I miss coffee. Everything here is pretty damn cheap, but coffee – if you can find it – is not one of those things. It would make the early mornings a little easier, but not that I’m complaining about it, we’ve seen some pretty badical* things so far.
*my new favourite word, thanks to Dave^
^This is a real photo of Dave, with coffee (IN A BAG!!):
Our Beijing experience was pretty standard to begin with, visiting Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City. We happened to begin our Beijing stay on the Chinese labour day holiday, May Day, so everywhere we headed was packed with tourists from all over the country soaking up their long weekend.
The Forbidden City was an impressive sight, a walled palace smack dab in the middle of the city and formerly home to several emperors. I didn’t quite understand the ‘city’ part of the name until I was inside (read: the place is HUGE!). It took us the best part of a couple hours to stroll through the place, with several pottery and artwork exhibits, gardens and a load of different thrones, bedrooms and palatial buildings. I don’t know what I was expecting of the place and to be honest it wasn’t as awe inspiring as I had expected, but the size of the place was what made it hard to grasp, especially knowing that at one point in time it housed something like only about 5 people… but that’s a fact Dave tells me and if you know Dave, you just don’t argue with him.
You’d be a massive dork to go all the way to Beijing and not visit the Great Wall. I mean, we’re all massive dorks anyway (see here), but we still made it to the great wall out at Jinshanling, about 3 hrs out of Beijing. This section of the wall was partially restored in some places, but mostly original for a lot of the area we walked through. It’s one of the lesser crowded sections so I think we wound up picking the best place to see it.
Day 3 was a bit more chillaxed as we headed for the Temple Of Heaven, it’s a massive park with a temple and other buildings of spiritual significance where they would make sacrifices in hopes of receiving bumper harvests and the like. The buildings were really ornate, but just being able to stroll around large areas of green space was a welcome change from the dusty and grimy concrete jungle that is the rest of Beijing.
So you come to Beijing, you see Tianamen, Forbidden City, The Great Wall, what else? The Olympic Site? Well yeh, I’m getting to that bit, but you’re totally missing the super awesome dragon escalator. In case you didn’t catch that the first time, we went and saw a dragon,with a freaking escalator inside of it! And even better than that, it’s the world’s longest escalator! Switching levels at the shopping centre will never be the same again.
This is all at Long Qing Xia gorge, about 2 hours out of Beijing and an approx. AU$4 round trip. There is some really pretty scenery up there and it’s a sweet way to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There was still some ice around the place, evidently it snows up there in the winter. The water had quite a few dead fish floating around so it must have been pretty polluted, but otherwise the place was great.
The Olympic site was where we spent a good chunk of our last day. We didn’t do any tours or do much at all but take photos and act like stupid tourists. Loads of fun.
So that was the story of us four kids in Beijing. Now here are some random photos that don’t fit elsewhere in the story:
Oops, I almost forgot the story arc. Maccas coffee, I’m loving’ it.