Beijing, China

May 22, 2010 - Beijing, China

Well that was a bit of a surprise… I was expecting Beijing to be good, but not that good! It’s got to be one of the best cities I’ve ever been to, and Jinnie must have used the word ‘awesome’ at least every half an hour for the last five days ;)

 Anyway, we decided to jump straight in the deep end as soon as we got here and took the bus down to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City (the buses are just Y1 to anywhere – that’s 10p!). Both were pretty ‘awesome’ (as Jinnie would say), but the real highlight of Beijing has to be the Hutong. These are the old style areas where everybody lives, and they are teeming with people and sights and sounds etc. We went on a wander through them and tried loads of different styles of food from all the street vendors. Our favorite was definitely some sort of sweet, crispy pancake, with spring onion all over it, Mmmmmmm ;)

 We rented bicycles and rode through the streets, which are insane for traffic! But so much fun. We also visited the Temple of Heaven, which was cool, but like so much of Beijing, it was the areas around the amazing sights which were the most memorable. The park outside was hilarious! Hundreds and hundreds of little old people doing crazy exercises, tai chi, ballroom dancing, playing musical instruments and most bizarre of all – rubbing themselves up against park climbing frames (answers on a postcard please!?).

Oh yes, before I forget… another amusing highlight was Jinnie’s new found fame! She seems to have become some sort of minor celebrity or something as people keep coming up to her and asking to have their photo taken with her (!?). Not that she’s complaining… 

We also went to Wangfujing food market, which was full of insane food like live scorpions on sticks, bugs, starfish and god knows what else ;) We fell in love with the lake near our Hutong, which had trendy little Chinese bars all along the waterfront. Jinnie even became a groupie to one of the local rock bands as well (they were actually pretty good!).

So what else…? OMG! The Great Wall!!!!!! F**king awesome!!!! ;) We did a four hour hike from Jinshanling to Simatai, which was soooo hard, but soooooooo worth it! Lots of people had warned us that the most popular place was a bit rubbish (Badaling, aka Bada’bing!), so we drove for four hours to get to a bit which was so far away it was actually in another province in China. It was well worth it, as there was nobody there, just us and the wall.

Anyway, run out of time again (Doh!), we have to run for the train now. We’re off to Pingyao, a little town further into China, and we’re taking an overnight train with hardsleeper seats (eek!). Hope we make it in one piece ;)

Till next time…

Alex & Jinnie


Trans-Mongolian to Beijing
Meeeow Tea's Dong ;)
Inside the Forbiden City
Where's Wally (aka Jinnie)?


May 22, 2010
"awesome!!!!" pictures, scorpions on sticks hmmm,Great Wall looks amazing xxx
May 24, 2010
did you ask who they thought she was?
I am sure it is just because you're beautiful!!!
seems like you guys are having such an adventure.. SA is going to be dismal compared to all this!!!
May 25, 2010
LOL! NO.. they like me because I have blonde hair.. and its strange to them! Jy sal ook 'famous' hier wees! :-) Kan nie wag om jou te sien nie!! Ons sien baie uit na SA!!xx
May 25, 2010
OH GOSH GUYS I just had the chance to catch up on your blog (emails down at work) and I couldn't stop reading it, I honestly felt like I was there! Brilliant writing and pictures really REALLY enjoyed it and will look forward to next one. FYI Alex the lake looks incredible beautiful shot. Oh and let me know if you meet Tom in Vietnam, I sent you his contact details on Facebook.

Love x
May 26, 2010
Can't believe you've done the wall... in the words of Jinnie... 'awesome' ;-)

Loving the pics... I want your camera Alex!
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