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Summer 2009


CHINA | Monday, 13 July 2009 | Views [371] | Comments [3]

So I arrived in Beijing with relative ease but almost no sleep. Flew up with SriLankan Airways on a plane that was more than half empty. Brilliant flight. We landed in Beijing and, as as we were waiting to disembark, these people flew down the aisle pointing a 'gun' at everyone's forehead. Apparently this is their full proof test for swine flu. Anyway, I got through passport control easily, no queues or hassle. Also, very little help from anyone. No one speaks English and if they can't understand you they 'shoo' you away. This had been done to me about 5 times before I finally made it to the hostel. Also got royally ripped off by a 'taxi driver' who dumped me in the middle of nowhere but at least it was only 30 quid he got.I won't be making the same mistake again.

I arranged to meet Tim for dinner once it had finally stopped raining. We found what looked like a 'Westernish' restaurant (It had a few European people in it). We could only hope by pointing at the picutres and saying chicken that they would know what we were talking about. Luckily their english was good enough to let us know what picture was dog. In the end we went with chicken, very bony chicken and what we hoped was pork and off we went to Suzy Wong's, a bar to wash down our meal with a few cocktails!

Day 2

Woke up late to day, finally catching up on some sleep. Thought I'd woken up in Scotland - it was absolutely p***ing down. It has been a long time since I've seen rain like that. Just chilled out in Traveller's Cafe(below hostel) today - very busy with backpackers.

Day 3

Got up and had breakfast in the hostel - good food. Decided to go to The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square today. Both are amazing to see, particularly The Forbidden City. It is absolutely massive - a lot of walking to do. Luckily they provide automatic guides to help you understand what is what. It is 60 RMB to get in, 40 for the guide and the another 100 deposit for the guide. It was absolutely mobbed with tourists, most of whom appear to be Chinese. Walked back through less busy streets to look at some of the hutongs - hard to believe people live in these tiny streets. The people do tend to look you up in down. Apparently they don't mean to be rude but I did get hissed at by one old women and motioned to by another. Met Timn for dinner tonight and had Peking Duck. Lovely meal. If ever come to China, have to try it. Spent the rest of the evening talking to a Swedish couple over a few beers in one of the many street cafes on Wangfujing street.

Day 3

Spent the day strolling up and down Wangfujing Street. Went into the market off the main street. The delicacies thay have there! Seahorses, Scorpions (some of which are still alive even though they've been skewered), silk worms. You name it, they have it. Have to say, there is no way I'm brave enough to try any of that.

Laura arrived this afternoon. The 3 of us went to find some Chinese comedy club when turned out to be cancelled for a private party so instead Laura and I drank 3 bottles of red wine - it wasn't pretty! Great night tho!

Day 4

OMG! Went for massage and think they have crippled me. Have a lot of back pain. Laura thinks they have re - aligned me whatever that means. Surely the would have asked if that was ok first?

First experience of subway today to go to The Bird's Nest (Olympic Stadium). It is an impressive structure. Paid to have a look inside and spent a lot of the time being chased round the stadium by Chinese people(tourists) wanting a photograph with us. They were particularly keen on time. I guess being a lanky 6'5" englishman is a tourist attraction.

Had an amazing meal tonight in a local restaurant (The Yard I think). Food was amazing.

Day 5

The Great Wall and Ming Tombs. P***ing down all day which knida spoiled the view for The Wall. Didn't stop the tourists though - hundreds of us all scaling the wall - not a gentle walk. An impressive structure, well worth a visit. We also visited a jade factory - very expensive jewllery, The Ming Tombs - self explanatory. The Tea Room to try various types of tea, a silk factory and a chinese medical centre where we were given a foot massage and the doctors came in to give us a medical - ancient chinese medicine style.

Tonight is my last night and I am shattered. I fly to Sydney tomorrow. Have booked myself into Sydney Central YHA. It has an indoor pool - gonna treat myself for a couple of nights!




aw man, sounds well good, conned on the first day too! loving it! happens to the best of us eh. get ur pics of the great wall up on f/book soon as u get outta china. cant wait to see them x

  hicksy Jul 13, 2009 10:18 PM


Hey honey, sounds like you are managing to fit loads in. The massage sounds a little bit dodgy lol.

Hope the trip to Sydney is ok.....speak soon xxx

  Lynne Jul 20, 2009 8:38 AM


Hey Misses,

Your trip sounds great!!! Very busy.... Weather here crap with capital CR!!! Going to France next Wed hope that's a bit better. Little Nic is looking forward to meeting up with you. Although she's slightly concerned you're an avid snowboarder cos snow meant to be not that great but I said no that you weren't really, more of an avid drinker and she said that was great you'd fit in nicely!. Give the wee sprout a cuddle from me will you?? Speak soon,
Have fun

  Gillian Jul 22, 2009 12:18 AM

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