Happy Spring Festival, sponsored by....

Trip Start Jan 16, 2009
1
7
40
Trip End May 26, 2009


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Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Spring Festival for yesterday everyone! It was the first fullmoon after Chinese New Year so the whole of Beijing went mental, there was fireworks absolutely everywhere last night, it was crazy, people were just standing on the pavement letting them off.

But anyway lets go back to a couple of days ago when we got here, first thing we have to say is that China, or the small part of it we have seen so far, is amazing. We are definately fans of this city, the people are infinitly friendlier than Russia, the city is nice, there is loooads to see and its just generally a lot nicer. Or maybe thats because its warm here (or warmer anyway, about 9 degrees but lovely and sunny most of the time)

Ok se we arrived here 4 days ago with everyone, we said goodbye to Alisha at the train station as she had to go meet her new tour group, we found our hostel which was very nice and myself (the White) and the Raywood did our first clothes wash of the trip (Beccas obviously much cleaner than us, we have been stretching out our clothes wearing time to amazing limits).

The next day we did Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City which was awesome, took thousends of photographs and felt famous as people asked us to pose with them whilst their friends took photos of us :) We walked for what seemed like miles through a very pretty park and to home. On the train on the way to Beijing we had decided to try and meet up with other people we had met for a night out on this night. This is alot harder than it sounds with no mobiles, only email and a very limited knowledge of the city and the language. But anyway we did quite well managing to get together a group of 13 or so, including a Canadian girl, some Swedes and Alisha from her other tour. We went doen the Hutongs (narrow street type things) to a bar and sat round chatting and
drinking until one of the Swedes suggested a club, which in our state sounded like an awesome idea, they happened to have one already written down in Chinese so we could just get in a taxi and go. Becca and Lisa decided not to come as they were tired but we were well away. Apparently the Chinese are big on strobe lights as it was going
constantly inside, it really hurt your brain after a while. But yeah a good time was had by all.

The next day we were feeling a little delicate (Declan especially as he's an old man) so we had a comfort Macdonalds breakfast and a small day of going to see the Olympic stadium, which was well worth it as when we inside there a random party started happening including people in inflatable costumes and techno music being blasted out.

Yesterday we were going to go to the Great Wall but were very disorganised and left it to late to leave as the buses weren't where we thought they were going to be. So instead we went to the Summer Palace, which was beautiful and very peaceful. After this the boys went to do manly things like go to the Military Museum and we did girly things and went shopping for really important things like handbags which me and Em
have missed having. Mine is real Prada you know, and it was "special special price for pretty lady"... anyway it wasn't that cheap as we possibly haven't got this bartering thing quite down yet. Bec and Em also bought some converse which were nice and cheap. We celebrated at the end with a manicure for 2 pounds each!. When we left we found out the true joy of the srping festival, air so thick you couldnt see with firework smoke! was amazing and terrifying! Amazing.

Anyway finally today we went to see the cold dead corpse of Chairman Mao (number 2 out of 3 on our list of cold dead communist corpses of Asia) and then went to Beijing zoo to see some awesome animals, including lots of panadas which was amazing, Raywood was
especially excited about that whereas Becca was a massive fan of the ring tail Limas (shrug, I thought there were racoons...). We walked back along a very pretty lake after sampling some Chinese herbal tea.

So thats all for now, tomorrow we are definately going to the Great Wall as it's our last day in Beijing, we've oragnised it and everything so nothing can go wrong (she says)....

Love EEB
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