The Forbidden City

Trip Start May 04, 2011
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Trip End Oct 08, 2012


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What I did
The Forbidden City

Flag of China  ,
Friday, August 19, 2011

Today I tackled the crowds and returned to the most visited attraction in Beijing, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City (Yiheyuan). One thing I did not do was wake up for the viewing of Mao's corpse. It was definitely a full day of walking, fighting the crowds and eventually ending up in Jingshan Park a welcome change of pace after the palace.

Passing a few Utongs (old alleys) I was on a mission to find a copy of Lonely Planet China and was told I might find one at the English bookstore on Wangfujing Pedestrian Street. Indeed they sell Lonely Planet but for every country other than China. China has blocked the sale of LP here. After failed attempts to buy a used one from a fellow traveler, I did eventually locate one in Shanghai for a whopping $52USD.

I continued the night with Sara, a very cool Aussie who took the same footpath as I today and was just as ready for a beer. Even better Sara introduced me to the highlight of my day, the side street where they sell all the yummy Chinese delicacies. Unlike Sara I was not adventurous enough to try the scorpions, tarantulas, cat or pigmy seahorses like the cute ones I had just admired in the sea a few weeks prior.

Instead I took photos, enjoyed a mooshoo pancake and a nice cookie made of nuts that reminded me of halvah. We finished the night back at Sanlitun Street which was really hoping tonight. We met a nice couple Rina and James as well, who eventually became a helpful resource for me during the remainder of my time in Beijing. James is Japanese American who lived in the states and Rina is half Japanese, half Chinese. She was so sweet and eager to take me out for typical Peking Duck but in the end we never met up again.
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