The Travel Agent’s Guide to Beijing (Part 2)!

Last we left I had just enjoyed the
tantalizing delicacy of starfish on a stick and retired to my room at the
Rosewood Beijing. After sleeping off all the food I am ready for adventure! Let’s start by riding a pedicab through the Hutongs of Beijing. “I want to do this job!” Hutongs are the alleyways formed by traditional courtyard residences. Established in 1206,
you will find multiple families all living together sharing a common
courtyard. On my visit we were invited into two
homes where we were given lessons in traditional rope tying and paper cutting. Rope tying was definitely not my forte. The paper cutting was much more my speed! It is an incredible craft that these
families have practiced for generations. (sings) “This way!” (laughs) Tiananmen Square. The city center of Beijing is now a tourist attraction. Locals and visitors from all over the
world arrive here to take in the sights. Concerts and events are now commonplace here. A far cry from the history and tragedy that Tiananmen Square was known for. You’ll not find a hint of those deadly protests that occurred in June of 1989. In fact it’s a forbidden topic. Cameras and listening devices are
stationed all throughout the square. It’s a sobering reminder that you are not at home anymore. I had a beautiful time meeting people from all over China here who came to visit their country’s capital. And I think I became something
of a tourist attraction myself! But my next stop is the ultimate Chinese
history lesson. Sitting adjacent to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City is a massive, incredible palace. The complex consists of 980 buildings on 180 acres. It’s an incredible sight to see. Once the seat of the dragon throne to Emperor’s for over 500 years, the Forbidden City today is home to a massive museum. Everywhere you look the architecture and cultural elements astound the eyes. Dragon statues, foo dogs, incredible iron cauldrons all still line the palace complex. Knowing how long this building has been standing, the history it has seen and the fact that you can still walk the same stone courtyards as Emperor’s did is something that everyone should experience at least once. (Music) On my last day in Beijing I headed to a
place that I have been looking forward to ever since this trip was planned. I am standing on the Great Wall of China! I truly never thought this would happen
in my life and I am so excited! I kind of almost can’t wrap my head around it but it is amazing up here. One of the seven wonders of the world… one step on the Great Wall and you instantly know why. As you look off into the mountains surrounding you, you see the wall snake its way over and under as it stretches for fifty five hundred miles. Of all the places I have visited,
in all the countries I’ve been to, this is one of the most special
experiences I have ever had. We visited the Mutianyu section of
the Great Wall which is accessible by gondola ride. And the view is outstanding. Once on the wall it’s striking how peaceful it is. The stone steps, bunkers,
turrets and pathways are perfectly preserved. Fun fact: they’re held together
by rice and eggs, so just don’t lean too hard on them! Thank you for joining me on
my trip to Beijing. I am overwhelmed not only by the history of this city but also the people and their culture. I loved getting to meet some and learn
their traditions. I really hope you’ll have a chance to visit this city soon. I know I will definitely be back because I’ve fallen in love. I’m Heather and I will see you next time. Bye! “My wall! My Wall. My Wall!”

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