TOKYO AND BEIJING 2019
Always wanted to visit Asia? Well I just returned last week from a wonderful trip to Beijing in China, and Tokyo, Japan. I was going to visit Hong Kong first, but because of the riots I had to cancel that part. Believe me these countries surprised me, I thought they were going to be hectic, but I was really impressed with the organization, education and cleanliness (specially in Tokyo).
First I flew to Dallas, from Dallas to Hong Kong took a 17 hour flight (YES 17 hours….. the longest trip American Airlines has), not to brag or anything, but thank God I was flying in Business Class, I mean if you can do it its worth it, specially with long flights. Then the same day I arrived to Hong Kong, took another 3 hour flight to Beijing, I stayed in a really cool hotel called, New World Beijing, trust me this is a must, its very similar to the Peninsula hotels in the US, delicious breakfast included, large rooms, very well decorated, and the location was amazing, near to the Temple of Heaven, which was my first thing I saw.
Places you must visit in Beijing:
- The Summer Palace (shown in the picture above).
- The Lama Square (with a huge Lama inside).
- Pipe Street, there take the Rickshaw tour to see the Hutongs (traditional Chinese alleys) and there you can buy nice souvenirs.
- The Forbidden City.
- The best shopping mall and modern area called Taikoo Li Sanlitun.
- Of course a tour to the Great Wall of China.
Tips for China and things to know:
- Before you travel to China download a VPN app, I used NordVPN you can download it from the App Store, why ? because in China social media is blocked (no twitter, fb, instagram, google etc), so the VPN app will allow you to use your social media.
- But be aware that wifi from hotels block the VPN app, I had to rely on my roaming.
- American Credit cards are not accepted in most places, bring CASH.
- Not all people speak English.
- If you use a TAXI, take a card with the name of your hotel, so you can show it to the taxi driver and he will understand where to take you.
- If you book tours, its better to ask the concierge in your hotel to help you.
- In China if you want to buy something you must BARGAIN, its part of their nature, sometimes you can buy things half the price they are asking for.
- Bring your own toilet paper in your purse, some places don’t have toilet paper (malls, restaurants etc).
I spent, 6 days in Beijing, then flew to Tokyo, to get to my hotel I used a Limosine Bus Service that you can hire at the airport, it is the best way, I stayed in a wonderful hotel called Tokyo Celestine Shiba, a few steps from the Tokyo Tower, it had a lot of metro stations near it a 7 eleven inside the hotel, they gave you a Pijama in case you didn’t have one. Please keep in mind that the airport is a bit far, 1 hour or more. I was very impressed with Tokyo, people are extremely clean, the city very organized. I loved the Smart toilets, I think they should be a norm all over the world. Top things you must do and tips:
- Asakusa street and Senso-Ji temple, a street that has a lot of shops where you can buy souvenirs, at the end of the street you can see the Senso-ji temple.
- Shibuya street, (similar to Time Square in NY) filled with shops and restaurants, great for going at night.
- Akihabara street is heaven for gamers and people who love anime, great environment at night.
- The Skytree tower, it has the most wonderful views of the city.
- Tokyo tower, you can go up, ( you must pay a little bit more and go to the top deck) also amazing views of Tokyo.
- Odaiba, it is really cool, they have a bridge an a statue of liberty small one but really cool, (Tokyo and NY are similar).
- In Odaiba, there is a mall, and it has a giant Gundman that you can take really cool pics.
- Meiji Shrine Temple, it is a must.
- Next to the Tokyo tower, you can find Shiba park, very Japanese, with a temple.
- Ginza Street, a street with high end stores, it is the 5th avenue of Tokyo.
- Go to a Hello Kitty store ( im a huge fan I bought everything).
- In Tokyo social media works just fine.
- If you want transportation use the Metro it is cheaper, very safe and clean.
- If you want to buy souvenirs bring cash.
- When you go to a clothing store, it is customary to take your shoes off before going into the fitting rooms.
DOMO ARIGATO JAPAN !
XIE XIE CHINA!