When we first thought about visiting China last summer we started gathering information about what to see and do in the two weeks of holidays that we had. We first focused on the Beijing area and found out that in the south, in the way to Xi’an, we could visit one of the most impressive medieval towns in China.
Pingyao is located in the Shanxi region and is a very popular destination among tourists. It is easy to reach Pingyao by train either from Beijing or from Datong. During our trip we met other travellers that were following the same itinerary than us: taking a train from Beijing to Datong and then another one from Datong to Pingyao. We have already written about the amazing experience that we had in Datong where we visited its hanging temple and the Yungang Grottoes. Continue reading Inside the walls of Pingyao→
It was our fist day in Beijing. We landed at the city at around 4 a.m. without having slept much during the flight. We took the train and later the underground to our hotel, completed the check-in and bought some breakfast at a FamiliyMart. Our bodies needed coffee and something sweet to deal with jet lag in our first day in China. We had a plan for it but trips are not always as we expect them to be, so we had to improvise a little bit.
As we already explained in this post, after crossing the security check that is required to enter the Tiananmen Square, we arrived at the sale office to purchase the tickets to the Forbidden City. However, we were told that all tickets for that day were sold out. We were tired and a bit disappointed: our trip to China had not started well. It was a very hot day but anyway we decided to anticipate our visit to the Summer Palace and now we can say that it really exceded our expectations.
It was 5:30am. The employee of China Railway company knocked the door and woke us up. We shared the small room with another couple from Barcelona. We hardly slept 5 hours and were tired after four full days discovering the capital of China, Beijing. We put on our clothes, went to the bathroom and closed the luggage. The train arrived to its destination, Datong.
Some days ago we arrived back home after two weeks in China. Although two weeks seem a very short time to visit such a huge country, we have enjoyed a lot of those 14 days in China and have managed to discover some of the most important Chinese jewels. However, we are already thinking of a second visit to this amazing country, maybe to Sichuan, Yunnan or Tibet. Who knows… 🙂
We already shared in a previous post the itinerary that we had planned for this trip. Generally speaking, we followed our initial plan, but we had to introduce some minor changes due to the difficulty of getting tickets to enter the Forbidden City in Beijing and the train bookings. The agency that had been managing the train bookings for us told us some weeks before our trip that it was not possible to get tickets for the exact trains that we had requested. Fortunatelly, we had booked our accommodation with free cancellation in Booking.com, as we always do. This made us change our plans as per the nights that we would spend in Xi’an and Pingyao.
After last summer unique and adventure travel to Namibia, sleeping in a camping tent on the roof of our car, cooking with a gas stove and driving long distances through gravel roads, we thought it would be a good idea to travel this year to somewhere closer, in Europe, and sleeping in hotels with breakfast included… but at the end our inside reality won. We are not tourists, we are travelers!
So we will go to China with the new direct flight from Barcelona to Beijing with Air China, we will spend 14 full days visiting the country, sleeping some nights in the train, having also a local flight, and visiting dozens of places, looking for unique and new experiences and searching for new ways of understanding life, food and culture.