Beijing Travel Blog› entry 7 of 7 › view all entries
Woke up around 9am to some amazing scenery, right in the middle of the Gobi desert now, I am sure you can imagine the scene. Past a pretty large section of the Great Wall and came into Beijing at around 2pm.
We met Tracey our Honco and transferred to our hotel by about 3.30pm, we decided to meet again at 5pm. I was starving so after a quick ATM stop went straight to the closest food. Every possible variety of meat on a stick cooked by a tiny street vendor….into it!!! I was so tasty, Tracy came past though and was a bit mortified that we would not have a solid enough constitution for it. I reckon that as long as its steaming hot and looks fresh ish it is probably safer than something from a dodgey back kitchen you cant see.
Went back and showered then, went to our meeting to get our map and general instructions, next stop was a super local restaurant for Peking duck.
After dinner all the boys were off to try and get a cut throat shave (which didn’t work out as apparently their hair is thicker than a Chinese man’s) and some of us (girls) were out in search of a Brazilian wax. Quite the challenge and after some pretty racy sign language we thought we better give it up in case we were asking for a bit more than we had bargained for…happy ending?...I think not!!!
Had a look around some of the cute little boutique shops and then back to the hotel when we realised that it was still only about 8pm! Back out we go to the ‘night market’ (Bar Street) just up the road. It was soooooooooo cool. Tiny little streets with little cubby hole bars and designer stores.
After a few martini’s we went back to the hotel. I went to bed but it was a pretty exciting night for Anna and Jay and their brother, Tom and his fiancé Anaa were arriving from their home in Shanghai.
Up at 6.45am for 7.30am bus to the Great Wall. There are many different parts that you can visit but we went to the Mutianyu section. It is a 2250 metre long section of The Wall, 90kms north east of Beijing.
Summer palace in the afternoon. It was very beautiful but there was so much to see you really would need a whole day and a clear head to fully absorb it. Highlight was the full sized boat made of marble…..crazy!!
Next went for a drive past the Olympic water cube and the birds nest.
She had some cool cups and pots too.
Next destination, the pearl market. 5 floors of goodness! Electronics, bags, makeup, jewellery, traditional gifts, clothes, silk…..whoa!!! spent a few hpurs and more than a few yuan there, then on to the metro back to the hotel for a dinner of hotpot.
Kind of like a singaporian steam boat. A coal burner with water above it in the centre of the table. Raw meat and vegetables that you then put in the water to cook. Good fun and good chopstick practice!!!
Went back and met Anna, Anna, Jay and Tom to go out for a drink at an awesome little called ‘Bed’.
Moved to a new hostel first thing, as the vodka train trip was officially now over. Checked into a 6 bed dorm with cool beds that could be totally enclosed by pulling a curtain across. Then Helen and I set off. We stopped for some breakfast/lunch in a little café ish thing. She had tasty dumplings and I had an initially tasty but turning into dodgy, not hot enough beef fried rice…oh dear! Also had spring rolls…but not as we know it, no veges here. It was a kind of black bean paste inside. Pretty good actually just not as expected.
Now off to the forbidden city. Ended up walking quite a way around it because we came at it from the wrong direction but we got there in the end.
Now to the silk market, another 5 story monster. Similar stuff but more clothes, sunnies and watches. All the haggling and yelling is pretty exhausting but I am now the proud owner of a Rolex J
Had a beer and went back to the hostel for a change and a wash. Decided to go back over to the area of the first hotel. Caught up with Anna, Jay and the crew, then set out for another Peking duck experience….
Taxi home from there. Wrote a few postcards and then had to go to bed cause was exhausted.
Tried to get up early and go to the electronics market with the boys but it didn’t happen.
Coffee in tow we went to see preserved Mao. After quite a walk around Tiananmen square we found Monday is the only day we couldn’t go in to see him……..bugger! back to the pearl market briefly for a few last minute bargains then to the hostel to pick up my bags and catch up with the other guys. Didn’t get to see them so got on my way back to our first hostel to drop of my bags.
The reception however didn’t want a bar of me and after some near fisty cuffs I went out for a walk resembling a pack horse. This pretty much counted lunch out casue I couldn’t fit through any of the doors. I did manage to fit into one shop to get final pressies and found a beautician I could fit in. I was gonna go for a massage but figured trekking about afterwards would probably undo all the good anyway. Manicure and pedicure it is. Started by getting my feet soaked in warm water with rosebuds, then she cut, sanded, filed and painted until I had the prettiest toes in china. Then repeat process on the hands. Was lovely and took just over 2 hour, even better it only cost the equivalent of 10 pounds….and I also got free rosebud tea!! It dod look disturbingly like what my feet had been soaking in but lets just say it wasn’t!!
It was pretty much 5pm so went back and met Jay, Anna, Anna and Tom for dinner.
Back to pick up bags and straight into a cab after goodbye kisses and cuddles. I think I fell asleep on the way but the driver woke me up when we were there. Checked in on time and spent my last little bits of Yuan on many variations of fluid….well that’s what I thought until 5minutes before boarding when I found a 100 Yuan note (about 10 pounds) in a safe pocket. I seriously need to stop doing that!!!!
Anyway in an aisle seat next to a Chinese girl called Grace. I fell asleep again pretty much straight away. Woke up for a wine and then straight back to sleep.
Woke up after about 8 hours sleep….yay!!! got a Chinese noodle breakfast and landed on Sydney a few hours later after 12 and a half hours total. Had a 6 hour stop over and then on to Wellington. Home sweet home J