Hired a taxi for the early morning drive out to the Great Wall. If you leave Beijing early enough, you can get there before the tourist buses and have the entire wall all to yourself. It was incredible. Though there was a cable car at this point along the wall, I decided to make the hike up. When I got up to one of the garrison towers and climbed up onto the actual wall, the sun was just starting to break through the clouds. Surreal!
After spending a couple of hours I got back to the bottom headed back into town. I had the driver drop me off at Tian’anmen Square so I could wander around and visit the Forbidden City nearby for the rest of the afternoon.
I spent the rest of the day exploring downtown Beijing. My first stop was Tian’anmen Square, the world’s largest square. Just across from the square sits the historic Tian’anmen Gate. When China was under imperial rule, the gate formed the entrance to the Forbidden City. At the center of the gate is a large portrait of Chairman Mao, to his left the inscription reads “Long Live the People’s Republic of China” and to his right it reads “Long live the unity of the people of the world.”
My final stop for the day was Beijing’s largest park, Beihai Park.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Beijing is from April to June and from September to October