Independent Travel to Beijing, China – Episode 193

categories: asia travel

Forbidden City, Beijing

The Amateur Traveler talks to Lee from Atlanta who is currently living in Qing Dao, China about traveling independently in Beijing,China.

Lee describes getting around by bus, subway and taxi, eating street food, and biking through the Hutongs of Beijing. He guides us to lesser known sites like Beijing’s underground city and the site of the old Summer Palace.

He leads us to the great wall at Badaling, Mutianyu, and Simatai. Lee also talks about side trips to see the Buddhas in the Yungang Caves near Datong and the nearby hanging monasteries and to see the Qing royal villas and replica of the Lhasa temple in Chungde.

We talk about where to find a guide (and why you may not need one), Chinese history and what Lee suggested his parents should bring to China.


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Show Notes

Traveling to Beijing, China with a Tour – Episode 187
Boren Awards for International Study
preaching against the use of the fork
map of Beijing subway
Beijing, China
Kublai Khan
Ming Dynasty
Qing (“Ching”) Dynasty
Wade–Giles – old system for Romanizing Chinese
Pinyin – current system or Romanizing Chinese
Beijing’s Underground City
That’s Beijing


Amateur Traveler Chicago Meetup
Travel Blog Exchange Conference
Correction – the Finish Midsummer Festival is called “Juhannus”
Wow! the photo on Cruise to the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica – Episode 180

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

4 Responses to “Independent Travel to Beijing, China – Episode 193”

Pak Tam, Montreal


2 clarifications :

1. “Beijing” is translated from the local dialect of the capital, which automatically became the official language after the fall of the empire. “Peking” is the cantonese pronunciation of the same 2 words meaning “northern capital”.

2. “The Temple of the Heaven” should be more appropriately translated into “The Altar of the Sky”. The building functioned as the private chapel for the emperor, who was actually called the Son of the Sky. There he would receive communion from and practice ritualized offering to Sky God, a rather faceless & distant deity, but chief among the Chinese pantheon.

Thank for your podcast!

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Manuel Ortega


Enjoy this podcast series but would be helpful if episode production dates were indicated. For example, the US and China were largely in harmony before 2015 before the US began trade wars and antagonism towards China, which then changes many things and has contributed to increased racism against Asian people. And of course services can change over the years – metro/subway for example.

Chris Christensen


So the latest episode is 749 and I do 48 episodes a year. The math is left as an exercise for the reader.

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