Ok so we are now in China we got the night train from Hong Kong on the 24th of sept to Shanghai a lovely 20 hours on the train. We had the top bunk which was very high so we got to lay down for 20 hours much prefer the india trains.
Once we get to Shanghai we understand why Daniel said we would struggle no one here speaks english. Not even the people at our hotel it makes getting around so hard we try to get the subway into town or anywhere really and fail completely end up getting a taxi to the oriental pearl tower。 Where you can go to the top and see views of the city but it is so cloudy there was just no point this is apperantly the second tallest building in Asia. Instead we go to the Bund sightseeing tunnel where we are taken on a light show thou the center of the earth in little pods. Which is just on the other side of the river!! We also managed to find a little sightseeing train along the main street in Shanghai so had a ride there and back on that. The one on the way back was a dog so i was happy!!!
The next day we did not do much just sorted out leaving Shanghai which was not easy were told we would not have a porblem to get a train from here to Beijing but we did no train for a week!! So we ended up booking a flight as there is no way we could stay longer here.
So today the 26th we fly into Beijing The capital of China, we arrive at hotel that night a hotel which turns out to be a hostel, but is nice has internet and a washing machine we are very excited about that!!!!
Our first full day here we book up all of our sightseeing trips after the hassle of Shanghai so today we behave going to the zoo to see the giant pandas. Well we do find it in the end!!! After about 2 hours we are adivsed to take the bus which takes forever to find the right one then miss our stop as nothing is english and the ride itself is very long, but at last we get there. The pandas are very cute and very playful rolling around and entertaining us worth the effort to get there!!! The zoo is also very cheap only 20 yeun which is less than 2 pounds much cheaper than zoos in england and a nice one too.
Today we join one of our sightseeing tours and made so new friends a young couple from england called Amy and Matt amd a sweet guy from Sweden sorry cant remember his name. Amy and mat are also traveling around the world for a year but have only just started. First we visited an enamel factory were we saw how they make the enamel vases a very long and detailed job needing lots of patience so of course i could never do it!!! Next we went to the Ming tombs where all of the emperiers were buired. We then went to the Jade factory where we saw lots of different sorts of Jade and worked out to tell whether is real jade or fake i got it all right!!! An knew that 9 is a lucky number for the chinese. Well done me!!!! Well only knew about the nine thanks to the HSBC advents!!! We then had a very nice lunch there with a section of dishes on a turning table in the middle so we could try lots of different things.
Then after lunch we drove to the great wall it is very impressive very high up we had to get a cable car up the mountain. A bit scarey but no way was i walking!!! Once at the top we got to walk along the great wall which by the way is very steep well you are basically wlking up a mountain what it must have taken to build. We walking from one post to the next and that was an effort the steps are just so steep. But we can now say we have been on the great wall of china. After the Great wall we went and saw a chinses doctor and Sandra had a foot massage mine were just too smelly!!! I dare not get them out!!! then went to a tea house to sample different sorts of tea well the others did!! Was a bit of a boring stop for me. That was a our last stop so we asked if they could drop us off somewhere were we could get some Peking duck which is what Beijing is famous for the duck was amazing very good and a nice way to end the day.
Today we did a city sightseeing tour we went to the the Forbidden city which has 9999 palaces inside this was a city for the emperiers. we then went to a silk factory not on the list of things to do and we did want to go to. To make things worse after been show how they make blankets the stupid guide made us wait there for another 20 mins he said we had to stay there for 40 mins great was really annoyed as we did even want this in the first place!! He then informed us that he was taking us to a pearl factory and again we would have to stay for 40 mins!!! Dam the man, as it turned out this was a better stop we saw some fresh water oysters which have more pearls in them than the sea water ones. The one she opened had 14 i guessed 15 so not bad they are very small as the oyster was only 5 years old you count the rings on the shell to tell. She then gave us one of the little pearls which areused to make face cream she put some on us later it still smells like fresh water!!!! We then walked around the shop and after a lot of bargining from the woman bless her she really wanted us to buy something!! Sandra bought me my birthday present a lovely necklace with a pearl pendant and a bracklet to match they are black pearls the most rare and she also bought herself a very pretty black full pearl necklace so we are now traveling girls with pearls! After there we go and have a nicve chinses lunch nearby then it is off to the summmer palace where we get a dragon boat over to the palace and walk along the worlds longest corridor which is 2 kms long so the emperor did not get wet walking from his boat to the palace or temple. It is very pretty here it is all along a man made lake. Last stop in the temple of heaven where the emperor used to go twice a year to give prayer to the god for a good harvet in spring and thanks for a good harvets in autum he would stay 3 days which time and not eat during that time buit to make it look like heaven they would burn animals in bug pot near him seems a bit mean to me!! The Temple is very colourful all of the buildings here have blue roofs to like the sky. There is lots of park area here and people come everyday to play cards dance sing and exercise it was really nice place. Then it was back to the hostel to collapse in a heap!! Two busy days with lots of walking. Poor sandra has a bad head so goes to bed me i spend many hours on the internet!!!
We had a very lazy day today to recover from the past few days so had a lie in and tried to sort out leaving Beijing as yesterday we found out that it is National week like a nationla weeks holiday so there are no trains available anywhere until the 7th of we have been gone by the 8th cos of our visa so i guess this is our last stop in China which is a shame as we wanted to go to south China. After quening for many hours at the station which no luck ok well maybe not many hours but it felt like!!! We can not get a train to Hanoi either which is where our next trip starts the only train is a seater one and the train has got to be more than 24 hours!!!! So Back to the internet after looking at many sites i finally book us flights there for the 3rd of oct so we will be there for my bday. We also went shopping today and i bought myself some chopsticks the omlypic panda on them so now need to eat Chinses today so i can use them. As last night we made the mistake of looking around the street food market. It was gross if the bugs where not bad enough the poor things had a stick though them and they were still alive but they had poor baby seahorses on sticks too!!! There was no way we were going eat there or really eat chinese food either put us off a bit wanted to know for sure what we were eating!!! Yuck we are not going back there i can tell you!!