Top Ten Simple and Fun DIY Travel Projects – Beijing As pleasant as a tour to Beijing may sound, I promise in reality it is far more deafening and exhausting if you don’t plan it right. So let’s begin with the list of do’s and do not’s!
1. Get Smart; Get Geographic:
No, really! You have to pay attention to the geographical placement of all the sites you’re trying to cram in a given day’s visit. If you don’t, you might as well get crushed by an unlimited amount of hours transportation can take in this huge city. Visit Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square in one day, Summer Palace in another; so on and so forth.
2. The Wrath of Chinese Smog:
The pollution levels of this beautiful city are a perfect oxymoron, just the right pinch of salt to add up the taste. Except the effect works more like cayenne and it can have your eyes watering in no-time. If you’ve read up on the atmospheric condition of Beijing, you’d know that because this city is a capital and the traffic there is crazy, the air pollution is simply out of control. In fact, Beijing happens to have an annual smog season, the air becomes yellow, and skyscrapers are shadowy. So you’re probably going to miss the blue skies. At least keep a mask with you to sustain your lungs’ health.
3. Compliance is the key:
In Beijing, you’re going to find security checks almost everywhere. They’ll check your backpack, probably twice at checkpoints located at a 10 feet distance. Even before entering to certain public places, you’ll most probably be frisked and checked thoroughly. Beijing actually has an airport like security system over there subways which can and does get very confusing with an already maze like subway tunnels and stations. More often than not, you will be told to show your passport, and when you produce it, they probably won’t have a look at it. You’ll feel like you’re losing your mind over it, but you need to understand it’s just the way this city works. Be very careful about not taking cameras in museums where it is prohibited. So the less irritated/more compliant you are, the swifter it gets. Avoid getting rude with the slightly sulky officer, and you’ll sneak in much faster, I promise.
4. Walk – or else cargo your bike:
I’m kidding, don’t cargo it. Just rent it, and that too if you want to avoid the hassle of going to a Subway. Although, all the Subways have Roman lettering, and they even provide announcements in English, but it can get crowded and more time-consuming. You still wish to have a more thorough experience of the alleyways of Beijing, rent a bike from bike hiring shops. The reason why I’m stressing the importance of a bike is because you definitely cannot walk through all the Beijing on foot. It takes time, it’ll make you weary, and you’ll probably regret. So do yourself a favor, and resort to having a bike so you can enjoy the night lit alleyways better.
5. At least have Google Translate:
Of course, the expenses of your trip won’t really cover a Mandarin translator; it is advisable to keep a translating app on your phone. Because you can’t assume you’d find people fluent in English in China. Signposts in English are about as much multilingual as it gets. So suit yourself and learn some Chinese.
6. Try Chopsticks:
Not to make a messy bun, ladies. Try learning to eat from those chopsticks if you haven’t already. I don’t mean to say Chinese people won’t tolerate any flaws in your etiquettes, but it’ll only save you from glares full of pity. But there’s one major method you especially need to avoid. Don’t stick your chopsticks right in the center of bowl perpendicular to the hem – the action very much resembles an ancient method of offering incense to the “Chinese Gods” and would basically be considered an insult. Other than that? Drop the food on your napkin/lap, slurp away the soups; nobody really cares!
7. The Hotpot:
This is the real DIY folks! Hotpot is the major food attraction of Beijing. You’re provided with a bowl of simmering stock and you get to choose the ingredients you’ll be cooking and eating later, which range from various vegetables, noodles to meat slices.
8. The Shopping Spree:
Now you need to be aware that buying stuff like electronics in China can be more expensive for you, not to mention Chinese do all the brand shopping overseas. Even the clothes that are in knock-off are not really a safe bet. Why? Because they’re so cheap, and the sellers always have their fair share, they never really sell anything without gaining any profit which leaves to one conclusion: the quality of this knock-off clothing you’re drooling over is just not durable. What can you buy? Traditional souvenirs, duh!
9. Leave the Chinese holidays alone:
You better! It is not advisable to travel during the national holidays because everyone is out, people are returning to their hometowns and cities are jam-packed! So you’re going to have serious trouble on the roads, traveling will take much more time than usual, and your whole trip will mess up in the end, probably.
10. Get a Travel Medical Insurance:
This is the most important tip, make sure to get yours insured medically. Even if you’re not you can get a pretty good treatment at the Chinese hospital, the only problem though, is that you may not find someone who can understand your language over there. So always prefer international hospitals in case of an emergency because they’re normally staffed with foreign doctors, and communication barriers are very frequent.
You can travel Beijing by foot, by car or by bike, whatever you prefer. Don’t forget an under seat subwoofer when traveling by car. Exciting music will improve the quality of your travel. I hope it helps. Stay safe!
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