Off to China we go!

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September 5th 2011
Published: October 1st 2011
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After an overnight stop in Kuala Lumpur, during which we caught up with our friends Mira and Khalid for dinner and managed to get about 4hrs sleep, we boarded the plane for Tianjin, near Beijing in China. I got through immigration without any issues, but the guards seemed a little more interested in Scott…possibly because of there is an international arrest warrant out for him but more likely because of the period of time he spent living in Shanghai. After a number of people examined his passport and typed things on the computer he was allowed into China.

Tianjin is connected to Beijing by a high speed railway, and somehow we fluked our way through purchasing tickets for the train and then onto the bus to the train station and finally onto our very comfortable train. After about 40minutes of travel at just over 300km/hr we arrived into Beijing South railway station where we managed to track down the subway (after buying Maccas chicken nuggets to break our 100Yuan note – great first meal in china..) and get onto the train which would take us to a station near our hotel. At our stop we managed to find a lovely policeman with significantly more English than most other locals who escorted us most of the way to our hotel.
Our hotel in Beijing was in one of the many Hutongs to the north west of the centre of the city. The compounds in the Hutongs are set around a central courtyard which makes for a really nice environment. Somehow it turned out that our hotel was just around the corner from a million clothes shops and restaurants (including a whole street of restaurants). After checking in at the hotel we went for a walk around the area in search of dinner.

Apparently people weren’t kidding when they said that there wasn’t a lot of English in China. We managed to find us a restaurant with a picture menu and ordered by pointing at the dishes we thought looked semi normal / yummy. We decided against anything that looked vaguely toad like as we didn’t think the fish tank full of toads would enjoy watching us eat their brother / friend / cousin.. We ended up with green veggies stir fried in some rather basic clear sauce, delicious Sichuan green beans with heaps of Sichuan pepper and chilli and, for Scott, some mysterious meat with a weird texture…probably anus…or liver..

Much to Scott’s disgust he ate so much he didn’t have room for his donkey burger (we assume it was donkey burger as the shop was full of framed pictures of donkeys).. next time..

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