Since I came back to Korea i've been way less active than I was in the past. Most weekends have been spent at home. I'm trying to be a lot more frugal now, as I tend to spend a lot of money when I do go out. Recently, I decided that I would go on a weekend trip each month to make up the time wasted in my nice new apartment. The first place I decided to go was Beijing, China. Beijing is only 90 mins away from Seoul International Airport, so it's a great weekend destination. This was actually what I thought my weekends would be like when I first got to Korea, but never happened. The idea came about whilst drinking at a bar on a Friday night in March, I decided to go on Skyscanner and look up cheap flights. Beijing came up and I just booked it. Fast forward to the first weekend of April, I was on my way to Beijing!!!
In the weeks leading up to my trip, I had planned out things I wanted to do:
After walking around the compound for I while I thought to move on because I would only be in Beijing for about 36 hrs and wanted ro see as much as possible. Walking back to the subway I ended up getting lost (surprise, surprise....not) so I took an Auto Rickshaw (Chinese version of Tuk Tuk) back to the subway. It took about 15 mins, I don't know how I ended up where I was but it set me back ¥30 ($5.80 CAD). Next, I went to Zhengyangman (Qianmen Street).
I didn't explore this area very long because it looked like a shopping area. Instead, I went to Tiananmen Square. By the time I got here it was around 3 pm and there were hoards of people going to the Forbidden City. I decided I would do that another time.
One place I really wanted to see was the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace was build in 1750 and served multiple purposes. In 1860 it was destroyed and restored in 1886. Now used as a garden, Summer Palace is also a UNESCO World Hertiage site. The garden sits hillside next to an artificial lake and has beautiful views. The fee to enter is ¥30 ($5.8 CAD).
Make sure to take the steps up to the pillars to get the best view. The steps are very narrow so watch your step!
Make sure you also check out Suzhoujie (Suzhou Market Street). Suzhoujie is a waterway commercial street where you will find ancient style shops that sit along the lake. This is not included in the price of the ticket, entrance fee is ¥10 ($2 CAD).
* It's a great place to find souvenirs or have a snack!
You can actually go on a boat ride. However, i'm not sure of the cost because I didn't even know it was a thing.
There weren't a lot of people down there, which is always awesome. It is a really peaceful place to take a stroll.
After the Summer Palace I headed back to my hostel. I asked the front desk to recommend a place to get Peking Duck. Peking Duck is the most famous dish of Beijing. Peking Duck is special because of the cooking method. The outside of the duck is extremely crispy while the inside is very juicy.
There is actually a really cool way to eat Peking Duck. First you are given this pancake which kind or reminds me of spring roll paper. There are two different sauces (sweet bean and something like hoisin) , scallions, cucumber slices and salt. There are three types of cuts; skin (very crispy and fatty, flesh (all meat and pretty juicy) and the half fatty half meat slices.
Once you have all your meats and condiments you pick up a pancake and put a slice of each part of the duck in it. After that you add some cucumber, sauce and scallions. Then, you fold the pancake and eat it! There is a rush of many different flavours like sweet, salty & fatty, but they all compliment each other well. Don't leave Beijing without trying it!
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I’m Hilda, the writer behind Herxtravels. Here you can find travel guides, reviews and tips. Find out more about me here.