall and its historical importance.

6 Things to Do When You Need a Break From Beijing China


3. Marco Polo Bridge

Spanning the Yongding River, the Marco Polo Bridge is a true historic icon. While it is, in part, known for being Beijing’s oldest bridge, this granite structure is more commonly referenced as the site of a notorious incident that sparked war with Japan.

Today, however, visitors appreciate not only the bridge’s historic significance, but also the sheer beauty of its carved lions, which adorn the railings on both sides.

4. Gouya Natural Scenic Area

Located in the Changping District, Gouya Natural Scenic Area inspires awe with its impressive topography. Witness the highs and lows of nature up close and personal; during your Gouya adventure, you’ll discover both tall mountains and deep gorges.

Along the way, you’ll observe lush greenery and a variety of temples. Favorite activities include hiking, fishing, and photography. Stop by early in the morning for a peaceful retreat and a stunning view of the sunrise.

5. Fragrant Hills Park

Also known as Xiangshan Park, Fragrant Hills Park appeals to nature lovers, who appreciate the abundance of cypress, maple, and persimmon trees found there. The park sustained considerable damage during attacks in 1860 and 1900, but has seen extensive restoration in recent years. From the beginning, it has boasted the region’s best autumn scenery.

Whether your ideal escape from Beijing includes a strenuous hike or the leisurely examination of historic landmarks, you’ll quickly fall in love with the many beautiful parks and temples that surround one of China’s largest and busiest cities. Broaden your horizons with a quick break from city life — you won’t regret it.

6. Eastern Qing Tombs

Situated northeast of Beijing and northwest of Tangshan, Zunhua’s Easter Qing Tombs house the Qing dynasty’s emperors, empresses, and concubines. The tombs located within this vast mausoleum complex are extraordinarily preserved. The many mountains surrounding the mausoleum only add to the sense of wonder you’ll naturally experience during your visit.

china parks


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Professional Travel blogger & Intagramer Camilo Duque Takes Mutianyu & Forbidden City Layover Tour with Us!

Camilo is passionate about traveling, telling stories and portraying every moment. He’s in love with getting lost in the streets of every place he  visit and inveterate adventure seeker.

With an absolute base of real followers, Camilo shows an excellent growth in his first year of work.
More than 70% of his followers have in their main interests travel, photography, technology and events.

great wall tour

Meridian gate of Forbidden City–The Meridian Gate or Wumen is the southern and largest gate of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.


Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City–The Imperial Garden is at the northernmost point of the Palace Museum in Beijing, which is situated behind the Palace of Earthly Tranquility.

Beijing layover tour

The moat surrounding the Forbidden City excavated during the Yongle reign of the Ming Dynasty are known as Tongzi He (the Pipe River) by local people.

Mutianyu great wall

Mutianyu is a good alternative for Badaling with the complete facilities including a cable car, chairlift and toboggan. You can check the link for the details.

mutianyu wild great wall

With the easier walking conditions and fewer crowds, Mutianyu is much more enjoyable to walk in than Badaling.

So if you like everything that has to do with traveling, Click Here to be linked to Camilo Instagram Page.

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How to Attend a Chinese Wedding

Essential Things For Going To a Chinese Wedding

How to Attend a Chinese Wedding china


If you’ve been invited to a Chinese wedding, you’re about to experience a beautiful cultural tradition that infuses the best of historic charm and modern celebrations. You will observe a touching love story come to life before your very eyes as you take in the bonds that bring us all together.

You’ll also note, however, several key differences between Chinese weddings and those you’ve attended in other countries. These differences should not be cause for alarm, but it’s critical that you make an effort to abide by local customs. Your failure to do so could cause grave offense on an important day. Keep the following in mind as you prepare for the wedding experience of a lifetime:

How to Attend a Chinese Wedding Beijing


Don’t Be Offended If You’re Not Invited to the Ceremony

Unless you are a bridesmaid or one of your close family members is getting married, you probably will not attend the actual ceremony. In China, traditional wedding ceremonies are very small, although larger Western-style ceremonies are beginning to grow in popularity.

For a traditional affair, the fun begins early in the morning, when the groom attempts to pick up the bride at her parents’ house. The bridesmaids play light-hearted games to prevent this from happening.

Once the groom has completed all challenges set before him, he and his betrothed attend tea ceremonies with both sides of the family. A banquet follows later in the day; if you’re like most guests, you will skip the ceremony and attend this festive event.

