Today Pam finds herself in Beijing, China, with her Viking River Cruise. History, culture, glamor, the beauty of nature and rural villages, and now back to the cosmopolis–what a tour!
Bejing, the relatively new capital of China, is also one of the biggest in the world. At more than 19 million people, it is an international hub of ideas, food, technology and personalities.
There is countless to see and do in the city, including rowing through the gorgeous Shichahai lakes, wandering through the traditional houses of the hutong neighborhoods, buying souvenirs at the Panjiayuan Flea Market, watching a performance at the Beijing Opera or one of the many acrobatic shows, or checking out Beijing’s historical heart, the Forbidden City.
The main attraction is of course the Great Wall, located one hour from the center via train. We would recommend different sections based on your preferences. Badaling is restored but crowded, Jinshanling and Huanghuachen offer better views, and Mutianyu has less tourists. Check before you go to avoid the crowds!
When to Go: Going for the climate or the festivals? For the best weather, visit Beijing in September or October when it’s warm and dry, or in the Spring for the flowers and winds. Do avoid the bitter winters and humid summers! If holidays are your thing, head over during New Year’s Day or the Spring Festival—the Chinese New Year.
How to Go: You can get in by train, car, bus, or international or domestic plane. Bicycles are pretty popular in Beijing, the nation’s “Bike Kingdom,” so feel free to hop on a rental and check out the City of the North on wheels!
Pam returns tomorrow with stories and photos and–just maybe–souvenirs for the rest of us! We can’t wait to hear her report!
Interested in heading to Beijing or checking out one of Viking’s amazing River Cruises? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 503.224.0180.