Everyone likes to go on a winter holiday somewhere warm, but what about the rest of the year? Do you still want to spend your holidays on the beach or by the fireside or have you found a new way of spending your days? If so, then where are you going for the rest of the year and what will you be doing?
This year, instead of heading for the beach or the countryside, you may want to consider a trip to China. The country has amazing ski resorts, and given that the summer there is pretty warm, you may not even need to pack a jacket! As well as boasting some of the greatest ski resorts outside of Europe and North America, China is also home to some incredible street festivals that take place throughout the year. We’ve put together a list of some of the most exciting things to do in Beijing in the summer, which includes a number of fun-filled days spent on the slopes or in the streets.
The best way to enjoy the summer in Beijing is to go to one of the country’s incredible ski resorts. The Beijing Summer Olympics will come to a close next month, but not all the venues will be dismantled, and some of them will host events after the Olympics end. This year, for the first time since 2003, China will hold the Winter Olympics in the country’s capital, so this is the perfect opportunity to head to the mountains for a change of scene. The closest resort to Beijing is Duanwu Qingyuan, which, as its name suggests, is located about an hour away by car. The resort is relatively small, with only one expertly groomed ski run, but that’s enough to satisfy the most experienced skier. Lift tickets cost around £65 a day, and the resort has two hotels, so it gets busy during the summer months. For more adventurous travellers, there’s also the Jiuzhaigou resort, which is a bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. The closest airport to this resort is Shenzhen Baoqiu International Airport, which is connected to the city by frequent direct flights. Finally, there’s Nanguan Huaijiao, located in the northern part of the country. This resort’s claim to fame is that it’s the longest ski run in Asia! After arriving at the airport, you’ll be met by a friendly ski guide who’ll take you to your hotel for a well-deserved afternoon break before hitting the slopes again. In the evening, you can warm up by the fireplace at a cozy cafe or take a walk along the mountain trails – the resort’s vibe is pretty chilled out, so feel free to do whatever you want! Overall, if you want to keep your holiday costs to a minimum, it’s better to go to a smaller resort like Duanwu, but if you’d like to have some excitement, then go for the bigger ones like Shougang or Hainan. With the right timing, you’ll have the chance to catch one of the greatest natural phenomena in the world: the sun setting while you’re still in the ski village!
Visit The Monasteries
One of the best things about going to China in the summer is the abridged school holidays. This means that the children will be out of school for a couple of weeks, which, in turn, makes it possible to visit places of worship without having to rush or worry about childcare. The best time to visit a monastery is in the early morning, when it’s cool and calm and the streets are empty. There’s not a lot of touristy stuff going on, so it’s a pretty good opportunity to wander around and take a good look at the place. You may decide to spend the day visiting the local temples and trying the local food, such as Tibetan cuisine. Be sure to book your visit to a monastery in advance, as it can get quite rush hour when the summer holidays begin. Even though the Chinese New Year is in the winter, it can still be quite warm, so you may not want to stay in a freezing monastery with no heating!
Check Out Museums And Attractions
A summer holiday in China is truly worthwhile because there are so many attractions and museums that you can go to. Some of these are absolutely free, so it’s very likely that you’ll have your money’s worth without spending a penny! The best way to discover the country’s treasures is by car. There are a lot of scenic routes that you can take, and most of them connect the major cities. One of the best museums in Beijing is the Forbidden City, which is next to the Workers’ Stadium. It was originally built as a palace for emperors who wanted to escape the bustle of the city. The museum is extensive and houses a number of historic treasures. It has enough galleries and corridors to keep even the most avid museum goer occupied for a good couple of hours. The queues for the Forbidden City are usually pretty long, so be sure to go early in the morning or late at night, when the crowds have died down.
Other museums in the city are more specialized and cover one or two subjects, such as the Aviation Museum, which has an amazing collection of aircrafts, or the Temple of Heaven, which is dedicated to the memory of the Chinese emperors. The museum there is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world. It features an incredible variety of tools and architectural elements that were used in the construction of the emperors’ garden, which is located across the street from the temple. Even if you only have a day or two in Beijing during the summer, it doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself to the above-mentioned sights. There are a lot more museums and attractions, which you may find out about from the locals or through unofficial channels. Be sure to use the Internet, social media, and word of mouth to find out more about what’s available!
Learn A New Language
Speaking another language is a great way to improve your foreign language skills, and it’s also a great way to travel. There are a lot of people who become fluent in a new language through osmosis, which is where you’ll learn a new word every day, but that’s not practical if you want to travel. It’s better to take a less organic approach and focus on learning a few hundred words, which you can then use to order food, navigate bus stops, and so on. If you want to do this, then going to another country where the majority of the people speak a different language is the way to go. It doesn’t have to be, as English is widely spoken in the world, and learning a few phrases will get you by in most situations. In fact, many countries require you to know a little bit of the local language in order to travel there legally or even to interact with the locals. So consider this your crash course in becoming a proficient English speaker!
Explore China’s Culinary Scene
Most people who go to China for holiday actually end up staying for a while. One of the best things about the country is its cuisine. There are many different styles of Chinese food, and you may fall in love with a new one every day. You may start with a strange craving for gourmet tacos from a street vendor, and then spend the rest of the day trying to find the best dumplings and handmade noodles in the area. It’s quite likely that you’ll visit a number of small villages nearby, where the chefs will be more than happy to fix you dinner.
Overall, a trip to China in the summer is a real winner. You may want to visit one of the country’s many amazing beaches or its famous lakes, but you’ll do better to stick to the cool temperatures in the winter. In the summer, it gets fairly hot, and sticking to the air-conditioned interior of a bus or a train is often the best way to go from place to place. When the temperatures rise, so does the pollution, and it’s not good for your health. During the day, you’ll encounter a lot of locals walking, riding bikes, or driving cars, and at night, you’ll see all kinds of street lights and neon signs. You’ll even find some people swimming in the streets during the warm summer nights! All in all, despite the humid heat, going to China in the summer is still a lot of fun and definitely worth it.