My dear travelers and fans of unique trips, welcome to the new series of long-awaited travelogues from China on the Mr.M blog. This May will be dedicated to one of the cradles of human civilization and a country with thousands of years of written history – China. At the very beginning of this series of travelogues, I would like to thank the Ministry of Tourism of the People’s Republic of China – Visit China and the leading Turkish airline Turkish Airlines for the kind invitation and hospitality. With their help, the travelogues and fashion stories that you will have the opportunity to read this May were created and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy them.
People who have been following the Mr.M blog for years know that traveling is my passion and an integral part of my job, and it is always necessary to have reliable partners. For this Far Eastern adventure, the leading Turkish and world airline, Turkish Airlines, proved to be the best choice due to the good flight schedule, as well as the short transfer time via Istanbul. You must be wondering why this is important? All travelers who fly from Belgrade or the Balkan region after a hard day’s work have the perfect connection time in Istanbul, where they can travel to Far Eastern destinations during the evening hours and thus reach their destination in the shortest possible time. In addition to saving time, travelers save on accommodation costs because they do not need to stay in a hotel.
Turkish Airlines is the Turkish national airline, which from 2022 operates regular flight services to 340 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, which makes it the largest major carrier in the world by the number of passenger destinations. Interestingly, Turkish Airlines serves more destinations with direct flights from one airport – Istanbul, than any other airline in the world and flies to 126 countries, more than any other airline.
Turkish Airlines provides comfort and delicious treats to all its passengers, whether they travel in economy or business class, which I had the opportunity to see for myself during my trip to China. My trip to China was divided into two parts, the first part of the journey from Belgrade to Istanbul I traveled in economy class, while the second part of the journey from Istanbul to Beijing was spent in business class.
The first flight on the route Belgrade – Istanbul was short, the duration of the flight is about an hour and a half, while the second flight on the route Istanbul – Beijing is significantly longer and lasts less than ten hours. Traveling in business class with Turkish Airlines you will feel an iconic Turkish hospitality in the clouds! In business class, Turkish Airlines makes your journey the most pleasant experience, with award-winning culinary masters, the latest in-flight entertainment system and comfortable seats. By choosing business class for your trip, you too can feel special in the sky and travel in comfort while enjoying the miles you have earned through the Miles&Smiles program.
Business class seats are specially designed for maximum comfort. Additional options that can increase your joy of travel are a reading lamp, a power supply for electronic devices and the ability to distance yourself from the noise and create your own little paradise in the sky. In business class, Turkish Airlines helps you sleep comfortably with fully flat seats and complimentary pillows and blankets. In addition, you get an amenity kit that contains a wide variety of items that you might find useful during your trip, such as an eye mask, ear plugs, lip balm and socks.
With its own power supply, the rotating desk reading lamp allows you to enjoy uninterrupted work or pleasure. Turkish Airlines in-flight entertainment system, you can enjoy the latest movies, music playlists and specially made documentaries about the destination country. Before passengers are introduced to the delicious dishes prepared by award-winning chefs on Turkish Airlines flights, passengers are given “welcome drinks”. In addition, all meals, which are served on modern porcelain dishes, are prepared and cooked according to the wishes of the passengers. Menus vary depending on the nature of the summer and are constantly being further refreshed and developed. In addition to enjoying the taste of exquisite food, you can browse the comprehensive menu of hot drinks and make your own selection or enjoy the journey with the taste of Turkish coffee and delights.
During the several-hour flight to China, I used the time to stretch my legs a bit and walk around the plane, so I saw for myself the comfort of economy class on longer flights. Turkish Airlines economy class privileges are available at affordable prices, where you can fit any trip into your budget. Economy class seats on longer international flights are comfortable, so there’s no need to think about comfort and you get everything you need to make your flight go as smoothly as possible from friendly cabin crew.
In one of the following posts, we will get to know the Istanbul Stopover program, which offers all Turkish Airlines passengers the opportunity to explore Istanbul. Passengers connecting via Istanbul Airport can enrich their trip by discovering the history and cultural life of the city with the Istanbul Stopover program and enjoy free accommodation in partner hotels.
I was honestly surprised by the fact that the flight to China was filled with international tourists, considering that the country has recently reopened to international tourism. That is why the team of the Ministry of Tourism of the People’s Republic of China invited me as the first international online media after the pandemic to visit their country and feel the charm and beauty of the capital of China – Beijing.
I have to admit that the flight of almost ten hours “flew by” and that I landed in the capital of China with an entertainment system, delicious food and engrossed in working on the computer to prepare new stories for you on the blog.
China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a country located in the heart of East Asia. It is the second most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion. China spans five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, which is connected to Russia. With an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers, it is the third largest country in the world in terms of total land area. The country consists of 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities and two special areas – administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populated city and largest financial center is Shanghai.
Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, which with over 21 million inhabitants is the most populous national capital in the world and the second largest city in China after Shanghai. It is located in northern China and under the municipal direct administration of the State Council with 16 urban, suburban and rural districts. Beijing is mostly surrounded by Hebei province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin to the southeast. An interesting fact is that together these three divisions make up the megalopolis of Jingjinji and the capital region of China.
