Things to Do Off the Beaten Path in Beijing

Well really any travel experience in China is going to be an intriguing one. The nation has only opened itself up for the last twenty years or so with legions of expats now living in Shanghai and Beijing. Still if you’re spending time in Beijing why not take the advice of one of these said expats and do something that is interesting and a little off the beaten path. A few suggestions for different things to do in Beijing are.

 

Go for a bike ride around Houhai Lake 

One of the hippest spots in Beijing is Houhai lake. Called the “black lake” by locals it is surrounded by boutiques, restaurants, bars, and cafes. Now what we suggest is coming down here earlier, as to enjoy some sunshine, and renting a bike – perhaps if there is more than one of you even a tandem bike – to peddle yourself around the lovely Lake District. Afterwards, you can safely park the bike and enjoy all the restaurants and niceties that make up this area.

 

Take a drink at a rooftop bar overlooking the Forbidden City

After spending a full day looking over the nearly 8 million square feet of the Imperial Palace and the Imperial City you have earned yourself a drink. Our suggestion to you is go to the roof top bar at the nearby Emperor Hotel. The views here take on a wonderful panoramic of the royal ground. The menu is diverse and the cocktails innovative.

 

Learn to cook dumplings in a local kitchen 

There are tours available with East Tours where you can take dumpling making lessons in the home of a Chinese local. She’ll instruct you how it is done then leave you to massacre a few dumplings as you realize that stuffing the dumpling is much harder than your teacher made it look. The beauty of this tour is twofold: you get the chance to learn how to make an authentic Chinese dish and more importantly you have the chance to see how real Chinese people live.

Walk on the unrestored Sections of the Great Wall 

Each day legions of tourists head for the known and famous section of the Great Wall. Little do they know that there is a far less touristy section that is also available to be seen. The Simatai-Jinshanling section and two more sections near Xiangdhui Lake area allow this. Enjoy a more authentic experience with the Great Wall.

 

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