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Avid Globetrotter – Beijing in 24 hours

beijing skyline

Truth be told, Beijing is such an expansive and sprawling city to be fully explored within 24 hours. But hey, sometimes you got to work with what you have. So if you ever find yourself in Beijing with a couple of hours to spare, here are some of the top places you shouldn’t leave the city without visiting.

  1. The Forbidden City – The Forbidden City is a sprawling, vast complex that houses over 900 wooden buildings that used to be the home of Chinese emperors for the last 500 years. But since it is impossible to see every building within such a short timeframe, we’d recommend you to prioritize phenomenal and renowned architectural structures such as the remnant artifacts from the Ming Dynasty.
  2. The Tiananmen Square – After the Forbidden City, the Tiananmen Square is the next logical stopover when you’re on such a whirlwind tour. It is the historical place where the Chinese students help the 1989 protests for freedom of speech, press and social equality. It is also remembered as the place where a lot of them lost their lives to the guns and tanks of the Chinese army.
  3. Mao Mausoleum – The Mao is just a few minutes drive from the Tiananmen Square, and houses the embalmed body of Mao Zedong – the legendary chairman of the Communist Party from 1945 to 1976. Mao’s body is arguably one of the best preserved embalm in the whole world, and even more than 40 years after his death, his still looks remarkably good. However, have it at the back of your mind that no photography is allowed inside the Mausoleum.
  4. The Emperor Hotel Bar – This sounds just like the perfect place to grab quick dinner as you wait for a connecting flight with a loose 24 hours to spare. The 55-room hotel is not just a physical architectural wonder by itself. It is home to the finest Chinese classical cuisines and accompanying government. What’s more, if you’re not feeling like savoring the local dishes, you can just buy a drink and sip it over a lazy sunset as you rest your eyes over the tiled roofs of the former Emperor’s residence.
  5. The Hutongs – Nobody leaves Beijing without visiting the Hutongs. It’s a historical narrow alley that is a spice of traditional courtyards and single story traditional Chinese buildings. Here, you can buy replica Chinese souvenir to take with you back home or simply enjoy the sight of Trishaw drivers towing people to and fro the back lanes.

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