I've never been to China and this post by MIles may have just convinced me to add it to next year's itinerary.
Some of the largest and most well-known museums in Beijing, such as the National Art Museum of China and the Palace Museum, deserve your attention during your next vacation. However, if you've already explored these popular destinations, turn to a few of these museums found off the beaten path, each of which instills in visitors a better understanding of Beijing culture.
The Ming Tombs
Though it bears no resemblance to a traditional museum, the Ming Tombs exhibits priceless relics and artifacts in addition to the tombs of some of China's most beloved emperors and empresses. This destination provides a welcome retreat from the indoor attractions in Beijing and encourages visitors to stroll through immaculate gardens and admire impressive statuary. Many people find this destination soothing.
Beijing Museum of Tap Water
The city's first water plant, which opened in 1908, arose not because of the Chinese citizens' need for drinking water, but to address the dangers of home and business fires throughout Beijing's streets. Now, housed in the shell of the original water treatment plant, the Beijing Museum of Tap Water ushers visitors through an extensive history of tap water. View vintage plumbing devices, maps, captioned photographs, and other interesting exhibits.
Beijing Folklore Museum
Ponder the logic and mysticism behind Chinese superstition, supernatural folktales, and ancient wisdom. The Beijing Folklore Museum features three distinct courtyards filled with statues, inscriptions, artwork, and stories to delight visitors of all ages. The colorful decor appeals to children in particular. If possible, visit this museum during the spring or the fall to celebrate the Chinese festivals held during those seasons.
Horse Culture Museum
The Chinese have celebrated the horse for hundreds of years, praising its strength and elegance through artwork, anecdotes, and poetry. Walk the halls of the Horse Culture Museum to learn why the horse remains close to the hearts of the Chinese, from ancient warriors to horse-crazy kids. Tour the relics of horsemanship past and the equine-themed merchandise from every era of Chinese history.
China Currency Museum
Located just west of the iconic Tiananmen Square, close to some of Beijing's finest hotels, the China Currency Museum boasts almost 300,000 objects related to Chinese currency. From ancient civilizations to modern manufacturing, this museum provides visitors with a history and cultural lesson in the role of money in the Chinese nation. Part if it lies in a functional bank.
The Bee Museum of China
Amateur entomologists and connoisseurs of honey delight in the simple but profound subject matter presented in the Bee Museum of China. This small museum features a history of the bee's impact on Chinese culture. View artwork, statuary, charts, reproductions of massive hives, and other attractions. Visitors can watch professional beekeepers at work and marvel at specimens of nearly every bee species in the world.
Finding lesser-known attractions in Beijing helps visitors feel more in-tune with the city and its inhabitants. Explore these six museums during your next vacation to better understand the intricacies of this city's rich culture.
Miles Young Travel Duder covers vacations, destination, travel tips, hotels, gear and everything else an adventurer needs to know.