First Impressions of Beijing, China

Greetings from Beijing! I had my doubts, but Elizabeth and I survived our 13 hour flight from Detroit in Delta's A350 economy class. I know 13 hours sounds terrible, but once you get settled in and watch a few movies it honestly goes by pretty quick.


After we landed we got checked into the JW Marriott Beijing Central and boy is it nice! This is my first stay at a JW Marriott and I am thoroughly impressed. The hotel is beautiful, our room is great, and the food has been fantastic.


Elizabeth and I have spent the past 48 hours visiting just about every major tourist site in Beijing. Yesterday we visited the Summer Palace, Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Today, we checked out Tiananmen Square and the Beijing Zoo. The only thing we have left on our list is the Great Wall of China.



The toughest part of our trip has definitely been the language barrier. Beijing is the first place I've visited where hardly anyone speaks english. The hotel staff knows enough to get by, but everyone else I've interacted with doesn't have the first clue what I'm saying.

Despite the language barrier, Beijing is extremely easy to navigate. Elizabeth and I have had no trouble getting around thanks to their great subway system. I think the biggest difficulty we've faced in Beijing is the food. The Chinese food here is not like the Chinese food I'm used to eating in the Midwest. It's so tough to find a good place to eat, and if you do, good luck ordering. We went out for Peking Duck, but that's been our only successful restaurant trip. It sounds lame, but our best meals have been at our hotel.


Beijing is truly a remarkable city. There is so much history here and no shortage of things to see and do. If you truly want to maximize your Beijing experience I suggest you start brushing up on your Mandarin. If you can break the language barrier, I'm sure Beijing would be right up there with the greatest cities in the world.

Have you visited Beijing? What are your thoughts?