In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to on my mission to visit every single country in the world. In this article, we will be covering country #29: China. If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN-recognized countries.
VIDEO – Country #29: China
Blog post on China
- Complete Jeju Island, Beijing, Taiwan, and Indonesia Spending Breakdown
- How to See the Great Wall of China if You Only Have 24 Hours to Spend in Beijing, China
Almost scammed by a taxi driver in Beijing
Clearing immigration through the 72-hour visa-free transit rule in Beijing is quite a pain to deal with. It was a long process before I was cleared and ready to head off to my accommodation. I’d recommend just getting the China visa to avoid the tedious wait.
After finally getting out of immigration and getting my bags, I was off to get a taxi to go to my hostel. I asked an officer in the airport for help and he was friendly and directed me to the taxi area. When I asked the taxi driver for the price, he told me it was $90 USD. Wow, that is so expensive!
As he was driving to my hostel, somehow, my inner Chinese awoken. I had taken some Chinese school when I was a kid and also took a Mandarin class in college. Out of nowhere, some of those vocabularies surfaced and I spoke a small amount of Mandarin to the taxi driver. By the time we arrived at my hostel, the driver lowered the price down to $30 USD and even gave me a receipt.
Hostel with a dank toilet smell
After checking in my hostel, I got myself situated on my bunk. I soon found out that my bed is right beside the washroom door. And the washroom smelled dank.
There was also one rude foreigner in the dorm that was making a lot of noise at night. On the other hand, there are also friendly travellers to balance out the jerks that were in the dorm.
Badaling Great Wall of China
The next day, I was going to take the one hour bus from Beijing to go to Badaling Great Wall of China. It was simple enough to find the bus station thanks to the directions provided to me by the hostel staff.
I bought bottled water from one of the horde of touts selling water just outside the bus to keep me hydrated for my time in the Great Wall of China.
Upon arriving at the Great Wall, it was freezing cold! I started hiking immediately to warm myself up and it worked. The Great Wall of China is spectacular. It’s totally worth visiting it and is definitely one of the best 7 Wonders of Nature.
Hiking the Great Wall of China is a great workout. The place is huge and if you walk long enough, you’ll actually reach sections with no one else but you there. This is perfect for taking pictures and making videos.
On my way back to the bus stop outside the Great Wall of China, there was a bunch of bears being fed by the tourists. They would stand up and clap their hands as tourists threw food at them. I even saw one bear eating garbage.
I feel like these bears are being abused and it seems that they were trained to beg for food. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are underfed also to force them to beg.
After arriving back in Beijing, my next destination is to see Tiananmen Square. To reach this iconic place, I took a combination of buses and the subway. Beijing is actually not too difficult to navigate once you get the hang of it. Their subway system is very good.
Before long, I was walking the streets around the Tiananmen Square area and checking out this historic site.
Sadly, the Forbidden Palace wasn’t open to viewing when I visited. I just so happen to arrive there that one day it was closed during the week. Talk about bad luck. Well, this gives me another reason to go back to Beijing one day is to see the other places I missed in the city.
I really liked China and I want to return one day. I love visiting countries that oozes culture and is polarizing. In the future, I’d like to visit the rainbow mountain, pandas in Chengdu, Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Huashan Mountain, and Chinese Tibet. Visiting the city of Xiamen (my supposed ancestral homeland), Chongqing, and Lhasa would be cool also. I’m pretty sure I’m missing other awesome places.
One day, I’ll visit China properly.