Asia Travel

China: The Great Wall & Beijing

Less than two years ago, I had never been to China. This year alone I went three times. As I probably would not have chosen China as a destination for city trips, so I’m grateful I got to see it for my job. Though Beijing is bigger in size, Shanghai tops with number of inhabitants, but with 21 million people living there, Beijing still has enough of them. Come join me on a photo tour of the three main sights of the Beijing Area. I’ll take you to the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen square.


The Great Wall of China.
This was my favourite part as I found such a lovely guide to take me there! The closest part of the Great Wall of China is 1,5 hours away from Beijing, so I decided to look for a female tour guide as I like supporting women. I was very happy when I found Vivie with whom I booked a tour!

Vivie gave me ample information beforehand and I decided to go for a visit at the Great Wall at Mutianyu. There are several parts you can visit, and this one is a bit less touristy and relatively close to Beijing.


It was a very grey day, so the sky was a bit dull for photography, but apart from that, it was perfect, also thanks to Vivie’s knowledge which she happily shared without overdoing it.



What I did not know beforehand, is that you need to go up with a cable cart. For the way down, you can choose to walk, take the cable cart, the chairlift or…. take the toboggan.

Great Wall Tobogan

That’s definitely the recommended way, so much fun!

Two tips:
One: If you’re an animal lover, bring some cat food for the stray cats who live around the wall. They’ll be appreciative.

Two: Book with Vivie. You’ll get a responsive, knowledgeable tour guide who is easy-going and flexible. I assure you, she will make your day!  Check out for more. (This is not a sponsored post. Vivie is just the best! 🙂 )


The Forbidden City

Home of the Ming dynasty for centuries, the Forbidden City is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Over 14.6 million people visit the Palace Museum annually, making it the most visited Museum in the world.

I was here when it opened at 8am, and though I did find a few quiet spots for some photography, not much later it was swamped with thousands of Chinese people staring at a tall Dutch girl. 🙂


The colours and detailing on the buildings are rather impressive.


In China, you don’t count without selfiestick… 🙂




Tiananmen Square (On a smoggie day)

Being in the Top 10 of biggest squares in the world, you don’t just ‘cross the square’. It’s next to the Forbidden city, and you will find the mausoleum of Mao Zedong, the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, and the National Museum of China here too.


It is interesting to see, but you do not need hours for this, unless you want to go into the various museums and walk to all four corners of it.


I did the city sights on my own in September, when it was humid and warm. When I was back in November, it was quite nippy, but that was much more pleasant temperature to walk around and it was way less smoggy.


Happy travels!

1 Comment

  • Reply
    9 December 2016 at 18:31

    Your photos of the Great Wall are really cool! If I ever happen to be there, I’ll be sure to book with your guide. I can’t believe you’ve been to China 3x this year. Crazy!

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