When you think of China’s city lights. your mind often rests on Shanghai and Hong Kong:  Big cities, amazing skyscrapers and incredible lighting at night.  These cities sometimes feel like Disneyland or Vegas, captivating your souls and imagination.  There is an odd resemblance to Christmas, as the city lays aglow in uncanny lights.

After visiting Shanghai I admit that the city’s evening lights are unbelievable and mesmerizing.  I instantly fell in love with the city at night, and felt that Shanghai was almost right up there with Paris, the City of Lights (yet I prefer the older city atmosphere of Paris over the newly built, ultra modern Shanghai).  I could have sat there all night admiring the lights over the Bund and Pudong in Shanghai.  I had never seen anything quite like it before and I realized that the night in Shanghai was by far more beautiful than the day time when the city was awash in pollution, traffic and noise.

For as much as Shanghai’s lights beckon,  I believe that Beijing’s city lights are highly under-rated and definitely worth admiring.  Maybe it is the old-world architecture that I fancy or perhaps the initial belief that Beijing would be uneventful.  One night in Beijing proved that my assumptions were wrong.  It was not a gray, dull, boring city.  Instead, it is an ancient city beaming with life as soon as the sun sets.  

The beauty of Beijing at night can’t be denied.  It is a place worth exploring with your eyes wide open….

The Forbidden City at night is unbelievably spectacular.  My only regret is that I’m not a better photographer as I was unable to truly capture the dreamlike nature of this place at night.  

View from the cab.  I love this photo.  I feel that it captures the true energy of Beijing at night.  I took it from our cab window obviously while we were moving. 

Picture of Ghost Street, the renowned street with any kind of Chinese food that your heart desires.  

Right outside of our hotel was one of the largest street food venues I’d seen.  It was bustling with activity as soon as the sun set.  Hungry customers lined up and ordered their meals on a stick to go (of course cooked fresh right in front of their eyes). 

The main pedestrian street at night was filled with colors and entertainment.  There were enormous flat screened TVs built into the sides of buildings.  Kind of reminded me again of Vegas or New York.  

Restaurants awaited hungry customers….

My only regret was that I was too tired from jet lag and walking eight hours throughout the day to stay up later and enjoy the sensational beauty of Beijing at night.  For the city’s secrets are often revealed at night when it is quite, more peaceful and full of a different kind of life.


    1. Thanks Kathy! I can’t believe how many posts I’ve gotten out of my trip to China. It is a fascinating place and I still have so much more to tell…when I have time!!!!

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