We are Beij'ing!

Trip Start Nov 28, 2011
Trip End Apr 09, 2013

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Where I stayed
Peking Yard Hostel

Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From airport it is easy to get along and the city transport as well is good to manage. It took us about hours all Beijing together to get into the Peking Yard Hostel and just two hour later we were in bed, for a sleep-catch up. Then to the Lama temple [bit late but the outside is worth it already] and a lovely bowl served as a good dinner and after a quick chat with the two Aussies Jeff and Tahlia we had the next days plan: Great Wall of China.

Early get up and to the Metro the next train was quite later. Ok, so a coffee for now and the next train. 1 1/2 hours train ride we were there walking up the Hero part and then up again to the other direction.
The Great Wall of China ‘zig-zags’ central-east Asia and it is an incredible structure. It took over a thousand years to build and is over 2000 kilometres in length. It is the longest, oldest, most time consuming construction project ever attempted, in history. It is said that the Great Wall can be seen from Earth orbit, although there is some dispute regarding this. Nevertheless we can confirm that it can easily seen from the plane. And it is beautiful!
The Great Wall was built for defensive purposes, especially to stop attack from the north of China. Emperors feared that China would be conquered from the north. The Wall stretches across deserts and up and down mountain ranges. Building started in the Qin dynasty (221-206BC) and continued until the Jin dynasty (1115-1234AD). It was part of a Chinese strategy of preventing mass invasion. In the early years the walls were made of rammed earth but as hundreds of years past more sophisticated methods of building were developed with rocks, bricks and mortar being used. It is estimated that over one million people helped in the construction of the Great Wall. Unfortunately the haze was getting thicker, probably another pollution record from Beijing blowing over, so we headed for the train. Next one in two hours, so a shared taxi brought us back to Beijing and the Metro to the Hostel.

But where ever you are in and around Beijing, some thing always follows you: "Chhrroagh .. Pffiit"
The Chinese are huge fans of hocking up everything, dragging their slimes from the furthest toe up to their throat and spitting it anywhere and everywhere. They believe that it is a hygienic thing to do, more so than our western tradition of blowing our noses and sticking the tissue in our pockets. With all due respect, that is exactly what we did the first days - and intend to keep as a habit.

Peking Duck for Dinner and we found the restaurant in the lovely and vivid street just [ Dongzhimennei Street, Dongcheng District For all it's surprising name, the 'Ghost Street' refers to round-the-clock service. It gathers all main Chinese cuisine and is best known for the crayfish in hot spices. When night comes, all red lanterns are alight and restaurants welcome their busiest time.] one Metro station further. Great service, incredible food and an experience richer we left the table and enjoyed a show before heading back. Surprisingly it was not as touristy as we thought, many Chinese eat here too. The waier even confirmed many people from Beijing come here.

The Beijing Chinese is quite fashionable and definitely equipped with at least one mobile or iPhone. The amount of those speaking English is not as low one should expect and there is always a possibility communicate, hoever. Beijingers are not formal, nor do they have a set of enigmatic social rules that excludes outsiders. The Chinese do not bow (as the Japanese do), and they do not remove their shoes upon entering a house. Beijingers tend to be frank, and they do not, as a rule, thank others for favors, except by later actions. They shake hands but seldom embrace or kiss in public. They joke, but they do not speak loudly; and they seldom brag about their own accomplishments. Until recently, spitting in public and smoking whenever and wherever one pleased were common habits, but in recent years in Beijing, spitting has become unacceptable [SARS and Olympics played a part in that as well] and smoking, in many public areas, has become unlawful. [Don't expect the same thing when you leave Beijing and explore the country]
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Louisb on

Hallo Maria en Jorgen. Een leuk en passend verhaal over China zelf en over het (soms, bijzondere) gedrag van de inwoners. Mooie foto,s ook. Het lijkt mij wel behoorlijk frisjes in deze tijd van het jaar. En natuurlijk de Smog.Verschrikkelijk. Fijne reis verder en blijf gezond. Louis.

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