Beijing & The Great Wall of China

Flying into Beijing was a little more shocking than I had expected. I knew they had an issue with air pollution, but this was unlike anything I could imagine. It reminded me of a dust storm you would see in Arizona, just pure beige thick air…I landed at sunset, as you can see in the image below on the right, the sun is barely noticeable (bottom left hand side). It was glowing behind all the smog. I debated on buying a mask to wear for the rest of my trip…

Beijing1_0001

The hotel was very cool! Glass bathroom, emergency pollution masks and a futon onto of a wood bed frame…I’ve come to realize the Chinese really like a hard bed.

Beijing1_0002

These motorized bikes are everywhere, and it’s insane how much people will pack onto these!

Beijing1_0003

First stop, the outdoor flea market! I found some treasures that I was able to ship home for $60! Although, they did say it would arrive in 1-3 months…hmm…

Beijing1_0004Beijing1_0005

This gentleman made me a bracelet! I was able to pick out all the stones I liked, and he strung it up, right there…

Beijing1_0006Beijing1_0007

Street vendors selling hot potatoes…I was tempted to buy one because it was so painfully cold as you can see from the FROZEN lake below!

Beijing1_0008

Next stop, the Forbidden City & Imperial Palace…I could’t believe how insanely big this place was…it was as if the temples went on for miles. No end in sight and in fact, after 3hrs of walking around I decided to end my tour early, thought I spent enough of my time there!

Beijing1_0009Beijing1_0010Beijing1_0011Beijing1_0012Beijing1_0013

My first non western bathroom experience was not something I’d like to relive again…funny that this had a top star rating! I was sure missing my heated automatic japanese toilets at this point…

Beijing1_0015Beijing1_0014Beijing1_0016

Here on the bottom right is an actual taxi…they are smaller versions and are made out of metal, only fit 2 people (1 comfortably) and they zip around traffic like a motorcycle!

Beijing1_0017

Kung Fu Show was fabulous…these BOYS (not men) are incredibly talented and powerful.

Beijing1_0018

The next day I spent on a tour, which was a nice break from leading my own way. We stopped at the Ming Tombs and Underground Palace…

Beijing2_0001Beijing2_0002

The caves were quite a walk underground, freezing to say the least, but just amazing that this was all man made.

Beijing2_0003Beijing2_0004

The walls were so thick, to prevent looters from robbing the tombs.

Beijing2_0005Beijing2_0006

Treasures left behind…gold and white jade.

Beijing2_0007

Speaking of white jade…we ventured onto the jade factory, i found myself a lovely white jade beaded bracelet!

Beijing2_0008

Then there was The Great Wall. A truly epic moment for me. After taking a ski lift up to the top, I wandered off on my own, taking a nice 2hr walk along the wall. Snow flakes began falling, there were very few others around. I felt like it was a blessing to have been there with such beautiful scenery.

Beijing2_0009Beijing2_0017Beijing2_0010

Although I didn’t get to take in how expansive it really is, I think from the hours of walking I got the sense of how extreme this must have been for every individual man to make. It just seemed endless.

Beijing2_0011Beijing2_0012Beijing2_0013Beijing2_0014

Lovely icicles on the trees!

Beijing2_0015Beijing2_0016Beijing2_0018Beijing2_0019

Found a look out tower with a  secret stairwell, it’s hard to tell from the image, but the stairs were extremely steep and uneven.

Beijing2_0020Beijing2_0021Beijing2_0022

A perfect group dinner to end the day. A few of us decided to make our way to a  famous peeking duck restaurant. It was quite an experience trying to oder since no one spoke english, we ended up with WAY too much food. But the presentation was so elegant, the duck was incredible and we left very very full : )

Beijing2_0023

COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *