01.07.2007 - 05.07.2007 36 °C
After nearly a month in China we are finally back in Beijing and ready to head back to Bangkok, for a few days shopping before going home!! Back to mums lamb roast and some warm clothes, looking forward to it!
We left our kiwi and welsh friends in Shanghai and flew to Beijing, and it took us 2.5hrs to get from beijing airport to the city center, so we finally arrived at 1am. Walking through the streets at that hour was an eye opener as to just how many homeless people are sleeping on the streets. Back to the same hostel we stayed in last time, the bathrooms are awful but it has a central location, you cant win them all.
We met up with some english girls that we met in Xi'an and spent most nights with them in the hostel bar. After talking to quite a few fellow travellers we are all ready to leave china, our impressions of this place are the same, Beijing is so not ready to host an olympic games!! the transport system is outdated with tiny paper tickets, no ticket vending machines you have to line up at the window with a hundred other people pushing in front of you. They definently dont know how to queue in china, we learnt that the hard way so its all elbows and pushing till you get to the front of the line. There are even ads on tv trying to teach the chinese how to be respectful and let people off the trains before you surge on, and help old ladys cross the street. We think it will take a little more than an ad to change the way these people do things.
All the main attractions in Beijing are getting a bit of a face lift so its a bit of a shame for us as there are barricades and mesh fencing around beautiful temples. We went to the Temple of Heaven the other day, which has lots of great gardens and temples, the emporers used to come here and make offerings to the heavens for a good harvest. It is quite pretty inside but so huge we didnt see it all. We tried to go to the underground city today but couldnt find it and no one could help us with directions, and apparently it is closing for renovations.
The highlight of our trip to Beijing has to be the Acrobatics Show we went to last night. It was amazing, children as young as 6 or 7 were performing. They somersaulted through hoops, twirled plates, rode unicycles while kicking bowls off their foot and catching them on their heads! And the little diablo girls were fantastic, they must have been 6-12 years old and were using those yo ho diablo things while dancing around and doing flips. It was just so good.
Our last day here tomorrow so we are going to the silk market and see if we can find some cheap souvenirs.