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Whether you are on an internship in Beijing or learning Chinese Language, your experience will not be complete if you miss some vital spots in China. If you are enrolled in China Internship Placements Programs, we surely you visit all these places without an extra expense
When you travel to any city or foreign country, you’ll be asked by the locals where you’ve been. When you return home, you’ll be asked by everyone where you went and what you saw. If you’re a tourist with limited amount of time, it’s probably impossible to visit all the spots without a tour guide dragging you through a tight schedule. However, when you’re working in Beijing for months at a time, missing key cultural spots can be cause for embarrassment later on. I will like to remind you about the fact that Chinese average salary is so appealing.
To help you avoid future embarrassment, we’ve compiled a list of not-to-miss things and places about Beijing:
An icon of China, as well as a UNESCO heritage site, The Great Wall is not to be missed, especially if you’re in the remodeled (read: fixed) areas near Beijing city.
There are four sites open to the public in Beijing, the closest and thus most popular with tourist groups being Badaling. The second most popular is Mutianyu (1.5 hour drive), where you’ll find the option of taking a cable car up to the wall and a toboggan down.
Farther out are Jinshanling and Simitai (3-4 hour drive), which are also not all renovated and is mostly visited by hikers who enjoy the challenging climb.
The Forbidden City is the largest palace structure in the world and where emperors lived in from 1420 to 1912. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site along with the other imperial palace in Shenyang.
The Forbidden City is located north of Tiananmen Square, making the two tourist sites easy to visit in the same day.
Tiananmen Square, “Gate of Heavenly Peace”, is the largest open-air square in the world that can hold up to a million people. It was originally the gate to the Forbidden City, but is now better known for housing the Mao’s grave.
The best time to visit is at sunrise when they have a military-style flag raising ceremony. After which, you can visit the National Museum of China and the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao where his body lies.
The Temple of Heaven is special because it is the temple where emperors would worship the god of heaven and offer sacrifices. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site for “imperial sacrificial altar”.
The Temple of Heaven has another half, the Temple of Earth, which is not as well-known but essentially served a similar purpose, only serving the god of earth rather than the god of heaven.
The Imperial Summer Palace has the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. As it takes up over 15 kilometers of space, it’s definitely not a trip you can complete in an hour or two, but should require at least half a day, if not the whole day. Be prepared to walk a lot!
The Old Summer Palace is near the new Summer Palace and is three times the size of the Forbidden City. Most visit for the three gardens, which are not as well-maintained as the new summer palace, but are also beautiful in the summer. The Old Summer Palace was destroyed by Western forces, ransacked, and burned to the ground—hence why only ruins are left.
The Lama Temple, or Yonghe Lamasery, is the largest and best kept lamasery in China. Unlike the majority of the temples in Beijing which are Confucian or Buddhist, a lamasery belongs to Tibetan Buddhism.
Before coming to China, you must’ve heard of all the icky foods that Chinese supposedly eat on a daily basis. In Beijing, you can find most of those snacks at the touristy Wangfujing Snack Street, which is located off Wangfujing Pedestrian Street in downtown Beijing. The snack street is not very long, and the restaurants in it are not very tasty, but the snacks are exactly what tourists should see/taste if they want photos proving that they’ve been and eaten in China.
Houhai Lake is a pleasant and relaxing tourist spot, especially in the colder months. There are rickshaw drivers who will taxi you around the lake or to other nearby hutongs, and plenty of foods to be tried. You can find both cheap China souvenirs and expensive designer gear in the little boutique stores around Houhai, and plenty to do.
In the summer months, you can rent a boat, and in the winter months—when the lake’s frozen over—you can rent a sled or skates and have fun on the ice.
Nanluoguxiang is one of the more famous touristy “hutongs” in Beijing, to the point where tour groups were recently banned from entering. A hutong is what alleys and maze-like old lanes and living quarters are called in Beijing and a few other northern cities, and while Nanluoguxiang is a wider, renovated version, it is the most well-known outside Beijing.
The hutong has many small boutique stores featuring local Beijing brands or other cultural handiwork. The majority of the stores sell snacks and drinks from frozen yoghurt to bubble tea. Pedestrian traffic can immobilize you though, so try visiting earlier on weekdays, or at night, when there are less people.
Our summer Programs in Beijing are designed around four main goals: Cultural Immersion, Experience Enhancement, Professional Development and Gaining Social Network. CIP’s coordinating team plans fun trips and social activities for utmost exposure. Whether you are visiting Beijing for Summer, Winter or all year round, the exposure will be same.