September 26th, 2008 – by: ynna
I travelled to Beijing last year, month of September- just a week after the 2008 Olympics was over. Much to my amazement, I thought Dubai has the most impressive airport but when i saw Beijing airport, I immediately changed my mind. They have the coolest ceiling ive ever seen =) but oh, i remember the flight- was a torture! most smelly flight ive been into! checked in at radisson hotel and arranged for a tour in the front desk. during this time, there was a "melamine" issue in china so we were warned not to take any dairy or milk products. but i totally forgot about it anyway. went out to have dinner in a local chinese restaurant and my golly, i ordered a milk shake! i didnt realize what i was told about until i finished my drink! but anyway, nothing happened to me ;) after having dinner, my colleagues went back to the hotel and i have gone for a walk all by myself.
great wall =)
.. i noticed that NOBODY speaks english! and almost everybody rode a bike- which was cool =) i always do this- walking in a foreign land all by myself- its makes me appreciate things... the next day was the tour day =) the sun was up and shining and the sky was clear (which they say is rare in that part of the country)... we drove to the great wall about 1-2 hours with a tour guide who speaks english! haha! we got to the foot of the mountain and you have to ride in a thing that looks like a bench in a cable (i dunno what theyre called, haha) which takes you to the wall itself. it was amazing! the wall stretched from mountain to mountain- the length of it was just incredible. and i learned a lot of things from the tour guide. the pavement of the wall is slanting- which prevents the water to go to the mongolian side when it rains =) and the wall was even built with bones in it- the people died and just mixed into the wall's foundation.
i conquered the great wall =)
while absorbing all the information, i was drawn back in time, and felt a strong bewilderment among the people who created this marvel and the person who made them create it... walked up to the wall and when we were finally exhausted, went back down through what it looked like a "luge" (in singapore)... it was really fun! at first i thought i was going to die because it was speedy, alright, haha! after the great wall we went to a jar factory.. i cant remember what they call these jars exactly but they were traditional jars which were made of metal and powdered colors... and they were expensive alright- 1 cost about 4000 RMB! then we went to the forbidden city... upon arrival, vendors will greet you with all sort of stuff that they sell... anyways, we went into the imperial grounds and was told that the pavement is 2 meters solid cement from the ground under! - truly, the emperor was a bit paranoid to think that somebody will dig on the ground to kill him! haha! - very interesting though.
.. anyways, we strolled around the palace and the rooms and so on. and there was an imperial garden which has sort of a "tower - like" place where you could see the outside world. i learned that the emperor has about 2000 concubines!!!! everynight, they show him the list of women and he just points out whichever name there is- and that woman who was picked is wrapped in a blanket and sent to the emperor- and you know what happens afterwards- then after the "act", they wrap the woman in the blanket again and send her to her room... those women were sent to the palace by their families- they were the most beautiful women, thats why they were selected. and once they enter the forbidden city, never got out... the only way to look through the other side of the world was through that tower in the imperial gardens.
.. i can just imagine what kind of life they have to live! that was the last stop of the tour... went back to the hotel and i couldnt remember what i did before catching a flight back to Dubai... =) but China--- it's a very interesting place to behold...