Beijing city dates back more than 3 millenia – the city has remained the political and cultural capital through the centuries. In just under 20 years, Beijing has become a centre of power for not just China, but also Asia, and now for the rest of the world.
The city has continually reinvented itself to keep itself ahead of the game. From historic hutongs to neck-crooning sky scrappers, ancient temples to architectural marvels that dot the city’s skyline, outdoor parks to indoor malls, swish bars to traditional fanfare, the city is a melting pot of old and new.
I was awed by the Great Wall, fell in love with the food, impressed with the progress the city has made, loved the National Library of China, felt kinda lost in the crowds at Tianmen and the Forbidden city, but what I loved the most about Beijing was its people – warm, friendly, smiling and hospitable. They exhibit a sense of friendly curiosity towards us foreigners, eagerly requesting for pictures with their children and their elderly parents, helping you with their limited English, also attempting to learn some English from you, asking you about family, where you come from, apologising for everything when they shouldn’t, welcoming you to Beijing and hoping you have a good day. I can’t tell you how many wonderful and happy people I met and how their random acts of kindness melted my heart.
It is the people who make up a city and for me, among all other Asian cities, it was Beijing that stood out to be the most endearing. Farewell Beijing. You have won my heart. I hope I will be back soon.