Hot Pants On The Great Wall
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 6 of 95 › view all entries
So as most of you know (or should know) Beijing is China's capital and has about 15.2 million people. And it feels like it. Something about China that surprised me, at least in the city, was how dirty it was. And that fact that people here spit like camels, even the old ladies! It's almost impressive. Regardless, it's a fun city and there's quite a lot to do there. I spent the better part of the first three days touring the enormous grounds of the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Lama Temple, Tian'anmen Square, the Great Wall, and generally getting lost inbetween. The Forbidden City covered such a massive amount of land, but I was disappointed that you couldn't actually go in any of the temples.
I really enjoyed the Temple of Heaven, though not so much for the temples themselves (which were still very impressive and at least were different than each other), but for the large park surrounding them. I went on a Tuesday morning and I found where all the unemployed or retired people hang out. I was amazed to see couples learning how to waltz and perform other ballroom dances. But I was even more shocked to see about 100 people randomly do some Chinese electric slide in unison to some techno-like song. Most of them older ladies. And then there was the group of people doing some group dance surrounded by observers. I think I had more fun watching the performances than the actual temple.
Thursday morning I made my way to the long-distrance bus station and eventually convinced the person that I wanted to GO somewhere on one and found two British girls sitting in the back, also on their way to the Great Wall. We struck up a conversation and ended up going together to this obscure, not quite legal (why do I keep doing illegal things here? I saw Locked Up Abroad, I should know better) part of the wall where you had to hike up a path and then up this rickety old ladder to the wall.
After the Great Wall we split ways and I headed to the Lama Temple. On my way I overheard someone in English saying they were lost so I turned to help and ended up spending the rest of the afternoon with Becky from England and Devin from Canada (eh?). We wandered to the Dong Hua Men night market where Devin got somewhat tricked/bullied into buying a deep fried snake on a stick. He said it tasted like fish. I tried a little (very little) and it was ok I guess, but I stuck to dumplings. We had a couple Tsingtao beers after on some rooftop bar where we discussed conspiracy theories.. which was interesting, but entertaining.
Friday night was my last night with Laura and Tommy. We went out to this really delicious Japanese restaurant with the most amazing Miso Soup.