In march 2018, I went to the Philippines – again! After visiting these beautiful islands the first time, there were even more places I wanted to visit. So I found a cheap flight which had the additional benefit of 2 stopovers in Beijing, China. Upon our first arrival, we queued at different queues since nobody could tell us where to go. Eventually we saw a well hidden sign pointing us at the right counter for the transit visa and waited ~1.5 hours until the 10 people in front of us were finished (pretty slow :D). After enduring some questioning regarding the purpose of our visit and our intentions for the 15 hour stopover (you really want to go to the city centre for just 10 hours?) we finally got our visa-stamps. We went to the city centre, had a look at Tianmen square, went through a ridiculous amount of consecutive ID-checks (on the same, fenced, pedestrian walk), went to the entrance of the forbidden city and tried to turn around again and ate the original beijing duck =).
On our way back, we had another stopover and decided to go to THE GREAT WALL. Luckily, we met 2 other backpackers who wanted to join and easily found a cab driver to get us to the wall. Equipped with chinese cash and Starbucks coffes, we got in the car for the 1.5 hour ride and ended up buying cable-car and sledging tickets to get up to the wall and downhill fast. This allowed us to spend about 2 hours on the actual wall before heading back.