China has many inexpensive and convenient means of traveling, so I took the opportunity to travel to the Summer Palace and Great Wall in Beijing, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi in the north, and Nanning in the South. I visited many other places as well, however these were the most memorable.
The beautiful Summer Palace is a must-see if you visit Beijing and it is very close to my school! It is an Imperial Garden which served as the summer resort for the Empress Dowager Cixi.
The weather during October is beautiful, so I took this chance to go to the Summer Palace. This is only the front view of the palace, however it is a total of 2.9 kilometers, 3/4 which is water. Once inside, you can spend a whole day wandering its quarters.
You can rent a four-seat electric or paddle boat for about 100 RMB an hour (about 15 USD). It was very peaceful and relaxing to watch the sun set behind the mountains.
We traveled to Inner Mongolia, and spent the first night in yurts. The sky in Inner Mongolia is very clear, and the air is fresh.
Despite its clear air, Inner Mongolia gets very cold, especially during the night, and more so if you're staying in a yurt.
Camel riding in Inner Mongolia. My camel's name was Joe, but unlike many Chinese people, he didn't smoke.
The Hanging Temple of Hengshan, Shanxi is built into the mountains near one of the five tallest peaks in China Proper. Once inside there are many rooms to explore, but you do not want to look down!
This is in Nanning, Guanxi, Southern China. I absolutely LOVE night markets, and luckily China has many of them, especially in the South. Some places in the south do eat dog, however many places in China frown upon it. I opted for the vegetarian options.
Traditional Nanning headwear. It was really heavy.
Nanning is famous for its melodic music. They like to sing "courting songs" where a woman stays in this hut while a man sings to her from afar in an attempt to court her. She responds by singing back. Sometimes there's rejection.
Last but not least, I finally went to the Great Wall. It was a hot summer day and the steps aren't stable, so it was a workout. I'm not supposed to climb up there, but no one was watching.
Learn more about the study abroad program in China