Is China on your bucket list?
Then, you are in for a real treat.
Recently, Travel Consultant Wanda Frecks (CareFree Vacations, a FROSCH Company) traveled to Beijing for an exciting travel adventure. Read about her insider tips and favorite experiences that she uses to craft amazing trips to China for her clients.
A visit to China and the chance to see the Great Wall is a trip of a lifetime. Travelers often hesitate to take a trip of this magnitude fearing the long-haul flight will be unbearable. With a little preparation, the trepidation of a long-haul flight can be conquered!
Tip: Consider a stay near the airport the night before your flight. It alleviates the stress of getting to the airport on time for an early flight. This worked perfectly for my bright and early nonstop flight from LAX to Beijing.
Upon arrival in Beijing, we cleared customs and immigration and were greeted by Ma, our tour guide for the next several days. Ma was exceptional, saw to our every need, and guided us through every step of our trip.
Our home away from home was the Rosewood Beijing. It is a beautiful hotel and the rooms are very spacious and comfortable. The staff at the Rosewood are amazing and attentive. They became like family to us.
Day One was very special, beginning with a trip to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. I could hardly believe that I was standing on the Great Wall of China. We took the chair lift to the watch tower. We walked the wall and followed the curve of the mountain up and down the many uneven steps.
Tip: I do not recommend this area to those who may have mobility limitations.
As the saying goes, “What goes up, must come down.” For our trip down, we chose to take the Slideway, which is like a toboggan or luge. It is so much fun! You must do this – you will laugh the whole way down.
We spent the rest of the day at the Summer Palace, the resort of the Empress Dowager Cixi. We walked along the Long Corridor, enjoyed the peacefulness of Kunming Lake, and saw the Marble Boat.
We finished our evening with dinner at the Country Kitchen in the Rosewood, which was a wonderful adventure. It is served family style, so you sample everything. The menu was revealed only after we finished our meal, so each item served was a complete surprise.
Day two brought more adventure and a full day of exploring. We walked through Tiananmen Square, recognizable from the historic events and the famous images of Tank Man from 1989. The image of Chairman Mao dominates the square and the Forbidden City looms behind the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The Forbidden City is the largest existing ancient architectural structure in China today.
We spent the afternoon in one of Beijing’s traditional neighborhoods, or Hutongs. We saw the old quadrangle and visited a family in their home where we learned to write Chinese characters. We rode around in a rickshaw, powered by a cyclist interestingly enough. We experienced a drum ceremony in the square, which was magical.
Tip: If possible, experience a tea ceremony. During our visit at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing, we experienced a tea ceremony, and it was wonderful.
For our last day in Beijing, we visited the Temple of Heaven, which is a group of temples and altars set in a large park. The park is so beautiful where people come to socialize, dance, practice Tai Chi, and exercise. It was very moving for me to see such a lovely place with people coming together in peace and harmony.
Another neat experience was our visit to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, which is a circular temple where the Emperor himself came to pray for his people.
This was my first trip to Beijing, and I will relish my memories of this trip to an ancient land. If a visit to China is on your bucket list, don’t hesitate to go. You will cherish the trip as I did.
Thank you Wanda for your wonderful insight!
Are you ready to plan your trip to China? Contact your FROSCH Travel Consultant to get started!
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