Hi everyone ... with my 15 mins of free internet I can say that so far despite missing a few people (LOADS!!!) I am having a good time :)
There are 15 of us on the tour including me and Siobhan - its nice to be reunited with her after a month lol! The food is AMAZING here - the best duck I have ever had absolutely delicious and its about 10Yen to the pound - so a slap up meal is about 5-10 quid (not bad).
After being jet lagged yesterday and meeting up with the tour and hearing all our itinery and things (and having an early night) today I saw the Forbidden City ... T/Square - where all those riots were last year (with the students and things) and ALOT of temples - which are amazing (until you have 4 hours of them - then they get samey)... but anyway yeah China is kool -cant believe I'm really here!!
Bad parts: no facebook (due to communism and stuff... I mean whats that about?!) erm everyone spits - yuk even posh ladies on the middle of a bus - which actually shocked me! Everyone smokes...everywhere even with no smoking signs - my parents would love it!! lol I mean everywhere...buses..restaurants...hospitals...shops... ever heard the expression YOU SMOKE I CHOKE?! For a culture so scared of disease (i.e. some still wear those sars masks lol) they aren't very hygienic... even letting their kids poo and wee in the streets and in the forbidden city - what a sight! Oh one last thing.. people dont queue in China - not at all... you wait for the loo and the one in front of you opens... if you dont run for it someone will push past and go for it...same with buses... that was an adventure in itself earlier - rioting for a bloody bus!!
Its national chinese holiday this week which means as chinese dont usually get a holiday they are ALL off this week and are at the tourist attractions with us - most havnt seen western people so we keep getting approached by people who want our pic with them (I personally have had 4 today- mmm entertaining) its quite funny really though I am sure it will get annoying... and we are all getting used to the staring...if you dont look asian you get stared at!
I would tell you more about the sights but thats the bit you can google and I'll show pictures when I'm back/ can get on facebook...all pretty good so far and tomorrow off to the great wall for a day of it :) Chow for now Xx
Hi everyone - more about Beijing... its an OLD city with lots of history but its lovely in the 20s (degrees) its quite warm but always misty and foggy - so you feel hot nd humid without actually getting a tan - great (so im still a pastey thing)... since the forbidden city the next day we went to the great wall of china ... i actully climbed the 1,300 steps to the top (walking boots have broken in yay- they are now my best friend!)... it is AMAZING i cant actually descibe it...you are above the clouds -can see the mountains and brillant views and (well personally) just so thrilled your not dead after all those bloody stairs,,, not only that you go up and down doorways through and up and down more steps and just walk along (i have soooo many pictures yet dont think one actually captures how amazing it is - a must see!!) I also taboggened it down the great wall of china - OH YES (that would be a facebook status if I could get on FB lol) as in took a cart down a slide and rode down the side of the wall - which took about 5 mins (quite a long time - had sooo much fun)!! In the evening we went to a night market - i wasnt brave enough to sample the fried scopians but maybe next time if your lucky Ill write about that!
so day 1- sunday had the whole orientation settle in...day 2 the forbidden city and delcious banquet... day 3 the great wall of china and night market... day 4 we went to see the olympic stadium WOW!!! The birds nest is amazing - took 20 mins to walk round (though was closed to get in- dam!) it is so details and 3D again hard to capture in photos... its the shear size and ore of these sites and every now and again i think "bloody hell im in china" lol - I also went to another market (less "cultural" and more like thailand) - i.e. got some cool adidas shelltoe trainers that ive wanted for YEARS... bargained the guy down from 995 Uen/ Quen - whatever the currency is (i keep getting confused) so 110 - i.e. 11quid and was helping others the rule of 10% bargaining!! lol
THE SLEEPER TRAIN - transportation that night (to Shanghi) was a 9 hour sleeper train - i had mixed feelings about this but it was a "soft sleeper" i.e. a western style - has western loos on board...a tv by your bed...4 beds to a copartment and comfy soft larger matresses (designed for americans? lol) very cosy so after some sleep and chilling with the other group memebers (who now feel like a surrogate family we were off to Shanghi)... read on other blog-age!