more must-visit places around beijing for #igtravelthursday

Happy #IGTravelThursday again – I am off exploring the late monsoon season in Sri Lanka’s jungles and decided to continue with the Asian theme here too: more lovely sights of Beijing, which have been filling my Instagram stream lately. It can be hard to choose where to visit in Beijing as there is just so much history and culture everywhere, as well as some lovely shopping…But here are some of my other hot pics – although the temples (as they are on the mountains and Beijing is in the valley) technically aren’t in Beijing but some 1-1.5h drive from there…

Old Summer Palace YuanMingYuan


The Old Summer Palace, or Yuan Ming Yuan in Chinese, is the most beautiful spot in or around Beijing. It’s some 800 acres to book a full day to explore the nature and the ruins. take a boat ride or two on the lakes, and if you are lucky enough to visit when the lotus blooms, it’s a spectacular show!



This warning works pretty much with every temple: you are going to have to walk a lot – and that is up and down the mountain on narrow, steep steps as temples are normally on mountain sides. Miao Feng Shan is a good 1.5h drive from Beijing and the climb up the mountain is pretty spectacular already from the car. Climb up the top and then explore the part starting next to the stairs to the nearby valley – which is some sort of half-finished roman-style rose valley experience. Very unusual!

Old Great Wall by Yaozi YU


Like I said in my previous Great Wall post – visit at least a couple of Great Wall sections: one official tourist trap and another not-so-restored original one. It’s ok to pass the warning signs for no public access, at most some local villager might want to ask you 6 RMB (about 1 USD/60p) for access money. Why not pay, the people are very poor there anyway… Of course the old section is old, part crumbled, no safety railings and it goes up and down the mountains. As the photo shows, it can be really steep, and steps up to knee height…this is adventure! Surrounded by beautiful nature and probably no other tourist around! You can combine this with a visit to Silver Pagodas (will write about them soon) as they are just a couple of miles/kilometres away and pretty spectacular…Red Snail Temple


Red Snail Temple is often called the Disneyland of temples as it is so colourful and perfectly clean that is doesn’t feel real at first.  Water fountains, gardens, slides down the mountain, lots of shops, turtles, everything you have seen in some other temple can be found together here – plus the odd forest of over 500 different Arhats. Nothing like you ever seen… We combined the day with a hike in Tianchi (Heavenly Pond) – oh, and had the restaurant experience below too… very adventurous day!

See my full post of Red Snail Temple here.

Adventure restaurant


When hunger strikes in the mountains you got to go local. This hotel no8 had a lovely little outdoor canopies for lunching by the river. The trick here though was that you had to drive with the car over the shallow end of the river, I was a bit scared at first… And yes, this is the site of my legendary Chinese skills: I proudly thought I managed to order us a nice meal, but the chicken we got was a bit too much: a whole basket of fried chicken feet (and there is nothing eat and the tasty isn’t great either). Anyway…the scenery was great and I managed to order a few more edible dishes too, and local beer…

Beijing hutongs


Old hutongs are a must-see. They represent the way of life as it used to be with interior courtyards. A great way to experience hutongs are by taking a bike tour. Nowadays many have had a facelift and have lots of fashionable stores and restaurants – a bit like SoHo in London… In Nan Luo Gu Xiang hutong is the best food I ever had in Beijing: Yunnan region cuisine in DaLi Courtyard. Not so easy to find, but their 5 course menu is amazing (it’s fixed menu and keeps changing).

Dajue temple

Dajue temple is the most relaxing temple around Beijing, they also have some 20 rooms on site. Upon entering there is a bridge over a pond that must have thousands of carps, and they always end up swimming in circle formations. There is also a beautiful tea room and in general the area is very leafy and provides shadow on hot days also. Our family favourite temple, and believe me, we’ve seen many!Do you have a great Instagram travel story to share? Read the linky rules below and join us this week. If you are not a blogger, but have an Instagram account tag your lovely travel moments with #IGTravelThursday! No blog, no Instagram – can you still join in the fun by reading our linked IG travel stories and by giving us some feedback love!IG Travel Thursday Linky Rules

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