Back in November 2018 I took my older two kids on an adventure to Beijing and Hong Kong. It was both my first time (and theirs) to both China and Asia in general. I booked us Delta cash one-way tickets to China (using the money we received from KLM after making an EU261 claim on a previous trip) and then award tickets on Cathay Pacific for our return. Alaska miles allow a stopover, which we took in Hong Kong. This let us visit Beijing on a 144-hour transit without visa.
Our 5 days in Beijing were among my favorites. This is not to say that I didn’t like Hong Kong. On the contrary, I thought Hong Kong was amazing. I just liked the history and feel of Beijing more. I would love to visit other parts of China. It’s an amazing country.
Here is a rundown of the trip, told through the posts I’ve written at other outlets before I came on-board with TravelUpdate:
- Delta 767 Economy Class Review: Seattle to Beijing
- Hilton Beijing Review
- 5 Days in Beijing: Day 1 – Our First 24 Hours in the Chinese Capital
- 5 Days in Beijing: Day 2 – History and Hutongs
- 5 Days in Beijing: Day 3 – Mutianyu Great Wall Excursion
- 5 Days in Beijing: Day 4 – Tiananmen and the Forbidden City
- 5 Days in Beijing: Day 5 – Beihai Park and Almost Losing a Child
- Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Review
- Travel Day – Beijing to Hong Kong
- Air China First Class Lounge Beijing Airport Review
- Cathay Pacific 777 Premium Economy Review: Beijing to Hong Kong
- Hong Kong with Kids Day 1: Exploring from Kowloon Bay to Victoria Peak
- Hong Kong with Kids Day 2: Lamma Island Adventure
- Hong Kong with Kids Day 3: Ding-Dings and Dim Sum
- Hilton Garden Inn Hong Kong Mongkok Review
- Cathay Pacific The Wing Business Class Lounge Review
- Cathay Pacific 777-300ER Business Class Review: Hong Kong to SFO
That’ll keep you reading for a while. Hope you enjoy our adventures!
My Favorite Memories From The Trip
It’s difficult to pick a single best moment from the trip since we did and saw so much. Out time in Beijing included seeing the primary historic sights in the city, including the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, and Summer Palace. All three are amazing in their own way.
Hanging out in the parks was also an enjoyment. The kids needed some down time from me dragging them from place to place. Whether it was sitting in a boat on one of the lakes or enjoying watching some Chinese women perform a ribbon dance, they are a great place to kick back for a while. Plus, you get to see some of the everyday culture.
Wandering the hutongs around Nanluoguxiang and over to Shichahai lake was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We tried various food, including duck. My daughter nearly lost her lunch when we were served a duck, head and all. These are the moments that made the trip special.
Hong Kong is another world, and an amazing experience in a different way. From the packed streets of Mongkok to the peaceful beach on Lamma Island, we loved this piece of the country as well. Make sure you take the tram up the hill to Victoria Peak for a lovely view of Hong Kong and Kowloon.
If I Had to Pick One Place…
The Great Wall is spectacular. If I had to pick only one place from the trip that I had to not miss, it would be our trip to the wall. We visited the Mutianyu section, which is a bit further from Beijing than a couple of the other more accessible sections, but I highly recommend it. There is a lift that will take you up to the wall and a very fun toboggan run down. The kids had a blast. It was surreal to actually walk on and experience this wonder of the world.
China in One Word: Go!
Five days was enough in Beijing to see what I had hoped to, but the Chinese capital deserves so much more. Not to mention we barely scratched the surface of what this country has to offer. China is vast. It is like America in that respect. There are so many places to potentially visit. In particular, I’d love to spend some time in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Chengdu, among a handful of other cities. The incredible karst terrain of Guilin is also high on the list.
If you’ve been contemplating visiting China, just make it happen. It’s an amazing country. You won’t regret it.