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Published: July 28th 2014
Well we are finally away on our Silk road adventure. Two great flights from Auckland to Hong Kong and then on to Beijing had us arrive at the massive Beijing airport about noon on Saturday. After smooth immigration process, we took the airport express train and a couple of metro rides, and we arrived at our B&B in the heart of the Hutong area in Dongcheng Nth.
Did the Hutong walking tour in the afternoon ending up at the Drum Tower and Bell Tower. Unfortunately no drumming cos they were doing some renovations . On Sunday we headed off to the Park of the Heavenly Peace - a massive park with temples, corridors, and a raft of entertainment activities by the local people - we saw ballroom dancing, drumming, tai chi, cards and knitting, mahjong, tennis, hacky sack, ethnic dancing, it was really quite spontaneous and not for the tourists at all. In the afternoon we visited the Lama temple - one of the largest Tibetian/Buddhist temples in China. Once again an amazing and prayerful place with lots of incense burning etc. Multiple temples it is still today the home to over 70 monks, who were all severely repressed in
the 60's and 70's. We had a really interesting lunch at the Tan Hua Lamb BBQ which we found down a very nondescript Hutong/alley. Food consisted of a whole shoulder of lamb which they spit roasted at our table over a huge open charcoal filled brazier which slotted into the centre of the table. As the meat cooked we simply carved great slabs off and devoured them. Great stuff.
Monday was all about the Forbidden Palace and Tianemen Square. What an experience we enjoyed along with many thousands of mostly Chinese tourists. I think we'll let the pictures do the talking. What I can say is that after five hours walking around in temps that were about 35-40C, we were pretty knackered at the end so succumbed to grabbing a taxi to get back to the B&B.
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