Long overdue, here is some of my favorite photos from my 5-week adventure in Beijing this summer. When not at my 9:30-6 internship, I was off on my own, exploring the city. My experience this summer was very different than my experiences living in Beijing for three years with my family. Having full control of my schedule and transportation, my goal was to leave the house as early as possible and get back as late as was safe.
Here are some highlights!
You can’t go to Beijing without visiting Forbidden City or eating Beijing kaoya (roast duck). It would be like going to Seattle and not seeing the Space Needle or NYC without going to Times Square. It may not be the absolute highlight of the trip, but it is so classic that you have to go.
After I exited, I found this great old Chinese lady with sparkly blue shoes. I complimented her shoes, and she immediately broke into a huge smile and replied in Chinese, “Thanks, I got them for 1o RMB (USD 1.63)!” One of my favorite things from this trip was talking to new people – even if our conversation is very short and consists mostly of smiles.
I came here on my first day in Beijing, so I was a little overwhelmed. I had never used the subway by myself, nor (this sounds ridiculous) had I ever had to look up these locations on a map. I decided to start small and go to Beihai Park, a beautiful park which is conveniently located right next to a subway station. It turned out to work out perfectly though – the perfect transition tourist place! :)
I look back on it now, and I am so proud of how just 4 weeks later I was riding the bus and subway without blinking twice, and barely looking at a map.
Panjiayuan Dirt Market
This is a really fun market to take photos of and explore. Stalls and stalls of interesting, random, and usually useless things.
Temple of Heaven
Another classic. My favorite part of this park is actually just outside of the actual Temple of Heaven: the Long Corridor. This is the section where locals play games, sing, dance, exercise, talk, smoke, and just hang out. I love watching; I truly wish this sense of community could be translated as well into US culture.