Sorry we haven't left a blog for over a week. Our internet connection wasn't too good in our hostel. So we'll give a brief summary of our week in Beijing.
We arrived on the 20th July and just as we landed there was a bit of excitement as the cabin crew were asking if there was a doctor or nurse on board! (just like in Airplane :D) Had a bit of trouble getting to the hostel, you're not allowed to take flamable aerosols on the subway i.e. all our deoderants and insect repellants so we had to get a taxi. We got to the hostel at about 7pm-ish, and just spent the rest of the evening in the hostel bar eating and drinking!
21st - Our first full day was spent getting to know the area and we went to Wangfujing Street which was one of the main shopping areas and we also went to Dongyue Temple you will have seen already in the photos.
22nd - On the second day we decided to spend the whole day at the Forbidden City (Palace Museum) which was amazing even if it was absolutely boiling and took ages to walk around with no map! But saying that we think the photos speak for themselves! After leaving by the south gate we crossed over to Tiananmen Square to have a wander round.
On the evening we asked the hostel to reccommend a restaurant that did Peking duck so we could go with our 'roomies' Kyle from Oz and Jelle from the Netherlands. The duck was very delicious!
23rd - On the Friday we went on the Great Wall and Ming Tombs trip that we booked with the hostel. It lasted from 8am to 5pm so for £18 each we thought it was a pretty good deal. We firstly went to a cloisenne factory where they were making vases out of copper (see photos), then we went to one of the thirteen Ming Tombs. We were suprised that there were no chinese people there as they regarded it as bad luck!! Then ou tour guide called Orange took us to a Jade factory and then the Great Wall! We were amazed by its sheer size! It was very hot though again so we only spent an hour on the wall as the section we visited (Baddaling) was going up into the hills and was all steps!! You can see on the photos that it was fairly hazy but we still got a fantastic view!!!! Then to lunch and we were most amazed by this as the restaurant we went to laid on a banquet for us with dish after dish of delicious food and also some Chinese rice wine which was 53%! After lunch we were taken to a silk factory where they showed us the process of how the silk came from the silk worm and is made into sheets and blankets. And finally we finished off the trip at a Chinese teahouse where we sampled different teas including Jasmine, Oolong and Litchi. We bought some and got a free 'PEE PEE BOY'. You'll have to find out what that is later!!;-)
Our trip was well worth it and it was made even better by our tour guide Orange!
In the evening the hostel put on a free dumpling party where we could all make our own dumplings then eat them and got a free beer into the bargain! We had so much fun!
24th - On the Saturday we went to the Lama Temple in the morning which again was very beautiful and it featured a huge Bhudda which measured 18metres above ground and 8 below. You can see how huge it was in the picture where Wayne is stood next to it! Then we went to the Temple of Heaven which was set in beautiful gardens.
On the evening we went for a chinese/sezchuan style hotpot with Kyle. We opted for a hot and spicy one thinking it wouldnt be too bad but when it came it was full of chilis. What we didnt know was that many of the chinese people werent even eating them but picking them out. However Anna decided to eat one whole and ended up nearly choking and her eyes turned red! Wayne also found it quite hot!
25th - We visited the Summer Palace which was built around a huge lake. There was beautiful scenery wherever we turned but it was still very hot so kept having to sit down for a rest and whenever we did so we were hounded by Chinese people who wanted a photo with us!!! But we didn't mind as it made us feel like celebs!
We went out on Sunday night with Kyle to some bars that were located round a large lake and in every one there was live music.
26th - We firstly visited the Jingshan park which was opposite the forbidden city. When we climbed to the top of the hill we got a magnificent view of the entire forbidden city.
We also decided to do some shopping to get souvenirs before we left and so went back to Wangfujing street. Anna decided to buy two pairs of shoes surprise surprise!!! We also went to get a foot massage to soothe our aching feet with our roommate Jelle. It was very relaxing!!
On our final everning we just had drinks in the bar with Jelle, Kyle and our favourite bar tender from the hostel 'Jon' - Michael Jackson's No 1 fan!
We had an absolutely fantastic time in Beijing. The hostel and staff were great, our roommates were fantastic and the sights were awesome!!
If anyone ever goes to Beijing we would definitely recommend staying at the Happy Dragon Hostel!!!!!!!