The (D)evolution of Travel
June 21, 2018
Hey folks! Unfortunately, I've been having quite a few baking failures the past few weeks and I've been posting mostly drink-based content. However, fear not, as I can assure you next week's bake will be a W I N N E R.
The New "Lifestyle"
This week, I'm doing a bit of travelling with the family to Beijing, China's capitol. Although I wish I could say we're travelling to escape the summer heat, Beijing is probably just as humid, if not more humid, than Shanghai. However, it has been a while since I've visited Beijing and I'm excited to see what I new experiences I can create for myself this time round.
Throughout my experiences in travel, I've noticed that the purpose and style of travel has dramatically shifted over the years. Recently, especially among the rising Chinese middle class, travel has become more focused on leisure as opposed to experience. People will choose to spend their days within the boundaries of a luxurious hotel as opposed to experiencing the culture and landscape of a new environment.
Personally, I see this as quite unfortunate because why invest in travel just to say you've been somewhere? Not only does it make little sense, but it also makes you look like a fool when your friends & family ask for trip recommendations. Then again, I'm not telling you how to live your life or experience your travels. In the end, it's all up to you, but if luxury is the travel lifestyle you live, I can guarantee that you're missing out on a whole lot of fun.
This week, I had three days to explore China's capital city of Beijing. While I've been to many of these so called attractions before, I also had the pleasure of visiting new places and meeting new faces. Check out some of the highlights below!
The Guanfu Museum
The first established private museum in China, this unique attraction is owned and run by famous antique collector (and one my mom's idols) Ma WeiDu. The museum features many ancient artifacts such as porcelain vase and intricate paintings from the DYNASTIAL periods. Yet, this isn't the typical museum. Approximately 30 cats roam freely around the courtyard entrance of the museum, free to interact with guests. All these cats were adopted by WeiDu at some point in his life, eventually finding a home at the museum. Overall, a very satisfying experience that is definitely worth the time of anyone who enjoys a bit of history or has a penchant for feline creatures.
Perhaps more attractive to younger tourists, this modern area is a then-factory turned design manufacturing studios. The studios and stores in this area sell a variety of goods ranging from cutlery to bike equipment. This place is a true juxtaposition between past & present. Surrounded by old materials but new architecture, its easy to get caught up in it all even without peeking into the several design shops scattered across the district. If art & chic are your middle names, District 798 is right where you belong.
The Forbidden City
Ahhhhhh the Beijing be all and end all....a majestic palace fit for the king of kings. Even after the many years since I've visited the attraction, it's sheer size.....and popularity still manages to amaze me. Having already visited before and learned the history behind the palace, my mom and I stepped it up a notch and decided to find some more ~chic~ applications to the architecture. Check out some of our findings below! Regardless, what I'm trying to get at is that while the palace is certainly more significant to older generations, there are still ways to enjoy, respect, and immerse yourself in the history behind every wall, door, and window.
Overall, my trip to Beijing is one I would consider successful. I found different things to explore in same places (see above), while also reminding myself of my past experiences in the country capital (see below). Of course, if you plan a visit to China, this city is 100% a must. Like Shanghai, you find a perfect contrast of old and new sitting side by side, an opportunity hard to come by. If you have any questions about the places I've visited or about travel to/within China in general, feel free to shoot me an email or just leave a comment. Happy travelling and keep your eyes peeled next week for a twist on the classic tiramisu!