16.10.2009 - 21.10.2009 22 °C
We arrived safely in Beijing and we are loving it. Its really cheap and really random! Today we'v been trying different food and so far we'v had squirrell (we think) on a stick, square sausage (we think) fingers, spring rolls and a pancake type thing...hmmm for dinner we'r having crisps and fruit!
We arrived at Beijing airport & managed to get on the airport shuttle bus. When that dropped us off we had a bit of trouble finding the next bus stop we were asking every1 where to go and no-one spoke any English! Eventually we went in a bookshop and a woman in there walked us to the right bus stop - the numbers are painted on the floor!
We got on the bus and manged to find our hostel with no problems except our bags which are stupidly heavy!!! The Red Lantern Hotel was really nice down a Chinese Hutong (Alley) with courtyards and little water fountains with fish in...really nice. We dumped our stuff and went out for a wander...ended up walking around for ages we were so tired but there was so much to see! down little alleys all these ppl with stalls selling food and stuff would pop up and there are hundreds of bikes, mopeds and traffic everywhere!
Dani sent a package home of clothes that she didnt think she'd need bcoz the bags are too heavy! I sent 1 Skirt and 1 pair of Jeans...probs shouldv sent more....
Cigarettes cost 55p!!! and we brought some beers and food which came to 2 quid!! really cheap!!
Its safer to walk in the middle of the road than the pavemnet cos the cars drive on the pavement and so do thousands of crazy ppl on bikes! Green men & Zebra crossings dont mean anything here!
After walking around for ages we went back to the Red Lantern and tried to stay awake for as long as we could b4 crashing out...so tired!
Today we checked out of our 1st hostel and got the subway to our group meeting place. The subway is really busy and NOONE speaks English haha. Also everyone is seriously on the swine flu panic and we have both got coughs! keep getting some dodgy looks!
Our back packs are ridiculous they are so heavy!! but at least we'll be getting fit!
Oh and the weather was really hot and sunny yesterday but today its really windy and a bit cold =( We had our 1st chinese meal using chopsticks was great! Its a lot easier to use chopsticks in China than it is in the UK for some reason!!
After our meal we went 2 the hotel where we were meeting our tour group at 6pm. We checked into our room a really nice posh hotel called ChongWenMen... we didnt think we'd be staying in posh hotel rooms we thought we'd be in scummy hostels!
At 6pm we went and met our tour group - all really nice ppl there are 13 of us in total 2 couples and every1 is English except for 1 Ozzie, 1 American and 1 Canadian. Our tour guide is called Nicole she's really good.
After the tour group meeting we went for another Chinese meal and found out that we had paid sooo much for our 1st Chinese meal...in total with beer it came to about 2.50!
After that we went back to the hotel room and went 2 bed.
We got up early and met our tour guide for the day Kevin, and we went to Tianneman Square & the Forbidden City. It was cool really huge and there were so many ppl there. The Chinese dont get to see a lot of Blonde ppl or foreigners so they always want 2 take pictures its funny. We walked around there for a while then afterwards we went to a Chinese park opposite and walked up a hill we were so proud of ourselves for wlaking up this hill. We got really good view of Beijing and the Forbidden City it was really nice.
Afterwards we got a bus to The Pearl Market which s hillarious, they try to get you to buy stuff but they'r really aggressive they grab hold of you and dont let you leave! I got a massive bottle of Escada perfume for a fiver and some new I-Pod headphones for 2.50! Dani got a wkd pair of Rayban's for 8.00!
After that we walked around for a bit and got a McDonalds! (oh dear!) then went back to the hotel for quiet 1 ...We wanted to gt something to drink but they only sell beer so we brought some random drink for about 60p and later found out its Chinese Rice Wine - 56%!! haha we had the Great Wall of China to do in the morning!
Great Wall of China!!! We woke up about 7am , met our group and set off on a mini bus for the Great Wall...It's amazing when we 1st started walking we were all out of breath and hot but once we got into it it was so good walking up and down thousands of steps through the mountains it looked amazing... we walked to the highest point that we were allowed - the 20th lookout point and we were well happy! Going up thre were some points that were so stepp and actually a bit dodgy haha... on the ay down there were loads of options you could walk, get a toboggan(??) or a cable car.. we decided to walk...hardcore in China haha
That night Nicole took us to the night market where we all tried wierd bugs on sticks... Scorpions & Huge Bugs...1 of the blokes tried wasps...on a stick! nice hmmm They tasted awful!
After that we went out to a bar where it was a pound for Tequila Sunrises!! great! such a wierd place they were playing Electro house to start with then a Cuban band started it was great every1 was up and dancing and having a great time. It was definately a highlight... unfortunately 1 of the boys got his wallet stolen.. they took it and used his card in a Cafe round the corner! random!!
The next day we woke up with a bit of a hangover and managed to get our stuff together and meet Kevin the tour guide for a cycle tour through Beijing! It was amazing! Best hangover cure ever! the bikes were wkd we had bells on and everything! Beijing love thir bikes they have got a cycle lane which is about the width of 5 driving lanes on the motorway! Kevin also took us through the Beijing Hutongs so we could see the old parts of Beijing...it was a highlight... things look so different on a bike. We also saw the Beijing Opera Theatre.