When you decide to take the trip of a lifetime, on the Trans Siberian Rail, you have several options. You can start your journey in:
Each location has its delights and wonders, but each starting point is also extremely unique. Before you begin your train trip, your point of embarkation is a great place to visit. If you opt for Beijing, there are many, many places to see, things to do and food to eat. There are two possible rail routes which begin in Beijing, the most popular being the Trans-Mongolian route, which, as the name suggests, takes you through Mongolia where you’ll get to experience spectacular scenery and cultural delights and include the chance to partake in a sample of Nomadic life.
But let’s look at Beijing, the capital of China, and a city with tremendous history and delights. As with any special and exotic vacation, it’s important to get the advice and seek the help of experts — check what The Trans-Siberian Travel Company have on offer.
Organizing a tour of China before your Trans Siberian Rail trip is a terrific way to start an amazing journey. There’s a lot to see in Beijing, the country’s capital. For example:
- Temple of Heaven – a historic temple complex
- Summer Palace – for a royal lakeside retreat
- Yonghe Temple – a Tibetian Buddhist temple
- Ming Tombs – ancient emperors’ tombs
- Beihai Park – a 1,000-year-old Imperial Park
- Badaling – an iconic structure
- Wangfujing Street – an iconic business area and a super shopping spot
- Tiananmen – Forbidden City entrance
- 798 Art Zone
- National Musueum – filled with Chinese relics
- Simtai – if you like to go zip-lining and hiking
- Jingshan Park – for great views and vistas
- Jiankou – another hiking outdoor place
- Old Summer Palace – another must-visit scenic park
- Beijing National Stadium
- National Centre for the Performing Arts
- Gulou and Zhonglou – red-clock tower, historic
- Mauseoleum of Mao Zedong – also a museum
- Meridian Gate – entrance to Forbidden City
- Prince Gong Museum
- Beijing National Aquatics Center
- Fragrant Hills
- Capital Museum
- Shichantai lake
- Hall of Supreme Harmony, Ming & Quing dynasty palace, with museum
- Silk Street, shopping area
- Beijing Ancient Observatory – for stargazing, a historic site
- Niujjie Mosque – visit the largest and oldest temples
- Maoying Temple
- Beijing Museum of National History
- Gubeikou – hiking, camping, walking, backpacing
- Beijing World Park
- Fayuan Temple – Buddhist temple
- Kumming Lake
- Guozijian – for its museums and architecture
- Beijing Dongyue Temple
- Marco Polo Bridge
- Tanzhe Temple
- Hongluo Temple
It will be tempting to get to the Great Wall via bus or train (because of how inexpensive it is), but don’t do it. It’s ultimately easier to take a cab.
There’s so much to see, so much to experience that it can be overwhelming. You want to be sure you won’t miss a must-see, and you also want to be sure that your time in Beijing is well spent. For a trip that has been planned in detail, you can seek the help of tour and holidays specialists such as The Trans-Siberian Travel Company.
The Little Grey Box blog has some helpful tips for planning a trip to China and suggests you be prepared getting around – and this includes carrying around your hotel card. The blogger also suggests you do a Google map screenshot. Subways get you around the city. There’s often a lot of walking involved as well.
Air Quality – You’ll hear that Beiing has fairly polluted air and waterways, but you may be surprised that it’s not as bad as you think.
Easy-peasy – Just about everyone is very chill and friendly.
Expect to be talked about – Even though you won’t know what they’re saying. If you look vastly different from the Chinese (say, blue-eyed blonde), you’re going to get stared at, a lot.
Personal space – In lines/queues, people tend to not mind about personal space and push up against you especially when they’re on a rush. You have to expect that. Peak hours in the subway are insanely crowded, deal with it or choose another mode of transport.
Communicating – Screen shoting and saving phrases, written phonetically so you can ask around.
Safety Checks – Bags are checked at every train station and popular tourist spots.
Transport – Cabs are rather scarce in some areas.
Water – Don’t look for ice water. The water they serve you is in a carafe and is warm, meaning it’s been boiled (so it’s hygienic) and the Chinese believe it helps better with digestions.
For some cool scoop on what’s happening in Beijing, you can also check out Time Out Beijing which presents the latest, trendiest and hippest in music, pop culture, food, sports, film and more.