Recently I went on a one week trip to Beijing in China. My Dad is a retired professor of maths who got a temporary job in university over there, teaching maths through English to Chinese students. I decided a visit there was a must! I also got to use my new Canon DSLR camera for the first time.
|Me on the Great Wall|
I went to my hotel, the Novotel Xin Qiao, who allowed me to check in nice and early so I had about 4 hours sleep and dragged myself back up for a wander around.
|Not in Dublin anymore|
The next day I woke up free of jetlag, thankfully, and I visited Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. I got to visit the Mausoleum of Mao to see his strangely lit up 'body' and Chinese people leaving flowers for him in a gigantic pile nearby.
Forbidden City is mobbed with people, mainly Chinese tourists. It's amazingly pretty but it was boiling hot and so large it's hard to appreciate it all. The design is amazing, so different to anything I have seen before.
|Forbidden City in the background|
I threw 30 yuan at them and ran and thankfully that was the end of that but I have read reports online where they get more aggressive.
The next day we went to the Beijing Botanic Gardens. Beijing is so large that even though somewhere is 'in Beijing', it can take quite a long time to get there, particularly with the traffic.
|Me at the Beijing Botanic Gardens|
China is an odd place, on the one hand, it's super modern. The cars are all German - Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and new ones at that. There are designer stores everywhere, super expensive ones that we don't even have here in Dublin. The subway system is brilliant, exceedingly cheap (about 25c a ride) and expanding rapidly.
On the other hand, people spit, snort, burp etc in public. The toilet facilities are mainly disgusting. It certainly doesn't feel like a 'luxurious' place to go on holiday, but I wasn't expecting that and it doesn't have to be that.
|Dressing up in traditional clothes|
In the next post I will talk about my trip to the Buddhist temple and the Great Wall, as well as shopping and nails over there!