Thoughts of Beijing

Beijing Travel Blog

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At Forbidden City
Sitting on the overnight train to Xi'an now.  Xi'an is famous for its ancient Terra Cotta Warriors that were uncovered back in the 70's after being buried for over 2000 years. I remember first reading about these warriors in National Geographic a long time ago, so I'm really excited to see them.

What I'm also excited about is leaving Beijing!  As I described in the last blog entry, the Beijing area is full of wonderful things to see, but traveling is not only about the seeing the sites its about meeting people.  Unfortunately the people of Beijing make the latter very hard.  Now, don't get me wrong I don't expect people to be at my beck and call or roses being laid before my feet, but I do hope to meet some people and get to know them in their setting, learn their culture.
At the Summer Palace
  This is not the case in Beijing.  I don't even know where to start with the people of Beijing.  Ok how about they are crass, rude, impatient, and the most unfriendly people I’ve ever met! I've traveled extensively throughout Asia over the years, and I have NEVER, EVER felt so unwelcome in a place.  

In all other Asian countries I've visited, people generally do stare at me, but their stares are very curious and innocent and usually those stares are followed by a big smile.  Meeting people from new cultures and learning about their lives is why I travel, its those big smiles that has brought me to Asia four years in a row now.  If you've seen my photography, I capture people full of smiles. In 5 days in Beijing I only took ONE of my “people” photos and I know that cheerful old man was not from Beijing, but a visitor.
Hanging out in Tianammen Square. No Len I didn't flash any gang signs ;)

So what’s the difference? The difference in Beijing is those stares I get are more like looks of disgust then curiosity. I really don't know what they are thinking, but from the looks I would think something pretty bad. What is unfortunate about all of this is I think most of the unfriendliness I've received is because I'm dark.  I say this as some girls I've meet, who are blond, said they generally had a favourable response from the people.  People were intrigued with their blond hair.

Beijing has left such a bad taste in my mouth, that earlier today I was contemplating to leave China and go somewhere else, thoughts of making that trip to Mongolia started to intrigue me again.  But right now after talking to some fellow travelers, I've been told the people of Beijing are like that and the rest of China is different.
At Summer Palace with Ward, aka the Dutch Rockstar.
  Too bad no one told that to some Aussies I was hanging out with.  They planned for months their trip to China, but after just 4 days in Beijing, they changed their flights and are leaving Shanghai in 2 days to go to Thailand (aka the land of Smiles).  They cut their China trip short but a week and a half.

Anyways, I do believe it will get better, I know there are lots of nice friendly people in the near future,  and the unfriendliness is just a Beijing thing.  If its not, then I'm gone, and as far as I'm concerned the people of Beijing can all kiss my dark ass ;).

Here's looking forward to fun times and great people in Xi'an! :)



silenthillover says:
haha yep we got those looks your talking about as well
Posted on: Oct 15, 2009
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At Forbidden City
At Forbidden City
At the Summer Palace
At the Summer Palace
Hanging out in Tianammen Square.  …
Hanging out in Tianammen Square. …
At Summer Palace with Ward, aka th…
At Summer Palace with Ward, aka t…
photo by: Deats