Night Operas to Bug Snacks 10 Memorable Experiences in Beijing

You need to add these to your Beijing travel bucketlist
Night Operas to Bug Snacks 10 Memorable Experiences in Beijing
Night Operas to Bug Snacks 10 Memorable Experiences in Beijing

Beijing is the talk of town as the Winter Olympics unfurl over the next few weeks. Located in the northwest of the North China Plain, this ancient city (more than&nbsp3,000 year old) city, has a host of historical spots and grand imperial palaces you can visit.  

So what does one experience in Beijing What should you not miss Of course there are the well-known spots like the palace and the Wall, but why not visit some offbeat places that make you return with the real flavour of China We have curated a list of 10 experiences that you must add to your Beijing bucketlist. 

Do a Night Out at Gubei Water Town

What&rsquos your opinion about a night tour in a village situated in the bay of Yangtze River replete with stunning natural beauty For us, it makes for the perfect getaway to start your Beijing journey. Located near the Simatai Great Wall of China, this 'water town' is enthralling all lit up at night and a showcases the sublimity and delicacy of China's water villages in the south, as well as the tranquil beauty of the rivers and mountains in the north. If possible, rent a small boat to take you along the stream while admiring the night sights on both sides.

Check Out the Hutongs 

Hutong translates to a 'water well' but over time it has become synonymous with a street, lane, or alley, and refers to the route formed by lines of siheyuans (quadrangles) where the majority of Beijing people reside. One hutong connects to the next, and siheyuan connects to siheyuan to form a block, which then connects to other blocks to make the city. This had been the ancient form of architecture in China prevalent during Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (1271-1911). People claim that the hutong and siheyuan cultures provide a traveller with the original palette of Beijing's true culture.  

Go Shopping at Wangfujing Street

The well-known shopping boulevard&nbspWangfujing Street is a treat for both your palate and shopping list. It is a bustling street full of eateries, shopping malls, and stores where you can find everything from the latest fashion in China to electronics. The Wangfujing Snack Street marked by a decorated archway stocks a wonderful and weird array of food including scorpions, sea horses, starfish and bugs - one may or may not try them, but it sure makes up for a unique visual experience. '

Peace Out at the Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is a spiritual escape built in the first part of the 15th century. Bordered by historic pine woods, it is a dignified complex of buildings placed in gardens that depict the interaction between earth and heaven. There are about 600 rooms in total in the 92 old buildings that make up the complex. Don't miss the Divine Music Administration Hall and the building that formerly was the Stables for Sacrificial Animals located between the inner and outer walls to the west.

Immerse in Art at the 798 Art District

This intriguing area was named after a factory in northwestern Beijing. It was developed in the 1950s, and&nbsphas become popular for a completely different reason over the years. What were earlier abandoned factories were taken over by artists and cultural organisations who have rented out, and remade the spaces, and eventually transformed them into galleries, art centres, artists' studios, design firms, restaurants, and bars. Visitors can sense the difference between the current and the past while walking through the 798 Art Zone. On one side, there are mottled redbrick walls with various slogans, while on the other hand, there are scattered industrial units and crisscross pipelines. On the street, uniformed workers and fashionable passers-by create a unique scene. Here, history and reality, industry and the arts all come together wonderfully.'

A Day Out at the Old Summer Palace

The Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) in northwest Beijing is claimed to be the world's best-preserved royal garden and one of the largest still-standing structures in China. The area inhibits both the Old Palace, which was burned in 1860 due to the waning of both British and French powers, and the new structure which was made post that. It's only a 15-kilometre (10-mile) trip from the centre of mainland Beijing, however, it feels like another world. Most visitors discover that they require at least half a day there because there is so much to see and do. 

A Night Walk at the Wall

It would be a shame to not visit the Great Wall of China when in Beijing and you might already have it on the top of your list. However, the underrated night hike of the wall is something you must not miss. Begin the hike in the evening after sunset, when you get to see the skyline of Beijing bustling beneath you. The nighttime tour is said to be a whole different experience that locals tend to enjoy a lot. You can also opt for an overnight stay at one of the many resorts located in this area and indulge in activities like tie-dyeing, kite-making or Buddhist text-tracing.

Check Out an Ancient Mask at the National Museum 

The National Museum of China is said to be the third of the world's largest museums, with over 1 million valuable and rare items spanning Chinese history from 1.7 million years ago to the present day. The five-level plaza has some exquisite pieces like the Sanxingdui bronze mask (dating to about 3600-3100 years ago), the fish-pattern pottery basin (5000 BC - 3000 BC), a vivid drumming and singing pottery figurine from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD - 220 AD),  Jade Dragon (about 5000 years ago) and so much more. The place hosts a variety of regular and permanent exhibitions.

Catch a Chinese Opera 

Beijing comes alive at night with a host of shows and performances such as the Peking Opera, various teahouse shows, acrobatics and martial arts, and more. The Beijing (Peking) opera is a national treasure with a 200-year history - it is a fusion of stylised action, singing, speech, mime, acrobatic fighting, and dance that depicts diverse characters' sentiments of joy, rage, grief, happiness, surprise, fear, and melancholy. The figures are always displayed in brilliant clothes depicting ancient Chinese forms. If you're looking for something to do in the evening, sign up for a Beijing evening tour. These give you access to a variety of evening performances to sample on one night.

Landiao Lavender Garden

The summertime is a great opportunity to drop by the Landio Lavender Garden when it is in full bloom. Located in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, adjacent to the city's main attractions, it has gradually become popular with visitors. Stroll through the grounds, enveloped in the fragrance of the blooms, pick up some lavender soap, oil, or a pot pourri pouch of dried flowers. 

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