|My favourite Beijing skyscraper, the CCTV headquarters.|
I never expected Beijing to be so clean. Sure, the air isn’t quite like Aotearoa’s, but even the infamous Beijing sky managed some genuine shades of blue while we explored. On a 9-day adventure with the outstanding Wendy Wu Tours (see more at wendywutours.co.nz), I was on assignment for Let’s Travel Magazine. In the current issue (visit letstravelmag.com to order either a physical or digital copy) you can read my first of three China features, this one focusing on my time in Beijing.
As said, the streets were near-on spotless and the pace surprisingly un-frenetic for a city of more than 20-million. There were spectacular sky scrapers, unusual and decidedly liberated public artworks, people dancing and playing board games in the park and the historical wonder of places like Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
As for the food, even if the restaurants sometimes offered enticing treats like boiled beef tripe and duck blood in chili oil, there were always delicious, less outlandish options available. For whatever reason, I found the restaurants in Beijing to be far more accessible, tastier and less intimidating than some Chinese establishments in Auckland. And it’s not as if we were eating at places tailored to Westerners. In short, the food – from the vegetables, to the dumplings, to the kung-pao chicken, to the beef noodles – was great.
Once again, subscribe to Let’s Travel Magazine for my trio of China articles, but in the meantime, here are my top 50 Beijing photos. Huge thanks again to Wendy Wu Tours (who do organised tours right across Asia) and Cathay Pacific. While business class is enough of a rarity in my life that I could never for a second take it for granted, I found both the onboard and lounge experience with Cathay Pacific to be superior to any I’ve previously experienced. From high-end restaurant quality meals to isolated, diagonal pods that get you fully horizontal, Cathay Pacific were hugely impressive. See more at CathayPacific.com. Enjoy the photos!