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Find me in Beijing China

10:40 am

Beijing China_Great Wall
I have just returned from 1 month in China, but in truth, I could have stayed for another and it probably still wouldn’t be enough.  I make it a point to visit China every few years and each time I visit, I discover something about the motherland that I didn’t know before. With each trip, the country grows a little more foreign yet a little more intimate for me. Foreign because the landscape in China is constantly changing. It has been more than a decade since I lived in Beijing but with each visit, the city, in its real estate boom, becomes less recognizable to me.  More intimate because on each visit I now retain some more history and culture about a place I’ve been dying to understand thoroughly.

I started the journey in Beijing. As with each visit to the Chinese capital, I first must re-orientate myself with a city that’s ever changing. This time, I discovered the real estate boom had pushed all the way out of the city center. The road that used to run through villages on the outskirt of the city is now a highway zipping through high-rise condominiums.

As I’ve come to Beijing for several years now, I am much more selective about the places I visit when I’m in town. But forever on my list is the Great Wall. I always go in the early morning, usually leaving the city before 7am so I can finish my climb before high noon when the sun is blistering and tourists arrive by the bus load. My favorite stretch of the Wall is at Mu Tian Yue. It’s a bit further from the city than other parts of the wall, and a bit smaller, but the view here is the most scenic. In the June heat, the Great Wall looked as majestic as ever. I make a mental note to research options for overnight camping on the Great Wall for my next visit.

Next up on the list is the Temple of Heaven. I’d only been here once before, as a child when my grandpa took me and my cousins here. Safe for some old photographs, I have no memory of the historical site. The Temple of Heaven looked like something out of Travel & Leisure magazine. Though it has been reconstructed throughout history due to fire and damages, today, the perfect historical structure stands steady and serene in the city.

It’s sights like the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven that just makes me  absolutely in awe of this country. The rest of my time in Beijing went by quickly and was filled by lots of family dinners, usually before getting midnight dessert from street stalls and after walking the shopping districts in town. Somehow I also managed to visit the Art of Museum, Bird’s Nest, and go to the top of the TV tower. Stay tuned for more photos from my 1 month trip in China.

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