Happy Chinese New Year! For three days of my break, I went to Beijing with two friends and had a great time in the freezing cold! We visited all the tourist spots, had delicious food and the highlight was going to the Great Wall! I have been to different sections of the wall and this without doubt the best one so far! Loved it. This post is broken into three parts because even though I was only there for three days, a lot happened!
The day before our Beijing trip, I woke up st 5:30am and met Stacey at a sports bar to watch the Super Bowl. I am fairly certain that every single average white guy in all of Shanghai was there. And us. With a southern food buffet, we settled in and watched perhaps the most anti-climatic football game to exist. I retreated back to my apartment, finished packing and headed to Stacey’s to spend the night before our departure to Beijing. Shanghai was already becoming a quiet ghost town with everyone leaving to go back to their hometowns!
After arriving at the Hongqiao Railway Station, we got some snacks and observed the masses from above. I had traveled during the fall golden week and while packed it really wasn’t that bad. The two golden weeks are the busiest travel times in China and so why not join the fun! We had secured our train tickets weeks before and just picked them up after arriving.
This is how you do a bullet train ride. Hood up, music in, belly full of snacks and books/entertainment for when you wake up (from a child kicking you or your neighbor blasting a chinese drama from their phone). Fortunately I was sitting by the two sweetest girls who kept feeding me fruit. On a chinese bullet train there are various carts that are pushed through the aisles selling drinks, fruit and snacks. Every 30 minutes the floor is mopped and swept. So clean!
After checking into our hotel, we made our way downtown to start our site seeing adventures! Beijing has such a different vibe than Shanghai as it is the government city compared to the economic hub of Shanghai. It was also cold! I was prepared for the cold, but it was quite chilly! There were still crowds at all the sites but nothing like peak tourist season.
Navigating Beijing can be done through using the metro system. However for the most part we used didi (Uber/lyft) as it is inexpensive, faster and we wanted to maximize our time and stay warm.
Doing some solo site seeing has it advantages, but I kinda missed having a guide to tell me all about the history! I was back in Beijing in 2004 and 2008 and don’t remember much of what the guide was saying either time!
Afternoon dim sum of a pig with pork in it. Happy year of the pig!
For dinner we went for Peking Duck! So yummy. We ordered a whole duck and they carved it, sectioned it and brought it to our table. We arranged the duck, vegetables and sauces all on thin little pancakes and scarfed them down! I love interactive food. After dinner we showered and had an early night to prepare for our early morning at the wall!
Stay tuned for part II