Just a quick one because I haven't got much time! It was my last day in beijing today and this morning 4 of us went off to the summer palace which is about 45 minutes out of the city (subway and taxi). It is HUGE! We walked around for a bit then we hired a pedal boat for an hour (very hard work, my thighs hurt!) We then walked to the top of the biggest temple which was miles!!! I have never seen to many stairs, everytime you thought you were there you turned the corner and there was another flight!!
The other guys then went off the the Lama Temple but I wanted to see the silk market while i had chance so i got the subway there. It was easy to find and i'm glad I did - it was amazing!!! it was like shopping heave. It was indoors and about 3 storeys high - and jampacked full of stalls and stands. When I walked in I nearly laughed out loud with glee!!!! The first floor was bags, the second shoes and the third clothes!! Everyone wants you to come over to their stall 'come here pretty lady buy my bag!' and once they get you in thier stall they don't let you go - one woman literally held my arm until we had agreed on a price!! I wasn't very good at bargaining at the beginning - I spent too much on an umbrella at the beginning but then I got better! You just had to be firm and go in really low! They would start by saying 1800 which is about 150 pounds but you could get them down into the tens! I bought a case to carry by stuff in - she started at 190 pounds and i bought it for 9!!! Yes 9 as in less than a tenner!!! I also got some shoes to help my poor feet!! I got a pair of trainers for 3.80 and a pair of flat open toe shoes for 3.50!!! It's better than primark here guys!! One of the women told me I drive a hard bargain and asked me if i was studying here because I know what I am doing!! I've learnt how to say - how much, two expensive and no i don't want it in chinese too which i think helps!!
Went to a night market this evening where there were lots of wierd and wonderful foods on display, eels, bugs, starfish, testicles, cows stomachs - horrible things!! I didn't eat there!! I went to a hot pot resturant for dinner it was great - you chose a meat a veg and a carb then you ask for spicy or mild hot water. They bring you this bowl of broth and the raw food and you cook it at your seat which is heated!! Hard to explain but basically the broth boils in front of you and you cook your food in it!! It was an experience but quite a stressful meal becuse you have to control the temp of you water to m
make sure nothing overcooks!!
Off to the great wall tommoroew - setting off at 7am!
Hope you are all well - thank you for your messages!