Beijing is widely recognized as a global city and one of the world’s leading centers for culture, diplomacy, politics, finance, business and economics, education, research, language, tourism, media, sports, science and technology, and transportation. As a large metropolis, Beijing is China’s second largest city in terms of population after Shanghai. It is home to most of China’s largest state-owned companies and hosts the largest number of companies. Beijing is also a major hub for the nation’s highway and high-speed rail networks. Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic (the busiest in Asia) as of 2010, and as of 2016 the city’s subway network is the busiest and longest in the world.
Wangfujing (translation from Chinese “Prince’s Palace Well”) is the most famous shopping street in Beijing, China, located in Dongcheng District, most of the main street is a pedestrian zone. There have been commercial activities in the area since the mid-Ming Dynasty. In the Qing Dynasty, ten aristocratic estates and princess residences were built here, soon after a well full of fresh water was discovered, giving the street the name “Wang Fu” (princely residence) and “Jing” (well). Wangfujing is currently home to about 280 stores. In this famous shopping street, you can enjoy shopping at malls like Beijing Department Store, Beijing apm, Beijing Mall and The Malls at Oriental Plaza, VF CENTRAL.
Not far from this main shopping street was my hotel The Peninsula Beijing, the first luxury 5* hotel in China when it opened as The Palace Hotel in 1989. I will write more about this amazing hotel in one of the next travelogues from China.
Combining modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich history dating back over three thousand years. As the last of China’s four great ancient capitals, Beijing was the country’s political center for most of the last eight centuries and the world’s largest city by population for much of the second millennium AD. With mountains surrounding the inner city on three sides, in addition to the old inner and outer city walls, Beijing was strategically placed and developed to be the residence of the emperor and was therefore the perfect location for the imperial capital.
The city is known for its lavish palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates. Beijing is one of the world’s most important tourist destinations. In 2018, Beijing was the second-highest tourist-earning city in the world after Shanghai. Beijing is home to many national monuments and museums and has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites — the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian and parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal, all of which are extremely popular with world tourists. Siheyuans, a traditional urban style of housing, and hutongs, the narrow alleyways between the siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in urban Beijing.
Beijing is famous for its siheyuans, a type of residence where a common courtyard is shared by surrounding buildings. Among the grander examples are Prince Gong’s Mansion and Soong Ching-ling’s residence. These courtyards are usually connected by alleys called hutongs. Hutongs are generally flat and run from east to west, so the doors face north and south for good Feng Shui. They differ in width. some are even so narrow that only a few pedestrians can pass through them.
Three styles of architecture predominate in urban Beijing. First, there is the traditional architecture of Imperial China, perhaps best exemplified by the massive Tian’anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace), which remains a trademark of the People’s Republic of China, the Forbidden City, the Temple of the Imperial Ancestors, and the Temple of Heaven. The second style, sometimes called the “Sino-Soviet” style, with structures that tend to be boxy and sometimes poorly built, was built between the 1950s and 1970s. Finally, there are many more modern architectural forms, most noticeable in the Beijing Central District area in eastern Beijing, such as the new headquarters of China Central Television, alongside buildings elsewhere in the city such as the Beijing National Stadium and the National Performing Arts Center.
In the following travelogues, you will get to know some of the famous sights such as the Gate of Heavenly Peace, the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall of China… I am sure that this will be one of the most interesting adventures that you have had the opportunity to see so far on the Mr.M blog!
My dear travelers, we have come to the end of this first special travelogue in a series of travelogues about China where we had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this unusual country in the heart of East Asia. Today’s travelogue would not be possible without the selfless help of the Ministry of Tourism of the People’s Republic of China – Visit China, the world airline company Turkish Airlines and The Peninsula Beijing Hotel in cooperation with local partners who allowed me to feel the spirit and beauty of ancient Chinese culture and tradition. Of course, as always, I tried my best to convey to you my impressions about this unusual experience from China with Turkish Airlines.
A person is rich in soul if he has managed to explore the world and I am glad that I always manage to find partners of my projects who help me to discover new and unusual destinations in a completely different way.
I am honored to have the opportunity to cooperate with companies that are the very top of the tourism industry and I would like to thank Turkish Airlines once again for this amazing adventure and for allowing me to experience the beauty of this unusual Far Eastern culture in a completely different way.
How did you like my story about China and the presentation of the capital Beijing, which adorns the heart of this unusual country in East Asia? Have you had a chance to visit China so far?
If you have any question, comment, suggestion or message for me you can write me below in the comments. Of course, as always, you can contact me via email or social networks, all addresses can be found on the CONTACT page. See you at the same place in a few days, with some new story!
In the following stories from China, we will discover some other interesting sights that you should visit if your journey leads you to this capital of this ancient faraway country!
With Love from Beijing,
This post is sponsored by world airline Turkish Airlines, Visit China and The Peninsula Beijing Hotel as well as other local partners. This post is my personal and honest review of the destination experience.