Top Things To Do In Beijing

Rachel Weiss
Career China Digital Marketing Manager
Oct 22, 2019

Ana Austin is a new First Leap teacher from Tampa, Florida! She graduated from the Art Institute of Tampa with a BFA in Graphic and Web Design in December 2016 and made the leap in October 2019 to teach in China.

Ana shares some advice about moving to China, and also the top things new teachers should do when in Beijing!

1. Hike the Great Wall

I went to the Mutianyu section of the wall early in the morning and it was amazing. No crowds, so we had plenty of space to enjoy the vastness of the wall. Plus the toboggan slide was thrilling!

2. Try Hot Pot

Even though I’m not a big spice person, it was delicious. The city I’ll be living in is known for their Hot Pot so I’m wanting to try it from as many places as I can.

Check out this video about eating Hot Pot in China!

3. Cupping/Massage

The other day a few girls and I went to Aibosen near our hotel for a massage and then I had cupping therapy done. Super affordable and a nice way to relax after training.

4. Make Friends

Getting to know your co-workers is super important! You all are from different places and can learn so much from one another.

5. Have a Night Out

Beijing has a lot of night life to offer! Try Mexican food (Q-mex) and Dancing (one third, Arkham, Mixx) 

6. Take The Subway

The Beijing Subway is super easy to navigate and you can get everywhere super fast usually quicker than a Didi or taxi.

***Learn more about taking public transportation in China

Learn More About Ana

Q. Why China?

I had been looking at teaching in China for a few years because I love teaching children and exploring new cultures, but it never lined up with where my life was going. So I put the idea on a back burner till I found the right time. It was a long process from when I applied to when I arrived in China because I still needed to wrap up my life in America, but I’m am extremely happy with my choice to move here.

Q. When did you arrive in China? What have your first impressions of China been?

I arrived on Sunday October 6th, 2019 which was great because that gave me a few days before training to explore and get settled in.

I did my best to research life in China and common culture shock so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. What I noticed is that most resources have a negative outlook on China but I have had nothing but amazing experiences here. Most places have English translations so you don’t feel overwhelmed and Wechat has translation functions so even when there isn’t English you can easily understand. So overall my first impression has been better than I expected, and there is so much history and places to explore here.

Q. Any memorable/interesting/funny experiences in China so far?

When I went to the Summer Palace I got my first taste of people wanting to get pictures with me. There was this older couple that followed us around for a little bit taking pictures of us in different locations. I found it quite funny since they seemed so excited about it.


Q. What are you looking forward to doing in China in the future? Any travel goals/things you want to try?

I’m wanting to travel around Asia see more cities and hopefully visit some friends. Maybe get a traditional tattoo, visit the rainbow mountains, walk a glass bridge, go bungee jumping, travel to Australia and hopefully get back into Muay Thai.

Check out some other #Amazing China Challenges to try in China!

Q. Any advice for new teachers who will come to China or have just arrived in China?

 The best advice I can think of is just keep and open mind and leave all your pre-conceived ideas at home. You are moving to a new country, living with strangers for 2 weeks and starting an amazing job. Your life will quickly change so you need to be flexible and open to new cultures and ideas outside of your own. Training and meeting your fellow teachers is a growing experience on its own. So get excited. You’ll love it here!

Follow Ana on Instagram to see more of her adventures in China!

Check out other awesome expat stories in The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China

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