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Beijing Part One

(By Hazell, Carl may add his opinion at a later date)

I’m not sure what I expected of Beijing, but it was along the lines of a busy, commercial, communist metropolis full of rules, regulations, angry people, and smog. And it is full of smog, and there are guards everywhere, but that’s about it. The rest of the city is mostly laid back, cheery and generally really cool!

We’re staying in at Beijing Downtown Backpackers Hostel which is on Nanluogu Xiang Hutong – the main street in Beijing for alternative cafes, bars and food. It’s a 24hr street full of both cool Beijingers and backpackers from around the world (mostly America, I haven’t met any other Welsh yet). The relaxed atmosphere and freindly people make it  really nice place to stay.

We’ve done a lot of walking around Beijing, and Carl has done a lot of eating of unidentifiable meat. Although, we were able to identify the chicken feet in his chicken foot stir fry that he inadvertently ordered. We’ve been to the Forbidden City (no longer forbidden), which is mahousive but beautiful. Full of Chinese tourists though! They travel in their thousands and are obviously passionate about their heritage and history, which is nice to see. We’ve also visited Tiananmen Square which essentially just a square. But it’s a bloody big square, and good for people watching. We also walked about 3hrs the other day to find a sandwich. It looked closer on the map. That damn map also took us into a residential complex too, it was the map, not me, honestly. We also visited the underground city but that was “closed (permanently)” – that is exactly what the sign said.  We’ve also trekked the Great Wall in a thunder storm, but that’s another post. As is my vegetarian experiences of Beijing.

We’re about to leave our hostel now and we’re very sad to leave, the staff have been so nice even though Carl has devoured most of the free sweeties at reception. But very excited to be staying with a friend in a Democrat Residential Complex. I’ve even washed my hair for the occasion, and Carl’s had a shave!

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