Beijing Travel Blog› entry 3 of 13 › view all entries
From Osaka, we flew to Beijing which we last visited in 1998. We repeated the Forbidden City to realise that on our previous guided day-tour we saw only a fraction of it. This time we covered the western side, which had many apartments ... that wore us out and we will have to visit the eastern side on our third visit next time!
New sights for us were the Drum Tower (we witnessed an ancient time-keeping ritual using large drums, revived for tourism) and the Lama Temple (Tibet minus altitude sickness).
Something more interesting was the Mousie Dung (excuse spelling) mausoleum ... we saw his body but the highlight was the loyal people buying plastic bouquets to put in front of him. The bouquets get collected at the close of the day to be re-sold the next! I wish I could find a business proposition like that!
In the last 7 years, Starbucks and McDonalds have invaded seemingly every corner. Starbucks here is more expensive than in Osaka or Auckland (so I still have never tried it). A cup of coffee there can cost more than twice a well-made copy-watch.
The weather in Beijing is bone-dry ... to the extent that one taxi driver used a half-gnawed pineapple as air-freshener by leaving it under the rear windscreen. In most places it would turn a sickly putrid alchoholy smell!