Monday, 11 October 2010

Beijing more friendly

I'm still in Beijing and I feel much better here now. Even smog which makes the city depresive is not so annoying any more. It it annoying in respect to photo taking. All photos are blured and it looks like it is foggy.
Sightseeing is tirying, especially when it goes togehter with partying, but it is still ok. I've met some friends of mine and we had dinner in one of the chinese restaurants nearby my hostel. We've ordered so much food that we were not able to eat it all and we've paid only 40 RMB each. Sweet. I've treid around 10 different things, but I even do not know their names. but still, it was very tasty.
Next day I've went to buy tickets to Xi'an. It took me about 1h on the railway station, 3 different queues and 700 RMB to get return ticket to Xi'an from Beijing. I wanted hard sleepers, but on the way back I've managed to get soft sleeper only (or hard seat - that must be nightmare). I was told that I was lucky anyway. Usually you should book them 10 days in advance.
Next I went to see Olympic Stadium. Impressive. You can see that everything there is new. New tube, and new tube stations, new toilets, roads, parks. Bird's Nest (this is how stadium is called) is huge and can be entered only after buying a ticket and going through security check (same with the swimming pool), but I did not went to see that. Overview from outside was enough.
Olympic Stadium - Bird's Nest

brand new tube on the way to Olympic Stadium
Great Wall is also a must when you are in Beijing. I've been there yesterday with two Canadians. That was so much fun. We've taken bus 916 to from Dingzhimen to Huairou and there taxi to Huanghua. We even did not have to search for a cab. They've almost pulled us from the bus. After some bargaining we've managed to get a price of 150 RMB both ways. i.e. 25 each one way. Paid after service. So 75 and 75.
That part of the wall where we went was not very touristic one, but still we've met some ppl. Not many though. As we did not know which way to take to climb on the wall we've just entered through one of those towers, but we had to climb throught window which was blocked by someone with wooden logs (probably not to go in?). We've found out ehy it was blocked, when we've climbed to the top. It was destroyed and very steep, untill the next tower, where was the ladder for the official climb.
We've walked/climbed there and back, took a lot of pics and headed towards the road. And just at the exit/entrance we were attacked by old chinese woman shouting 2 Yuan, 2 Yuan. She wanted money from us. I dunno if legally or not. She was pushing and touching us and did not want to let us go. Finally we've paid but it was almost a fight. We've good video for that.
Great Wall of China - climbing through the window
Great Wall of China - hanging down from the tower
Great Wall of Chin
Greal Wall of China crew
Today is another day of not too much sightseeing. Yesterday was friday, so it's obvious why. Though not completly wasted, as I've seen NanLuogu Xiang (Hutong district, actually the same what we have near our hostel, but more for tourists, so nothing new for me). I prefer the small alley near hostel. It's more real.
Drum and Bell Towers (only from outside) and JingShan Park. Calm, smoggy day. The worst here since I've come.
Drum Tower
At the foot of Drumm and Bell Towers
Hutong lifestyle
During that 6 days in Beijing I've made some observations. I did not know about some of the things before coming here. Noone told me and I've never read about it before, so:
  • every day someone asks me for the photo, they want to have photo with me
  • lions everywhere - on the left female lion with a small lion under her paw and on the right male with a ball. They are in froint of every entrance
  • plastic foil hanging in open doors
  • very expencive food/drinks in european/american chains (like Starbucks, KFC)
  • KFC is on each corner
  • chinese ppl always walk with their lunc in plasric bag. Every place is good to sit and eat. The same as every place is good for a little nap
  • infants do not wear diapers, their trousers have hole there (isn't that too cold?)
  • chinese woman wear leggins which immitate black tights on pale skin
Some negatives
  • they try to sell everything to everyone and are very stubborn with that
  • they do not understand any signs or when I shiw them something with my hands. Sometimes they start to shout at me. 
  • noone who wants to get in the tube is not bothered about ppl who want to get out. They just push to get in even though not everyone who wanted left
  • there is not vodka in supermarkets and my Zoladkowa Gorzka from Poland is finished
  • smog
  • chaos on the streets, it does not matter what light is, everyone just walks/drives/rides a bike
  • everyone spits everywhere, with that loud sound hhhhrrrrrrrrrr
Some positives too
  • very clean streets, swipped all day
  • very cheap and very good food on the street (10RMB max)
  • a lot of public toilets (of course squating ones and with baskets to throw away paper in there, what I alway forget. I just hope that I did not block any of them yet)
  • bike paths on every street, wide as lines for the cars
    Lunch on the street
This is it, kids without diapers
One more interesiting thing in Beijing was house party where I was. One of Canadian girls stayig in the hostel met some american guys living in Beijing who were making party and inviting everyone, so it happened that we've ended there too. Very ok, but party almost died around 1, so we've come back to hostel which happened to be just around the corner from their apartment.

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