A Travellerspoint blog

New blog!

I have changed to this blog as I can have pictures and a map!

15 Apr 2007

Wow the Wall

I have had a fantastic last 10 days, I have done and seen so much!

My last night in Beijing with Dave, Meg and Chris was really great, we had a massive piss up as we were all going our seperate ways the following day. First we went to the bar street which was full of rich Chinese and pissed up expats. Then we went to a club where we were the only westerners, which was strange! Having had many beers and being english we decided to go for some meat on a stick and more beer, which was good but they tried to charge us 700% more for the beer then the chinese pay so we had a massive bust up with the owner, told him where to go and gave him the money that the Chinese would pay and walked off with him shouting at us from down the street! - After that we went to another place for a Y2 beer and stayed there until 6am eating freshly made dumplings.

Right the wall!

At first I was worried there would be no young people, but almost everyone there was great, despite an average age of around 45-50ish i especially got on with a young Northern Irish couple and a Kiwi as they were such good fun, they really made the trip. Saying that most the people there were up for a laugh which was great, especially when beer was involved, one of the regular trippers said that because of us it was the booziest he had ever been on.

The first day (Sat 07/04/07) on the wall we went to Huangyagaun which has been reconstructed but the scale of it was breathtaking, then we went to the Qing tombs which was very quiet and had a really calming feel about it. At the hotel we had a few beers after tea but the receptionist wanted us to go to bed at 9.30pm which was quite crappy.

Sunday we took ages finding Erbozixigou where we stayed at a farmers house as the driver got lost a few times and couldnt find the village, and there seemed to be a lot of cars that had falled of the road or broken down on the road so we had to make loads of detours. When we eventually found it we were lead by a local guide up a steep hill to get to a part of the wall that was on a ridge, the views were amazing and the effort to get there well worth it. It was also here i tried chicken claws....nice!

Monday we had a five hour walk on part of the wall that was almost complete and it had many watch towers and snaked off into the distance, we then camped at a small village called Dalongmiao. Some of the group wouldn't stop moaning about sleeping in a tent, which is kind of stupid as it said we stayed in tent on the tour notes! On Tuesday we walked on part of the wall that looked as if it hadnt been walked for a hundred years, it was a nice feeling to climb up the crubling stairs of a watchtower to admire the view! We stayed at Dalongmiao again, James, Nicola and Karen tried to get some chickens into my tent by putting a trial of corn upto my door! It didnt work alyjough I was woken in the night by the sound of peking outside! We had a long walked on Wednesday and then stayed in a strange village, everyone was just stared at us. At tea we were taken to a local house and taught how to make noodles and dumplings, yum! Missed breakfast on Thursday, as i went to a local market where the street food was great! We then went to Simati where the wall has been reconstructed and it was strange to see tourists again, especially going up on cable cars! Friday we walked from Simati to Jingshanling and then got the bus back to Beijing where we saw the Beijing Opera. Saturday was okay as we went round the forbidden city then had peking duck then got absolutley shit faced ending the night in a KTV bar where James and Kathy were singing on the karaoke most the night. Plus i got them to put the united match on, although I dont remember too much of it, lol. It was sad to say bye to the group though as I had a great time and will miss some of them, well until I go to my next place! - Which is Pingyao, I have a nine hour overnight train to get me there!

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04 Apr 2007

Seen a lot walked a lot.

I think that I am really beginning to like Beijing as there is so much to see and do and the prople, both Chinese and other travellers are very friendly and helpful.

On Saturday I planned to go look around Tiananman square and then to go to the Forbidden city. Silly me going at a weekend the place was full of Chinese tourists, most of whom were wearing identical hats or tracksuit, was quite amusing. Instead of there i hopped on the subway and went to the Military Museum which was HUGE, most had english captions - except the Korean war!!! All I can say after seeing all the tanks, boats, guns, artillery etc etc is don't mess with China, also there are thousands of soldiers everywhere! After the Museum I went for some food and tried to order some food but the women didn't speak english so I went to a table where an English lad called Dave and an Italian called Sergio were sitting and just pointed at a bottle of beer and what they were eating. I got talking to the two lads and went for a few beers with them and we decided we would take the 7 hour overnight train to Datong the following night to see the Yungang Caves and the hanging Monestry. Is quite funny as Dave is 6.6ft so all the chinese keep looking at him and taking photos.

Sunday - Not much in the day just went for something to eat and had to play Chinese Roulette, this is where you point at something on the Chinese menu and just hope you like what comes......the meal that came was exactlly the same as the one I had had the previous day at the other place! So i the eavening I met Dave and Sergio and went for a few beers and a meal before the train. Rolland from England and Meg from Mongolia also joined us so it was a bit of a laugh as we all chose something and shared, I chose the donkey which was the lemon as it was horrible! The overnight train was okay, only got a couple of hours though as the train ride was really rough and as we were on the hard sleepers we shared a carriage with 20 other people and there was a lot of snoring!

We arrived at Datong at 6.30am on Monday, the weather was freezing at about 1c with a wind chill of about -10. After fighting are way through the touts and taxi drivers we found an organised group as it was cheaper to do it this way that then by public buses. The Yungang caves were amazing with the giant buddha's carved into the sandstone and the fine detail of the small ones. Then we went to the hangling temple which was 100m above the ground but is now only 50m above the ground, I was quite disapointed with this as I was good but nothing to shout about. Afterwards we went for some beers and a meal with some people from the tour group, they were one Pole, 2 Americans and a lad from Singapore. Got the night train back at 10.30 and slept right through until we got to Beijing at 4.30am.

Tuesday I went to the summer Palace, which was stunning, the wholw grandure and size of the place was breathtaking, my only complaint was that in every building you went into there was a bloody souvenir shop! I am beginning to dislike the lonely plannet book though as I decided to get the Subway there and walk about a mile ort so as the weather was great. The only problem was that the map wasnt to scale and locations were wrong in terms of what road the staion was on etc, so it took me around 2 hours to walk there! Then afterwards I got on the wrong bus and went about 40 mins in the wrong dirrection, grrrr, so I had to hope on another bus back to where I came from. From there I got the correct bus which took about 2 hours to go around 12km as it took a massive diversion and I again thought I was on the wrong bus, I hate Chinese public busses!

Right today I am off to some markets with Dave to try some street food and to look at pearls and silk etc.

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31 Mar 2007

1st day in Beijing

My first day was okay, Beijing is really smoggy, and it leaves a horrible taste in your mouth. On my way i got a bit lost after getting off the bus from the airport, i ended up walking about 2 miles down loads of back streets, lots of food for sale all looked really nice and spelt great! Am proud that I didnt have to ask anyone for directions!

Went for a few beers with Shaun from california, we went to a trendy Filipino bar which had live filipino bands, was quite funny to see the Chinese rich kids with massive cigars and bottles of Erdinger, while we just asked for the cheapest beer.

Not our scene we got the subway back to the district we were staying and went to another bar, having had a beer and being british i natually needed something to eat so I pointed to a random thing on the menu and a unknown meat on a spit outside, luckily the meat was fish not dog, so I havent eaten lassy yet! And just like on TV there was about 100 people all exercising to music on the street which was really cool.

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