Back to Beijing

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

10:27 Took the last of my medication today and my throat is totally fine. Still blocked up nose so a bit of a way until I'm totally better.
11:26 Having decided to take a bus to the airport I went to get a ticket and was 300 short. I asked a girl to watch my bags as I ran round the station looking for an ATM. The only one I found didn't accept my card. I ran round an round and found nothing, I only had 5 mins until the bus arrived.
I ran back and hoped the 1250 yen I did have might let me on. I got on without my ticket an the bus driver asked for a ticket an I then tried to explain not enough money by a measly couple of pounds. I have Chinese yuan, dollars, Mongolian money, even euros, but not enough for the stupid bus I ticket. I kept saying I just need 300 more! Then a man thrust 1200 my way and I said no no! Just 300! People gave me some money and the bus guard ran over and bought me a ticket and I was. Grateful to the people on the bus who helped me. Now on an air conditioned bus, I'm going straight to the airport. It's probably a little more expensive than going on the trains as the JR line doesn't go there so it wouldn't be a free ride anyway, but at least I don't have to carry my bags. I'm joining the gap tour tonight for the first day of my trip round china. The hotel is 4 star apparently and quite near tiananmen square. I wonder what my new companions will be like.
13:30 I am entirely too early at the airport, ive been here an hour already, well, I had to check out so thought I'd just come here and not be late, my flight isnt until 4.45 so I have a little while to wait. As I spent all my money getting here I had none left I exchanged 20 dollars and got some money for a cheap meal. Cheap means a burger, again. Mind you, china cometh, great food and cheap too :) my fav. Although, back to suspicious toilets again. Speaking of toilets, which I perhaps do entirely too much, but this is a good one I promise... I went into the ladies here and there was some sort of urinal??!! Confusing. And come to think of it, it's not the first time either. Hmm.
19:19 Have arrived for a stopover at QingDao. A weird feature of the stop is that everyone going onto Beijing gets off with all their stuff, gets rounded up by a staff member, taken through immigration an security check again, straight round to departures and into the queue to get straight back on the exact same plane again. You wonder why you spent half an hour getting off and having to queue go round the system all over again. Why not just stay where you are and let other people get on.
21:07 Got to Beijing now, it was a bus transfer to the terminal and I swear we drove round the entire airport. We were on the bus for 15 mins weaving around the edge of the terminal buildings! We drove past all the cargo, and stopped next to about 100 cargo crates I was sure they would post us in on the luggage conveyor.
21:10 Everyone else on my tour met at 6 then went for dinner. I hope I find them later else I won't know where or when to meet tomorrow.

I took the trains and finally got to the nearest subway station to the hotel. I came out and asked a taxi driver to take me, he said no because it was so close. It was 1045pm. Dark, windy and a bit lost I had to wander down the streets with my heavy bags, not quite sure of where I was so unable to properly navigate. I tried asking a few people where I was and where the hotel was without much success. It was only when I got to a bus stop and put my things down to look at maps and a compass to try and logically work out where I was or at least a direction to go in, that a couple of guys asked if they could help me. I had been muttering to myself and was glad they asked as their English was good and I worked out precisely where I needed to go. So walking for another 10 mins down quite dark areas at nearly 11pm wasn't the best fun. But I got there. 11pm. I got to my room to find my room mate Fiona from Scotland already in bed and we had a quick chat and she let me know I had to be up to 630 for a 730 bus trip to the great wall. I debated not going, but as it was a different part and I hadn't met anyone else yet, I thought I would be a good opportunity to meet folks.
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Lou on

Hi Zoe,
Its lovely to read all about your trip and adventures - it sounds like you're really having a ball. I think you're very brave, hope you're not lonely. So glad you're okay - hope you stay well again from now. I've spent an age this morning catching up on your last couple of weeks, - better not go back anymore as I'll never get myself sorted out today. Take Care, will catch up on your trip again. Loux

Anita on

Hey Zoe!
We are in HK now after doing the tour and its been great! You will love it and sure the extra bits you are doing will be great too! Its a bit weird being in a big group and not our little 4 group but we adjusted well! Watch out for toilets (take toilet paper EVERWHERE!), weird food (chicken feet, snake, scoropions!) and cost of everything. We found that all the extra things are quite pricey and did things outside the tour and was MUCH MUCH cheaper. Just some tips for you! Have fun!

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