The Great Wall of China

Check out our ultimate guide to The Great Wall of China, including tips and information on how to get to the wall using public transportation, where to go hiking along the wall, travel costs, hostel information, and more!

Four Star Toilets

As we walked through the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing, we realized that we had to do what everyone eventually must do: use the toilet. After roaming through the stunningly beautiful temples and immaculate gardens, we realized that it had, well, been awhile since the last time. You know how it goes….

Photo Friday: Beijing

Beijing is a masterpiece of human culture. We spent about two weeks in the city, fell in love with it, and watched the old mix with the new. Residents bike up and down the hutong alleyways while new cars zip along the wide boulevards past rising skyscrapers. We’ve all heard that China is growing at a phenomenal pace, but you have to see it in person to fully understand the transformation.

Here are some photos from our recent travels in this amazing city.

Travel Tips for China

After a few weeks in China, we’ve learned a great deal about this amazing country. Here are a few tips for navigating this behemoth of a nation with so much to see and do.

China on the Cheap

We arrived in China almost two weeks ago. The country has made a good impression so far. This is actually our second trip to China, our first being five years ago to the south (from Hong Kong to the Yunnan). After five years, this behemoth of a country is advancing in leaps and bounds. Economic growth can be witnessed everywhere. At the same time, ancient culture and personal experiences await around every corner.

After arriving in Beijing late in the evening, we found our hotel down one of Beijing’s many Hutong alleyways. These microcosms of Chinese culture, where locals live in close proximity to one another and share a tight-knit neighborhood, are slowly being torn apart and replaced with towering skyscrapers. Beijing as a whole is impressive. It’s huge and modern in some parts, but ancient and cultural in others. We visited Beihai park, where crowds perform Tai Chi in unison along the shore of an ancient lake with a modern skyline as a backdrop.

Photos from China

So far on our trip to China and Mongolia, we’ve been to Beijing, Mount Huangshan, and some small Houzhou villages. Here are a few photos to tempt you until we can post more stories of our adventure.

China: Our Packing List

Now that we’re about one week into our trip to China and Mongolia, we’ve ventured beyond Beijing, our first destination. For this two month trip, we’ve packed as lightly as possible. Instead of each of us taking our normal packs (around 80 liters in size) and also carrying additional smaller packs, we’re only carrying one medium sized pack (about 35 liters) and smaller backpacks. Also, one of the smaller bags is a camera/laptop bag.

Jet Lag: How To Get Over It

Yes, jet lag really sucks.

Some say that it takes an entire day to adjust for each timezone that you cross on your flight. That could be up to 12 days if you’re traveling to the opposite side of the world. Who has time for that? It’s different for everyone, though, as some adjust faster than others. Younger travelers, or those that exercise often, are said to adjust faster.

Whatever your specific situation, here are some tips to help you adjust to jet lag faster and prepare for your long flight.

Playing the Airfare Game

The other day, we finally purchased our plane tickets for our trip to China and Mongolia. We’ve been planning this trip for a while, but recent life events led us to actually settle on some specific dates for our trip. However, like any good traveler (and anyone who wants to save money), we’ve been monitoring the prices of tickets for quite some time in hopes to get the best bang for our buck. This ended up being a waste of time, because on many of the popular airline booking sites, the price they give you when you’re about to buy a ticket can be much different than the price you’re shown at the beginning of the process.

Let the following story be a warning to anyone trying to play this game.