17 Hour Great Wall Stopover – Beijing 2013

1. My academy kindly booked my return flight home through Beijing so i didn’t have to pay for this flight out of pocket. I was so excited to end my first solo travel experience on such a good note. I flew in from Korea at roughly 8pm then departed the next day around 2pm.

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2. I didn’t have time to do much. Seeing the Great Wall was a must-do. Every traveller to Beijing should know this: if you’re staying in Beijing for less than 48 hours then you no longer need to apply in advance for an expensive visa (it might be more or less time look it up online). You simply see the immigration officer upon arrival and go to the line that issues temporary entry visas. It was awesome that i didn’t have to pay extra for this too.

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3. That night I took a taxi to the Days Inn hotel near the airport. Considering my 17 hour time constraint and infamous Beijing traffic I called for a private Anglophone driver in advance of the trip (If you want his contact just ask). He charged me a flat rate for the days excursion. He picked me up at my hotel around 4:30am. He also picked up a friend of mine, Eunji, along the way. She’s a dear friend I met in Korea who is studying in Beijing. He escorted us to breakfast which he generously paid for.

4. Then, off we went to the Great Wall at Badaling. We saw the sun rise, prayed and enjoyed the scenery at 6am when you could hear a pin drop because nobody was there. Yes, nobody was there, not even the entrance clerks which means we were able to bypass the entrance fee altogether. It was fantastic!

5. My time in Beijing concluded with seeing a nice monument park on the way to the airport and subsequent lunch with Eunji!

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I wish I got to see the Olympic facilities, but I can’t argue with how perfectly things went during my Beijing stopover.

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