Our first trip to Beijing

Trip Start Aug 24, 2011
Trip End Jul 20, 2012

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Where I stayed
Beijing City Courtyard Hotel

Flag of China  ,
Monday, October 3, 2011

We use the National Day Holidays (one week holidays) to make a trip down to Beijing. We took a sleeper (7 hour train ride) on Monday night and arrived at Beijing at 5 am the next day. The train was very interesting, two 3-level bunk beds in each room. Of course, I ended up with the bed on the top level which was so close to a ceiling it was scary. I still don't know how I managed didn’t bang my head during the night. The sleep wasn’t bad though, much more comfy than a plane ride.
To be exemplar western tourists, the first think that we did after arriving at Beijing was to go to McDonald’s. There were actually 3 Macdonald’s within 100 metres of each other! Coffee was great, but the food was as bad as any McD’s food anywhere else in the world. Also, we sat there for 40 minutes and they played 1 song (!!) over and over and over again. As I said, the coffee was great…
We picked our hotel to be in hutongs of Beijing. Hutongs are very narrow alleys which form these unique neighbourhoods. Many of these hutongs are being destroyed right now, so I was very happy we could experience them while they are still standing… The hotel was very basic, 2-3 star hotel. Nothing fancy, but it was very clean and quiet. And it had a fussball table right in front of my room. What else can a man could possibly ask for?? Also it was right in the middle of Beijing, so it was very easy to get anywhere. The subway system here is awesome and very easy to navigate. And much faster and cheaper than taxi.
The first thing we checked out was famous Tiananmen Square. Thousands of people everywhere and everyone carried a Chinese flag or sticker with them. It was national Day after all… We planned to go to Forbidden City (FC) as well, but the line up was just insane. We plan to come back to Beijing again, so we will go to see it then. What we did though was to go to Jingshan Park from which you could see FC very well. The park was very beautiful and the view of FC from the park was amazing. It would be even better if there was not so much smog (which was absolutely ridiculous in Beijing) L
On the same day, we also went to the Silk Market. 5 floors of fake brand name items for which you have to bargain. You could really buy a lot of cheap stuff there, but at that point, I really had no energy left to shop or bargain (or even to stand in a lineup for Starbucks coffee) so I haven’t bought anything. I will try next time… We finished the day by going for Guinness, hookah, and amazing cupcakes (in that order)!

Vyuzili sme tyzdnovy sviatok (Narodny Den) a urobili sme si vylet do Pekingu. Isli sme tam vlakom (spacimi voznami) 7 hodin v pondelok vecer a dosli sme do Pekingu o 5 tej rano nasledujuci den. Vlak bol velmi zaujimavy, dve 3 poschodove postele v kazdom kupe. Samozrejme ze ja som vyfasoval tu uplne hore takze som bol tak blizko pri strope ze to bolo dost nebezpecne. Stale neviem ako som si mohol nebuchnut hlavu kym som spal.. Ale aj tak sa mi lepsie spalo tu ako v lietadle. Ako pravy "zapadniarsky" turisti, prvu vec co sme urobili v Pekingu bolo to ze sme si zasli do macdonaldu.  V okoli 100 metrov tam boli 3 Macdonaldy!! Kava bola skvela, len to jedlo bolo take zle ako hocikde inde v Macdonalde na svete.   A ku tomu, sedeli sme tam asi 45 minut a hrali iba jednu piesen dookola!! Hroza! Ako som uz povedal, kava bola fakt skvela…
Vybrali sme si nas hotel v casti Pekingu ktora sa vola hutongy. Hutongy su velmi uzke ulicky ktore su pospajane do takych susedstiev. Vela hutongov sa teraz demoluje takze som bol velmi happy ze sme mohli zazit byvanie v tejto casti kym este hutongy stoja. Hotel bol iba taky jednoduchy, 2-3 hviezdickovy. Ziadny luxus, ale bol velmi cisty and tichy. A hned pred dverami nasej izby sme mali stolovy futbal. Co este viac som si mohol priat? A tiez hotel bol v uplnom strede Pekingu takze vseda sa bolo lahko dostat. A este aj metrom, ktore tiez bolo blizko, sa dalo krasne pohybovat po celom meste .Bolo lacnejsie a rychlejsie ako taxiky.
Prvu vec co sme si pozreli bolo slavne Tiananmenske namestie. Tisiscky ludi vsade a kazdy “vlacil”(tahal – vsak Marienka) so sebou  Cinsku zastavu alebo nalepku… Ved to bol Narodny sviatok nie? Planovali sme ist aj do Zakazaneho Mesta ale zastupu ludi boli uplne sialene. Pojdeme tam ked prideme spat. Ale isli sme omrknut Jingshan park z ktoreho sa dalo krasne vidiet Zakazane mesto. Park bol velmi pekny a ten vyhlad na Zakazane mesto bol este krajsi. Este by bol krajsi keby ten smog nebol taky husty L
V rovnaky den sme isli aj velky trh ktory sa vola Hodvabny Trh. Pat poschodi falosneho znackoveho tovaru za ktori musis vyjednavat ceny. V tom case som uz fakt nemal energiu na nic (ani na to aby som si vystal na moju najoblubenejsiu kavu) takze som nic nekupil. Mozno nabuduce. Den sme zavrsili tak ze sme isli na pivo (Guiness), vodnu fajku, a kolace (v tomto poradi)!
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