China Diary x Beijing : Part 1

Thursday, 2 July 2015


About 148 days ago, I was invited by my aunt to join the rest of my relatives for a trip this year. There was no confirmation to the date or itineraries, but I know the title of our Whatsapp group chat intrigued me. It says 'Trans-Siberian, Russia'. 

145 days ago, I got my one-month leave approved and since then I've been waiting for this trip. Right now, I'm thinking this is just the beginning. 

My flight from Penang - Bangkok - Beijing didn't start off very well. My seat happened to be next to a teenage boy who kept stepping on my backpack the whole time. Plus, I never like flights because I get terrible motion sickness, not to mention I was sleep-deprived the night before. 




Once touched down Beijing, we met our tour guide, Judy. She reminds me of Tinkerbell; petite and restless. It was also the same day where I met Susie, a travel enthusiast from New Zealand. She's a physiotherapy practitioner based in London.  In later posts, I will also share about the amazing people I've met in this life-changing June. We stayed at Tian Tan Hotel which is located in downtown and convenient for both business and leisure travellers. There wasn't not much going on that area except for a few rows of shops and a mall just around the corner.

Apart from the toasty weather, I wasn't used to summer seasons outside my country. Daylight was definitely longer and it naturally altered my sleeping hours. I was pretty amazed by how I could wake up at 5.00am without my phone alarm. 

The first spot we went to was the Great Wall of China (長城 - Chang Cheng) and I could only describe it as crowded. I wasn't so keen on the wall, but the scenery from where I was standing is beautiful; and definitely the people too. I could see parents trying to get hold of their kids from running, fair ladies looking out for shady spots to fill in, and children waiting to get their hands on the fruit popsicles.

I didn't walk up (or some of you describe as climb) the wall. It was the beginning of the journey and, to be honest I was afraid my knee will give me a hard time. So I went on with the queue to get myself a hawthorn popsicle. It was SO GOOD and definitely made up for the hazy weather.




We then had a rickshaw ride to Hutong (胡同), the alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyard residences. I simply enjoyed the guilt ride because it was a pleasant 30-minute going through the narrow streets with the wind blowing into my face.













We took a stroll down along the rear sea in the Xicheng district, known as Hou Hai Lake (后海). There were a couple of interesting restaurants and food stalls here. We took a coffee stop and this is where I had my first stinky tofu (臭豆腐 - Chou dou fu) and to my surprise it was really good! I don't know what was the big deal with the smell, but the after taste lingered for hours. I was very aware of that. The day ended with dinner at the hotel, a few pages of Hunger Games, and confusion about this city.









Part 2 coming soon!

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