Arrival in China
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
So after days of preparation I finally embarked on my trip to Beijing.
Two flights 1st to Qatar (day flight). Then onwards to Beijing (night flight). 1st flight really nice plane - extra leg room seat and no one next to me - EXCELLENT. Must stay awake and sleep on 2nd flight so as not to screw up my body clock. 2nd flight no leg room - but SLEEP :-). Arrival in Beijing all went smoothly arrived at hostel.
Every other time have arrived in big city at start of trip haven't liked it. But Beijing is cool - much less hectic/hassle than expecting and just a really good vibe about it. Part of this was to do with fact a decided to stay in a hostel a little away from the main tourist area.
Most of the other Westerners staying in this part of town (one of the few protected low rise areas of Beijing) are teaching English within South East Asia and are all really nice - this is like there holiday time so they are not shy of a few cheekies of an evening.
Besides from general observations - the great wall was brilliant - went quite a way out and then did a 10km walk along the wall (no fear of being fenced off for protection out here)! Also have been to the forbidden city and the Summer palace - the old emperors used to live in some luxory! Besides that have also walked around the squares, shops and parks of Beijing, ate snake and scorpion at the night markets - all the basics.
The Chinese have been really friendly. Getting lost in these streets is eay - but find a reasonable crowded place open a map - and the intrigue of the locals will mean anyone who can speak some English runs over to assist you. This ploy had been working perfectly until yesturday when a young graduate man helped me and then started walking me to the park I was looking for. He didn't seem to be selling anything so went with it - chatty chatty chatty. Then eventually he said "you mind me accompanying you" "no no is fine but when get to park just want to be on my own and relax" "no no you want company in the park"! Ah oh - after this loss of face I couldn't give him one of my dodgy back to front handshakes or decline so was forced into third handshake of trip - sending a surge of pain through my body.
Tonight night train to Xi'an - the home of the Terracotta warriors. This time I have opted for more of a party hostel - so lets see what will transpire next.....