Forbidden City

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, October 7, 2005

Woke with a pretty terrible hangover so must have had loads of the incredibly cheap beer, they ran out so we had to use the shop over the street. Spent an hour or so trying to shake it off before heading out.

We were going to the Forbidden City, something I had been looking forward to whilst being in Beijing. In all honestly I was a little disappointed. It was incredibly repetitive and every building started to look the same. I even stopped taking photos as they were so similar. Still took a couple of hours to look around it though.

Once outside at the other end we thought why not climb the hill in Jingshan Park behind for an overhead view. Whilst I'm sure the view is fantastic on a clear day, today was a typical smoggy, foggy Beijing day. We could only just make out the tops of the roofs.

Walked back and went around a few of the "hutong" streets near our hostel and it was great to see traditional Chinese life. Whilst in Beijing we had to try Beijing duck so went to find the place near us in the Lonely Planet. It looked like a fast food restaurant and was pretty packed. We were approached by someone from outside who said the original restaurant was nearby so we followed.

The dinner was pretty awful. A bowl of veg covered in oil, some decidedly average Peking duck (with the ducks head on the plate) and all washed down with a bowl of salty soup containing all the bones. We got ripped off as well as it came to 108 yuan each when everything on the Chinese menu was less than 25 yuan!

Pretty pissed off we headed back to the hostel. On the way we passed a restaurant we knew served dog but we weren't prepared for what we witnessed. They were butchering a dog on the street! Thankfully it was dead when we arrived but we had heard they beat the dogs out the back first as they believe it adds to the taste. They used a blow torch to burn off all the hair and then scrubbed off the remain. I couldn't believe they were doing this in the middle of a dirty, rainy road, I assume it is so the locals can see it is fresh. He then took a big knife and the dog was reduced to a bucket of small pieces and pile of guts within 5 minutes. The butcher was getting pretty annoyed with all the people taking photos but what can you expect when you do this in the street? Had an early day tomorrow so headed straight to bed hoping for better weather tomorrow.
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