Insider’s guide to Beijing in China, ranked #81 in our countdown of ‘100 Most Incredible Cities in the World’.
Owner of Wendy Wu Tours
The Great Wall without the crowds
Areas such as Simatai or Jinshanling are not visited as much and therefore have fewer tourists.
Also, the Huanghuacheng area is a particularly scenic area of the wall that can be seen by boat.
HouHai Lake is in the central Hutong area of Beijing.
Surrounding the lake converted houses give way to a myriad of restaurants, cafes and teahouses. Explore the alleys, home to hidden shops, by rickshaw.
You’ll also find prime examples of historical architecture: Prince Gong’s mansion and the former residence of Song Qing Ling.
Drum Tower and Bell Tower
The Drum Tower (Gu Lou), from which Beijing’s name is derived, and the Bell Tower (Zhong Lou) once dominated the city’s skyline.
Originally used as musical instruments they are now historical relics of a time gone by – but if you are lucky you might catch one of the daily performances at the Drum Tower.
The square between both towers is an area for locals to gather and practice Tai Chi, play cards or dance.
Wangfujing Night Food Street
These night markets are home to about 100 stalls selling a variety of foods including deep fried crickets, centipede, lizards as well as some of the more recognisable Chinese cuisine.
Panjiayuan Market located on the 3rd Ring Road
This is the largest and most popular market for locals, selling a variety of goods such as antiques, crafts, calligraphy, paintings, writing brushes, musical instruments, porcelain, furniture and a lot more!
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