Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
25Trip End Jul 24, 2010
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Ni hao! In case you haven't guessed that is hello in Mandarin!
Wow, the group still can't believe that we are actually here in Beijing, yet we have had so much fun in the small amount of time that has passed. As we haven't travelled to any other destination we are not going to be able to give you the standard write up of each place. Instead we'll do it by dates:
Arrived and were exhausted after our tedious stop off at Singapore, although we never ventured out of the airport it seemed like a really sterile and massive place
The next morning we hired bikes and headed for Tiananmen Square. It was great to enjoy the freedom of cycling around such a massive city - freedom we hadn't had in India due to the heat of the day/nature of the roads etc
A mammoth day! We somehow managed to oversleep our alarms (as we have everyday this week!) but quickly headed on bikes to the Forbidden city. It is a huge complex (we'd severely underestimated the size!) showcasing fantastic period architecture and a great garden at the rear. We visited the impressively named halls of Imperial Supremacy, Supreme Harmony, Mental Cultivation, and Heavenly Peace, before decideing that 3 hours was enough and calling it a day.
30 minutes and 5 kilometres later, we found ourselves at the famous Silk Market! Few words can describe this place, but we'll natter on for another paragraph cause you probably have nothing better to do than read this blog. Ahem. The market is essentially a place to buy knock off brands, and was densely crammed and 7 floors high. We only made it to 2-3 of the floors but our wallets and our legs had had enough. We used it as a chance to execute our newly honed bargaining skills, and came out with a few corkers from the 'Ralph Lauren' stores... The bargaining was largely done on calculators, but the rather aggressive shopkeepers were more than happy to shout "You are CRAZY MAN!", "This price not POSSIBLE!", "Give me BEST price", "Give me LAST price", "Give me FINAL price" and finally "You are JOKING me!" at the top of their voices, whilst forcibly grabbing our wrists (Ollie even got a half-hearted punch to the shoulder in one rather heated encounter...) We had alot of fun and are now looking really rather good in our new attire!
Thanks for reading folks. Today we visit the Summer Palace, and tomorrow we scale The Great Wall itself! Hope to update before leaving Beijing for Tianjin.