Travel options – The ultimate perk of teaching English in Beijing

Oh, finally to the fun stuff! Beijing is one of Asia’s best-connected cities and a brilliant travel springboard, bar none. Living and working here means that China, and Asia in general, will be right at your fingertips when you’re ready to indulge.

The best Beijing highlights

Few places are as enchanting as the Botanical Gardens in Autumn – a place you’ll no-doubt revisit, time and again – although no sightseeing tour of Beijing would be complete without a visit to Tiananmen Square, the Imperial Palace (and wonderful gardens) and Olympic Park plus a myriad of art galleries, theatres, temples and museums, including the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, where you can see the Chairman taking his eternal rest inside a crystal-topped coffin.

Out and about from Beijing

On your first day-trip out of the city, you simply can’t miss a walk along the mighty Great Wall, a section of which can be reached in just under an hour from Beijing’s CBD. The Badaling Pass section of the Wall has been open to tourist since the 1950s and is one of the most visited so get here early in the morning to avoid the big lunchtime crowds. The Summer Palace, on the north-western edge of Beijing, is a glorious place to visit on a sunny day, the expansive gardens and lake offering a great respite from the city buzz.

Popular weekends away from Beijing

You can reach Shanghai in just under 6-hours by train, making this the most popular long weekend destination for TEFL teachers in Beijing. Hong Kong, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand are also immensely popular with foreign expats, thanks to the generous number of national holidays in the calendar year. China is, in itself, a sensational country whose many provinces showcase quite distinct wilderness and culture. Whilst Yunnan is the prime travel hub of choice, further provinces like Xinjiang and, in particular, the high Tibetan Plateau, rate among the world’s most magnificent destinations to discovery.

All up, you’ll have about five weeks’ vacation a year, with many celebratory days falling adjacent to the weekend. Make the most of your long weekends and you can satisfy that travel itch with ease from Beijing.