The Avantguardian Igrien

travel | lifewelltravelled

July 2017
Created for Cathay Pacific

The Avantguardian Igrien

The Avantguardian Igrien

As a little girl, I used to always dream about being one of those princess heroines out of a Chinese wuxia film. Wuxia films are the equivalent of today’s superhero films I guess. Instead of superpowers, there’s lots of swords, archery, horse riding through deserts, and somehow the heroes were able to do it all wearing beautiful long gowns. One day I asked my mother if there was a chance I was a long lost princess of China (true story). I don’t think I’ve ever heard my mother burst out in laughter harder than on that day.

After my trip to Hong Kong (which you can read all about here), I continued my journey with Cathay Pacific to Beijing. The capital city of the Mainland. I arrived in the morning after a short flight from Hong Kong. It’s amazing to see the contrast between the two city. Where Hong Kong is wildly modernized, filled with high-rises and densely populated, Beijing has a lot more of a cultural side. There’s lots of high-rises as well but it’s not as densely populated as Hong Kong (mainly I think because Beijing is so big).

Hotels in Beijing

The Opposite House


The Avantguardian Igrien
The Avantguardian Igrien

One of the things you’re going to want to look out for in Beijing is the weather. In the winter, I’m told it can get down to extremes (well below zero – nothing like we have here in the Netherlands). And in the summer, it’s bloody hot. When I visited last month, temperatures rose to 35 degrees Celsius. The heat was unbearable for me!

Beauty products I brought to Beijing

1. Sheet masks. Not that I needed the extra hydration, but the cooling sensation from a sheet mask is what you will look for every day!

2. Minimal make up. With the heat, I don’t like slathering on too much product on my skin. So on my face, I keep it simple with a mascara (Monsieur Big, my current favorite), a lipgloss (by Armani Beauty) and a soft bronzer (Les Beiges by Chanel) to add definition to my face.

3. A serum (La Mer) as a moisturizer. With the humidity, you’re not really going to need a moisturizer. A serum goes deeper into the skin than a moisturizer so this is a step you’re not going to want to miss!

4. A perfume! Preferably paired with a deodorant. My current favorite perfume is the Armani Beauty Si. Such a lovely summer fragrance that is light and airy!

5. Sunglasses. You’re going to need it!

The Avantguardian Igrien

The Avantguardian Igrien

Top | Maje
Skirt | No21
Earrings | Whistles

Restaurants in Beijing

Country Kitchen


Bian yi fang

The Avantguardian Igrien
The Avantguardian Igrien

The Avantguardian Igrien

Jetset life in Beijing

When you’re traveling, I’m sure you have your schedule set to the hour. No? So that’s just me then? Okay! But I’m sure that you want to see everything wherever you go and that determination makes for a full schedule. I used to do that. I felt like it was my duty as a traveller to see as much as I could. Chances are I won’t come back any time soon – if ever. But traveling like that is exhausting. And time flies and before you know it you’re on your plane back home again!

For this trip, I did a lot of sightseeing but I also reserved a couple of hours of spare time all for myself. I didn’t want to schedule any meetings or sightseeing tours. I spent one evening in, doing absolutely nothing but relax – poolside – with a cocktail in one hand and a bunch of magazines next to me. It was heaven. Not only did it make me relax after a whole day of walking my feet off, it also made me take in the moment and enjoy that I was actually in Beijing. 

So tip to you travelers – always reserve a couple of hours for yourself!

After five days in Beijing, it was time for me to head back home again. Back to my office, to K, to my reality. But fully recharged and inspired. Beijing, you were wonderful.

The Avantguardian Igrien

The Avantguardian Igrien

The Avantguardian Igrien
The Avantguardian Igrien

things to see in Beijing

The great wall

forbidden city

temple of heaven