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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Beijing, China

Oct 10, 2017 - Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Tuesday in Beijing dawned with another morning of constant rain while we walked around Tianenman Sqaure and the Forbidden City. The Square was filled with visitors and tour guides, some yelling loudly and others using amplified sound. It made for a cacophony of sounds while trying to listen to our tour guide through our earphones. Tianenman Square has Mao's mausoleum as its focal point, but we did not stop in to say hello, despite him beckoning to us from outside the entry. Instead, we headed to the Forbidden City which is in the heart of...

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China and Tibet 2017

Oct 9, 2017 - Upgraded or Upgrade?

Diana and I began our journey with hopes of an upgrade to United Polaris class after promising United 60K of our Mileage Plus miles and enough money for a down payment on another trip. We were successful on our LAX>SFO leg and enjoyed a "free" breakfast at the United Club near our gate. Our fate was sealed at SFO when we went from numbers 14 and 15 on the upgrade wait list to 24 and 25. How does that happen? So we took our seats in Economy Plus, for which we had already paid extra, and started watching movies. Upon arrival at the largest...

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China and Tibet 2017

Oct 2, 2017 - Hutong by Rickshaw

Visiting a hutong or old Beijing neighborhood by rickshaw was interesting. Though it looks like a poor neighborhood it's actually very desired. About $10000 per square meter or $3 million for the home we visited. Mostly older residents who inherited the home from generation before. Younger generation is fleeing to the many high rise apartments where there is toilets etc. the hutong homes all use the numerous public toilets. Again people seem very happy. Lots of bicycles and small three wheel delivery carts as well as Audi MZB Volvo etc....

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Oct 1, 2017 - The Great Wall

To climb along the top of the Great Wall, that was today's adventure. And we did it taking the hardest route, very very steep but so beautiful! Hazel had one tough time with her IBS acting up but thankfully it settled down just in time. My haircut was getting a bit shaggy so decided to have an adventure. The barber shop was busy or so it seemed except as soon as I went in the door 10 men in red coats welcomed me, one giving me a great massaging shampoo, another cutting and a third standing by to brush away any stray hair, followed by yet...

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Sep 30, 2017 - Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square

We are beat but a quick note: We went to the forbidden city and Tienanmen square today, meeting up with our fellow tour group and guide. As luck would have it tomorrow is a national celebration of the PRC. So T-square was full of flowers, flags and patriotic Chinese people. Tons of families and cute kids waving the Chinese flags. Patriotic fervor is not owned by USA. We are getting up early 5:30 am to see the Great Wall. Hazel

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Sep 29, 2017 - First Impressions of Beijing

Our hotel Marriott Central, is spectacular. We have a huge room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking a hutong that we will go explore. There is also there's a big park nearby and we want to get some exercise. The Cantonese duck was amazing. I'm sure it's the same as Peking duck. Since it's a national holiday "early autumn holiday" we literally could not get a cab to take us to the restaurant. A similar fate happened to a group of Philippine doctors so we ended up in the restaurant together. Hazel First impressions of Beijing is of the...

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Sep 8, 2017 - Musings from Beijing

A few thoughts thirty-five years after my first visit to Beijing when Mao blue or grey one-piece suits were the norm, women wore no lipstick, and cycles were the dominant means of transport for all except cadre members. The food was then generally unappealing to the Western palate, foreigners had to use special currency notes and pay higher airfares than locals, and many city-dwellers lived in hutongs, traditional courtyard residencies in narrow street alleys. Of course there was no Google then but there's no Google now either as it is...

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Aug 29, 2017 - Beijing by Bike

Today I went on a Beijing by Bike tour. A bit scary since I haven’t ridden a bike for more than 20 years! Just riding was fine but negotiating other cyclists, pedestrians, tourists and cars was a bit challenging. We started the day riding through the hutongs and did a home visit to a couple living in a hutong. They kept a huge number of birds, cats, a dog, a rabbit, a bearded dragon, crickets and fighting crickets! We learnt quite a bit about keeping crickets. It was actually quite interesting. We then rode up to the Drum and Bell Towers,...

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Beijing to Berlin

Aug 28, 2017 - Simatai Great Wall

I went on a long day trip (just over 12hrs) to the Simatai section of the Great Wall. This is one of the most remote sections, supposedly unrestored. It was one of the real sections of the wall, not just built for tourists. However, it did have a very artificial Chinese village at the bottom which had a hotel and other tourist facilities. Climbed the complete length that was open, up to the 10th watchtower. Very physically demanding – I realised how unfit I really am, but everyone found it challenging. Climbed partway back down and the...

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Beijing to Berlin

Aug 27, 2017 - Beijing

Managed to make it to my morning food tour this morning: Rise & Dine – Breakfast in Beijing’s Backstreets (by Culinary Backstreets). This included 9 different food stops to sample different foods & drinks unique to Beijing. I can’t remember many of the names but all of it was good. Unfortunately it rained all morning, which made it difficult to take many photos – hard to juggle a handful of food, an umbrella & a camera – all while trying to keep dry It continued to rain more heavily all afternoon, resulting in a bit of a lazy afternoon. I...

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Beijing to Berlin

Aug 26, 2017 - Perth to Beijing

My flight out of Perth was delayed for 1.5hrs putting my connecting flight in jeopardy. Made it to the gate in Singapore for the flight to Beijing with 10 minutes to spare before the final boarding time, only to discover that that flight was also delayed. Unfortunately I had already passed through security checks, otherwise I would have gone to have a coffee. Immigration was super busy and slow, followed by horrendous traffic into the city centre. All this meant that I arrived at the hotel too late to make the walking food tour I was booked on...

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Beijing to Berlin

Jun 27, 2017 - Jingshan Park

First thing today - to get my glasses fixed. We walked to the eye hospital and found a spectacles shop in the vicinity. They fixed my glasses - yay! We walked on to Wangfujing Street and it was amazing. No resemblance whatsoever to the Wangfujing Street of 1991. Now it is an ultra modern, pedestrian only, ancy-fancy shopping area. First shop we went into was a book store. 8 floors of books. People sitting in the aisles, on the floor, reading books - lots of people - everywhere - for 8 floors! The next shop we went into - next door - was...

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