Don’t Wear Red, White, or Black

Choosing wedding attire is difficult enough when you’re home, but you’ll find additional restrictions when you visit China. Thankfully, some of these are familiar. In the West, for example, it’s common courtesy not to wear white when attending a wedding.

White should also be avoided in China, as should black and red. As in the West, black symbolizes death or mourning. Red is to be avoided because it’s often the color of choice for the bride. All other colors are acceptable, as are black and white accents. Non-red warm tones such as shades of pink or yellow are encouraged, as these demonstrate your support of the couple.

How to Attend a Chinese Wedding


Dress Modestly

While this rule technically applies at weddings throughout the world, what guests define as modest can vary from one region to the next. In China, it’s best to play it safe during formal occasions. When in doubt, plan to cover your chest, shoulders, and thighs.

Bring Cash Instead of a Physical Gift

Cash may seem like a tacky gift in some countries, but in China, the reverse rule applies: guests rarely bring physical objects. Instead of searching for the right item on a gift registry, expect to bring at least enough cash to account for your dinner. This should be delivered in a red envelope. Avoid dollar amounts containing multiples of four, as this is deemed an unlucky number throughout China.

As with any wedding, Chinese nuptials are a cause for joy and celebration. Abide by a few local customs, and you are bound to have a wonderful time. Embrace this exciting experience — this is an amazing opportunity to take in Chinese culture at its best.

Chinese bride giving red pocket lucky money in the wedding
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6 Tips for a Kid-Friendly, Culture-Packed Getaway in Beijing

Top Tips to Give Kids Some Culture and a Vacation at the Same Time



Traveling with the whole family is a great way to open your children’s eyes to a world beyond their front door. Beijing is such a fascinating location that you can “hide” the cultural learning simply by checking out some of these six fascinating locations that will be interesting for the entire family. From walking along the Great Wall to firsthand experiences of life in Beijing, start planning a getaway that your whole family will enjoy.

1. Hiking Along the Great Wall

Whether you opt to hike along the Great Wall throughout the day and camp at night or select a shorter route, our guides ensure that you will have memories that will last a lifetime. This isn’t the well-maintained, tame walk that you might expect. This 4-6 hour walk takes you through either  JiankouJinshanling or other remote locations along the wall.

2. Seek Out Local Arts and Crafts

Paper cutting is one of the most fascinating local crafts that has been a part of Chinese life since the 6th Century — the time of the Han Dynasty. Women make up the majority of paper cutting artists, and their works often become a part of weddings or other special occasions throughout the area. Want to try your hand at something special? Check out the silk museum and factory, where kids can watch silkworms chomping on leaves.

6 Tips for a Kid-Friendly, Culture-Packed Getaway in Beijing China


3. Take a Cooking Class

One of the best ways to truly understand a culture can be quite tasty! That’s right, why not try taking a cooking class while you’re in Beijing and create some traditional Chinese delicacies together? The cuisine is far different from Americanized Chinese food, and your whole family will be delighted with the care that goes into crafting these traditional dishes.

4. Tune In to Local Music and Folk Dance

Hearing the classical sounds of Chinese music, the graceful and unique makeup and costumes — adults and children alike will fall in love with the performance options in Beijing. There are several theaters that offer everything from Dragon Dancing, to juggling and acrobatics — all taking place with dramatic music as the backdrop.

6 Tips for a Kid-Friendly, Culture-Packed Getaway in Beijing


5. Visit a Traditional Chinese Neighborhood

While only a few hutongs, or traditional Chinese homes, remain in Beijing, visiting these neighborhoods like Nanluoguxiang will give you a glimpse into the rich and diverse past. Want to truly experience life in the capital city?

Enjoy your tour in the back of a bicycle rickshaw, a form of transportation that was made popular in the 19th century and still remains available today. Discovering what lies behind these square courtyards provides a fascinating diversion for an afternoon in Beijing.

6. Look for a Hotel with a Culture-Rich Children’s Program

Many of hotels in the Beijing area offer a rich program of culture for children, from sculptural representations of Eastern artwork to delicious and tempting dishes for dinner. You can find some of the most popular options in Middle Chaoyang, where modern architecture meets an idyllic greenway that children are sure to love.

