Starting with the most epic weather ever known in Beijing for the Great Wall of China. A life long dream of mine I can now say is ticked off the bucket list.
Actually got up in time for breakfast this morning, wanted to try the Chinese version of an English breakfast, basically the same but no baked beans.
Came back up to the room to get dressed and go to the Forbidden City, ended up passing out. The Great Wall ruined us!
We did eventually surface again and took the subway to Tian’ānmén Square. Somehow ended up in an unmoving queue for what, we never found out.
Consulting the apple map we realized where we needed to be, walking up a road which isn’t sign posted at all, but is lined with people selling souvenirs, so based on this we guessed we were in the right place!
Eventually finding the entrance and ticket office we entered into the Forbidden City.
We splashed out and paid for audio guides, ¥40 each, which worked intermittently, changing languages and stopping halfway through its spiel about the location.
From visiting temples in Taiwan, and some on Hainan, I’m used to being able to go in and take photos. Here, they block off the front entrance where you would be able to take the best photos, so everyone scrambles to take photos from the side doors.
After all this walking around the forbidden city we were knackered and had worked up an appetite. We head back on the subway, realized we had paid more than needed on the way, due to being told by the receptionist in the hostel the journey would cost ¥6 each, but it actually should have cost ¥3.
As we head back to the hostel, Will wanted to stop in a supermarket to get some beer and munchies. He asked if I wanted anything, I told him to surprise me. He comes back with a bag of goodies, I ask him what he bought, he says ‘supplies!’
Will fancied dumplings, and we found a place close to our hostel that did dumplings and kung pao chicken. Done!
So, apart from the heating being stuck on full blast in our room, beetles crawling all over Will’s bed and someone with the noisiest flip flops ever walking up and down the corridor outside the room repeatedly, we slept ok.
Breakfast of a questionable chicken sandwich which we had to choose last night (I think the sandwiches had been in the fridge for a few days before we got there).
We chose Jinshangling as it was noted to be the least touristy. It was slightly more expensive but definitely worth it. Our group was the only group on the wall and Will and I raced ahead (more Will setting the pace and me desperately trying to keep up!)
With all the flying and waiting around, first day in Beijing is a chill out and get our bearings day.
Found a cafe that actually did mint tea (doesn’t exist on Hainan!) and planned our route around China, attempting to capture all the main highlights of the country.
Stopped for some snacks in the supermarket and found a HUGE can of beer! We’re easily impressed.
Perhaps my biggest whinge about living in China was the lack of decent chocolate, so I did put in a request, and Will delivered…
Better unpack from the last trip!
And I want to learn ukulele.
And I want to go for lunch with friends.
And I need to buy some food.
And I need to pack up my stuff that needs to go home.
And I want to sleep.
And I need to learn some more Chinese.
And I need to book my flights for my adventures after China.