Beijing Railway Hotel
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... area. We spent about an hour browsing the shops and bought some silk shirts.
Next stop was the hutongs or 'back alleys' of Beijing. We rented a cycle rickshaw and were ridden around the alleys observing the daily life of the area. People continue to live in these bustling hutongs in rows of small homes. One interesting observation was that people did not have personal toilet areas in the hutongs and to this day only use a public relatively open ...
... China we took (you guessed it) another 13 hour train into the south to reach the economic powerhouse of the country: Shanghai. By this point we were absolute champions in dealing with the challenges in the China's train rides as it marked our 86th hour on a train in a space of 16 days.
In Shanghai we were lucky enough to stay with Simon and Cody (plus many others :D) in a beautiful apartment right in the middle of ...
... train station around 8 so we sat around and prepared (mentally and physically) for the battle that lay ahead.
Boarding a train in China is legitimately a battle as people have no regard for anyone else and push you aside to get ahead.
It didn't turn out to be a bad as we thought and we boarded the (long) train to Beijing from Kunshan station.
The long ride gave me a chance to ...
... to visit, but that was all part of the master plan. I had read online about the section that we weren't allowed to visit and had heard it was stunning and that they weren't many visitors, so when we got to the no entry sign at the end, we carried on past it, to the unrestored section. To start with, there were still lots of visitors, but the numbers soon dropped as we got further from the touristy section and deeper into the overgrown section of the wall. The overgrown section was ...
... was no big deal. We paid and got off the cab, walked to the metro and went three stops home. I am still fascinated that transportation is so cheap here: cab ride of 10 km about 2 USD, going by metro 0.15 USD. So even though we talk of very few money I tend to go by metro, as it simply is a lot faster and I rather spend my money on great food.
Back at the hotel you cannot imagine, how great it felt to fall in my king-size ...