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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Beijing, China

Oct 15, 2018 - The Imperial Tour continues...

For once, our bus ride was relatively short. We headed out to the Juyongguan Section of the Great Wall, which was a mere 30 minutes drive from our hotel. Unfortunately, it was a heavily overcast and showery day, so our views of the Wall, as we approached, were very muted. Far from being an imposing barrier, perched on rugged ridges and set starkly against a radiantly blue sky, we were presented with brooding peaks, vaguely seen through a grey curtain, with the occasional glimpses of towers, looking lost in the mist. Unfortunate, yes, but...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 14, 2018 - Imperial Beijing

Day 18 Beijing Summer Palace As expected, our day began with a bus ride - of course! - to the Summer Palace, North West of the city. Dating back almost 900 years, this vast complex of lakes and palaces is a splendid example of Chinese landscaping. The huge main lake - Lake Kunming - is entirely man made and the spoil from the excavation of more than 2 square kilometres was used to construct Longevity Hill, upon which many of the palace buildings were constructed. In more recent times, parts of the palace was burned and looted by the French...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 14, 2018 - More Imperial Beijing

One thing I forgot to mention about Tiananmen Square, in the previous entry, was the intense security, both overt and covert. A local man we got into discussion with before arriving at Tiananmen Square, accidentally let us know that plain clothes security personnel would be in the square, that they spoke English and eavesdropped on tourists. Shortly after arriving in the square, Ray felt that we were being trailed in exactly that way, as he observed a man following us for quite a few minutes - didn’t get his picture, though! Perhaps our...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Oct 13, 2018 - Xi’an to Beijing - HSTs and Hutongs

Our Odyssey to China is nearing the end, but there is still so much to look forward to on this trip, starting with today’s transit to Beijing by High Speed Train. On our original itinerary, this was to be our only HST trip but, you may recall, the lost days on the Yangtze were replaced by buses and an extra HST ride from Huangshan to Wuhan. That journey only whetted our appetite for the HST experience and we were really looking forward to today’s ride. Readers in Europe and the UK may wonder at our excitement over a fast train ride, but the...

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Trip Journal


A Chinese Odyssey

Sep 29, 2018 - tiananmen square/the forbidden city

September 29, 2018 𯓍Beijing, China Imagine a sea of people, walking with a purpose, all with one destination in mind! Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City were such a part of history. Tiananmen Square is named for the nearby Tiananmen, or “Gate of Heavenly Peace,” which marks the entrance to the so-called Forbidden City, the former imperial palace of China during the Ming and Qing dynasties, from the early 1400s to the early 1900s. At the end of the China’s civil war, in 1949, the Communist Party had gained control of most of mainland...

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Sep 28, 2018 - beijing open𯎾

Day 2 September 28, 2018 𿓍Beijing, China Exhausted from the day before, we woke up at 9:30 and took the elevator to breakfast. It was a huge buffet with every type of food you could imagine. As I was getting some pancakes (which I was very happy about) I looked to my right and saw sushi! Overwhelmed with all the food, I got way to excited and filled up 3 plates. Once we ate, we got a cab to transfer us to the player hotel in order to pick up the credentials. At this moment I was thrilled because this was going to be my first time having...

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Sep 27, 2018 - great wall of china/ming tombs

Day 1 September 27, 2018 񟓍Beijing, China Unbelievable! With our feet on the ground for less than 24 hours in the Far East, we have already done so much. The day after our arrival, we went to a scenic section of the Great Wall of China that was still unrestored. Taking the road less traveled, my dad and his friend Matt chose the Jiankou to Mutianyu trail hike up to the great wall from a remote village, Xizhazi, where the chickens and roosters were roaming freely. This section of the Wall is labeled as an advanced hike with "dangerous"...

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Jun 27, 2018 - We come full circle

The contrasts couldn’t be more stark as we return to Beijing. After boarding the plane in Tashkent we immediately nodded off to sleep and before we knew it China Southern were offering us a breakfast of a bread roll and a packet of peanuts and we were due to land in 45 mins. After taking over 30 days to travel this far the return journey couldn’t have been easier. We are no longer celebrities alas. It’s a rarity when some-one gets up to offer us their seats on the train, no one waves to us from across the road or engages us in animated...

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Jun 24, 2018 - Beautiful Bukhara

Without a doubt, apart from the stunning buildings and ruins, the ongoing respect for a wide range of handcrafts would have to be a defining feature of Uzbekistan. These include rug making, knife making, embroidery, silk making, jewellery and pottery. A good place to view traditional embroidery is the quirky Summer Palace of the Emir of Bukhara. This is a delightful building designed by Russian architects and decorated inside by local artisans creating a fusion of Russian and Asian styles. Suzanis, the intricate, locally produced...

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May 25, 2018 - Beijing

We are about to begin an overland journey of some 4000 kms from East to West through Northern China. Our fellow travellers come from London, Frankfurt and the usual Aussie intrepid travellers from all over. The tour begins on the Chinese Sunday, which is in fact Monday. All the tourist sites are closed so everyone goes to the Great Wall. We used this day to walk off our “plane legs” after a 12 hour flight via Sydney and meet for the ‘get to know you dinner’ in a Hutong courtyard. It’s surprising to see a vast area of Hutongs still intact...

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Feb 8, 2018 - Fast train to Beijing.

We were booked on a train out of Harbin West Railway station, at 10.37am, so we needed to be out of the hostel, and getting a taxi by around 9am. Our last morning excursion for our journey, so that makes me happy! We were packed, checked out, had breakfast in plenty of time, and then out into the freezing morning again. At least we did not have too much trouble getting a taxi, which meant we were at the train station in plenty of time. I was hoping to get some hash browns to eat, but was too late at McDonald's. They finish serving...

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Feb 2, 2018 - A long, long day, but made it to Beijing at last!

Had the alarm set for 4am! Yikes, this is not me at all!! But we did it. Andy and Hardie arrived at about 5am to take us to the Zhaoqing train station. At least traffic was light at that time of day! Not non-existent, but not a problem either! They took our luggage up to the train station, and helped us through the screening process. We were very glad about that, because the x-ray picked up Carol's two knives in her bags! One, just a dinner knife, and a small vegetable knife to cut up fruit on our way. We were happy that Andy was still...

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