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November 10th 2010
Published: November 10th 2010
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We spent 6 nights in the Chinese capital. Most people we talked to agreed that was enough time. We saw most of the major tourist attractions and spent a lot of time on our feet. We are definitely looking forward to some quiet time at our next stop in Qingdao.

The highlight of our time in Beijing was (not surprisingly) the Great Wall. We wanted to go to the wall mid-week so that we could hopefully avoid the big crowds of tourists, though we almost left it too late as we were suffering from a bit of Beijing burn-out by the time we made it. We took the public bus to Badaling and arrived just before 4pm. It was a mad dash from there as we scrambled up the wall trying to get photos while the good light lasted. Sunset arrived a lot sooner than we expected, but we made it to the top just in time to watch the sun disappear behind the layer of smog on the horizon. It was really quite nice and we were surprised to find that the place was not busy at all; most of the shops were closing when we arrived and the tour busses were gone. We were in for another pleasant surprise when we descended the wall as it got dark and the flood lights came on to light up the wall. We were a bit nervous about catching the bus back in the dark, but sure enough the bus arrived after no more than 2 minutes of waiting.

Even though we expected Beijing to be a huge developed city, we were still shocked by how luxurious it is in some areas. Walking down Wanfujing street near the Forbidden City we passed endless high end mega-malls. With hotels such as the Regent nearby with its Bentley and Rolls Royce dealers on the first floor we found it quite hard to believe that we were still in China. Also, english is widely spoken everywhere and communication was generally much easier than we expected. Then we saw a father holding his baby while the baby took a poo in the middle of Tiananmen Square (thankfully onto a sheet of newspaper) - yup, still China.

The metro was great to get around on, but was packed at all hours of the day. We ate our egg McMuffins for breakfast, shopped for picnic food at Wu-Mart, and found a great dumpling restaurant for dinner. It was also cute watching the locals carry their puppies around in the basket of their bicycles. At the end of the day, Beijing is probably a good place to start a trip when you're fresh. It's quite exhausting with all the sights and just the sheer number of people.

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 23


Night Market 3Night Market 3
Night Market 3

Grubs galore.
Forbidden City 6Forbidden City 6
Forbidden City 6

Must be something interesting...nope, just a throne in the middle of a big empty room.
Forbidden City 7Forbidden City 7
Forbidden City 7

Crowds even mid-week.

Found some knock-off nutella at Wu-Mart.

10th November 2010

Cool photo's guys, as always. I like how in the night Market 'grubs galore' one you can just about see the 'penis' sign sticking out on the left hand side.
18th November 2010

Funny about the kid pooping! When I told my dad we were trying to potty train Nolan, my dad said that in China, in his day, they never had to do diapers because they just sent the kids out onto the street to poop... guess some people still adhere to that, lol. Eeeww.

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