My 3 concubines

Beijing Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 27 › view all entries

We decide to take up Chandlee's recommendation to go to the Jade Hostel where he was staying. He gave me the hostel card with a small map on it so we as real cheapskates we took our change with the public transport. First a bus to the nearest metro station and from there to Tianenmen Square East station and from there on probably a little hike of about 15 minutes. This little hike went on to become a a decent hike of one hour with our backpacks still on. Luckily for us two friendly old Chinese women guided us through the hutongs to the hostel. We would have never found it ourselves.

After checking in the dormitory we headed to the Forbidden City or "Cuidad Provida". We tried to get the student discount but they don't give discounts at all at the "Cuidad Provida" so we had to pay the full entrance and took an automated audio guide in Espagnol and English for me. At the entrance I wanted to have a "jumping photo" of me and jumped around so Paloma could take the photo of me. While I was jumping around like an idiot the audio tour slipped from my neck and fell crashed onto the floor of the "Cuidad Provida". As with most Chinese products there not really crash resistant and now I have a broken automated audio tour guide of the Cuidad Provida as a souvenir. Because of the 2008 Beijing Olympics the city is heavily renovated so the most interesting buildings are closed untill 2008. That's a bummer as the city is robbed from it's most beautifull pearls in her crown. In the imperial garden there is a tree and everybody who sits on the tree will be bound by love for eternity. So now I'm bound by love for eternity with my 3 concubines.

The weather was great when we visited the Summer Palace so we could take a water bicycle and take ride on the water and enjoy the sun. We really didn't do much else but to enjoy the warm October sun and chill out in the park. That evening I meet Chandlee and his sister Halle and we go to bar street to have a drink with some girls that worked in the hostel.

Next on our "to-do" list was "La Gran Muraria" near Simatai and according to the "bible" this is supposed to be the most spectacular part of the entire wall as the wall suddenly sky rockets in the air and offers some of the most amazing vistas. On our climb to the top of the wall we are persued by some persistant sellers and I promise one to take a look in shop when we go back. As real vultures they circle around their prey, us, and soon we call them our own private sherpa's. They follow us all the way to tower number 12. From this tower up to tower 16 should be the spectacular part of the wall, but upon arrival all we see is a fence and a sign saying: Off Limits Danger. Ana's sherpa tells us that there have been some fatal accidents of Chinese tourist last year and that's why they closed it. So we return and this is the cue for our sherpas to attack their prey. My sherpa is particulary disappointed that I won't buy anything from her shop, I just promised her to have a look what I did, that she starts hitting me and crying. Even that won't change my mind to buy anything from her.

The last evening together we spend in the Beijing Roast Duck Restaurant eating "pato pekines" or Beijing Duck. Sara had told Ana and Paloma several months before they went to China that she knew a very good restarant in Beijing where you can eat the best "Pato Pekines" and reminded them almost everyday of it. I must say the duck we ate was the best "Pato Pekines" I have ever tasted and for the fun of it we even got a card saying which duck we ate after their grand opening in 1800 something.

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photo by: Eric