6 Tips for a Kid-Friendly, Culture-Packed Getaway Beijing


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How Long It Takes to Walk the Great Wall of China

Detailed Information on the Time it Takes to Hike the Great Wall

How Long It Takes to Walk the Great Wall


People often ask how long it takes to walk across the Great Wall of China. But as with many simple questions, the answer to this one is, “Well, it depends.” A walk across the the Great Wall depends upon which parts of the Great Wall you would like to hike, how fast you can walk a mile, how long do you have? how fit and how experienced are you? etc. Here are some pearls of wisdom that can prepare you for the challenges ahead.

601 Days by Stephen Robert Loken

In modern times one person claims to have made the hike from Jiayuguan, in Gansu Province all the way to Dandong located in Liaoning Province. Stephen Robert Loken, a 42-year-old Norwegian, spent 601 days trekking the entire span of the Great Wall of China.

This total span spreads for 3,728 miles (6,000 km) and is quite an amazing feat. If you want to see if you can handle the Great Wall of China in individual stints rather than all at once, here is a breakdown of the various sections for hiking.

Jinshanling to Jinshanling East: 3-5 hours

The total distance from Jinshanling to Jinshanling East is 3 to 4.5 miles. To reach the end milestone in sufficient time, expect this hike to take you 3 to 5 hours. Overall you will gain a maximum altitude of 2,001 feet. At the Jinshanling Great Wall, you will experience partially restored paths coupled with some slippery sections. Distance hiked: 3 -4.5 miles. Hiking time: 3-5 hours. Maximum altitude:2,001 feet.

Great Wall of China in colorful Autumn season during sunset near Beijing, China.


Gubeikou to Jinshanling: 4.5-5.5 hours

The Gubeikou to Jinshanling expanse of the Great Wall will take somewhat longer at a total mileage of 6 to 7 miles. Here you get a lower altitude climb of 1,410 feet compared to the  Jinshanling hike. As a result, this hike will take moderately in-shape individuals 4.5 to 5.5 hours. Most of this section of the route is not restored so take note when preparing for this trek. Distance hiked: 6-7 miles. Hiking time: 4.5-5.5 hours. Maximum altitude: 1,410 feet.

Jiankou to Mutinayu: 4-5 hours

For hikers looking at the Jiankou to Mutinayu stretch of the wall, this is another 5.5 to 6-mile hike. Here you are hiking for 4 to 5 hours at a max altitude of 1,410 feet. Starting at Jiankou’s  Zhengbeilou Tower, you are in for quite the treat on this zigzagging section of the Great Wall. Views of the Jiankou basin make it well worth it. Distance hiked: 5.5-6 miles. Hiking time:4-5 hours. Maximum altitude: 2,001 feet

Mutianyu: 2-3 hours

Mutianyu is a shorter hike for those who are ready for a steeper challenge. With an altitude climb of up to 2,067 feet, this area reaches the highest peaks. However, the hike itself is only 2 to 3 miles in length, which accounts for the 2 to 3 hour hiking time. The wall was restored in 1960 and includes a chairlift with a Toboggan slide. Distance hiked: 2-3 miles. Hiking time: 2-3 hours. Maximum altitude: 1,980 feet.

The Great Wall of China is in autumn


Huanghuacheng to Xishuiyu: 3-4 hours

Another shorter hike takes you from Huanghuacheng and Xishuiyu along the Great Wall. The naming has actually been updated to Huanghuacheng Water Great Wall Scenic Area, so you may see this hike listed both ways in your research and trip planning. Here you are traversing 3.5 to 4.5 miles of pretty rugged terrain with a maximum altitude reaching 2,001 feet. Along the hike plan on seeing hikers as the Great Wall towers along the hike are large and accommodating. Distance hiked: 3.5-4.5 miles. Hiking time: 3-4 hours. Maximum altitude: 1,880 feet.

Overall Hiking Times for Longer Sections

If you were to hike each of these sections in pairs the following is a breakdown of how long it would take you:

  • Gubeikou to Jinshanling and then Jinshanling to Jinshanling East—9-10 hours
  • Jinshanling to Jinshanling East then Jainkou to Mutinayu—8-9 hours
  • Huanghuacheng and Xishuiyu then Mutianyu —6-7 hours

If you calculate these section times accordingly, you could spend two and a half days hiking the Great Wall of China easily and still only cover a small stretch.

How Long It Takes to Walk the Great Wall of China beijing


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