China is oh so cold in winter, I mean really cold and this is from someone who likes winter temps. It is a good time to visit as any, since there are many museums and indoor adventures to be experienced. I notice that not many people feature China as a country to travel and explore. There are so many things to enjoy and much to learn about its rich history. I plan to go back in a milder season to explore the country even more.
We all know of the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square but these are not even the tip of the iceberg.
Shanghai, Xian and Beijing are three cities where I spent a few days exploring while in China. I went there in December 2008, a few months after the Olympics which I think helped so much. There were many signs in English so taking the train and navigating around was manageable- not easy. The language barrier is a challenge. It’s all apart of the adventure though.
Shanghai is a metropolitan city with all the major stores one encounters in similar cities. It is teeming with life and things to see and do. Yuyuan Garden is worth exploring to just taste the Chinese architecture and heritage where botany is concerned.
From Shanghai to Xian, China
I remember taking an overnight train from Shanghai to Xian where we went to see the Terracotta Army. That was exciting to behold with my eyes. I snapped so many pictures that day and sadly many of them weren’t the best. The memories will stay with me forever though.
To be in the presence of such rich history and to just think back in time to what these figures symbolize was a moving experience. I enjoy broadening my horizons as I travel and spending a few hours at the museum doing this, was really rewarding. It was winter and Xian was cold if not colder than Shanghai. I was thankful for my layers and different scarves.
In the city centre in Xian, it was the first time I felt just how crowded it was. Everywhere we went there was a thick crowd. It is important to steel yourself for the massive crowds in every city, it ain’t for the fainthearted. (pun intended).
From Xian to Beijing, China
Oh how I enjoyed being in Beijing. It is a city rich with many historical sights and wonders. You can easily spend two weeks and not even scratch its surface. I was there for 5 days and only got a taste, this though was satisfying.
Do visit/explore the following places which may seem cliche but worth it:
- The Great Wall
- Tiananmen Square (Check out the National Museum of China while there if you enjoy museums, don’t miss this one)
- The Forbidden City
- The Temple of Heaven
- Beijing Zoo (The pandas are too cute to miss)
- Do try delicious foods and the small obscure restaurants. I found that they served better food than the fancy ones in many cases.
- Walk around the city and soak up its many wonders. Wear comfortable shoes because Beijing is a huge city and much walking is required to discover some of its lesser known areas.
Visa to China for Jamaicans
I applied through an agent here in Japan and the process was pretty straightforward. I didn’t need to show a bank statement or even a job letter. I needed to send a copy of my residence card in Japan and the relevant fees. The best place to gain information on what is required in the Chinese embassy where you live or its website.