Beijing (formerly romanized as Peking), while often chaotic, polluted and noisy, retains some of its charm thanks to certain areas scattered throughout the capital. In fact, walking around ugly and busy roads can lead you to discover some beautiful spots you would have never expected.
Be it because of finding some old building (not too many left, sadly) or an interesting food street, wearing an air mask and actually walking through this bustling city can be a good adventure.
For example the old Bell Tower, spared by the Cultural Revolution, is a fascinating remnant of the long history of Beijing, which can be hard to spot at times in this ever-modernizing country.
That’s why leaving Beijing, although great for the lungs and stress, was a sad moment, it seems like there is still a lot more to be discovered and enjoyed in the big city. But it’s time to move on with the journey.