Recap: Beijing, China

While we were traveling in Beijing, we always came back to the hotel completely exhausted. So I thought I should recap on everything that happened. AND I raided my sister-in-law’s pictures–y’all should see some of the pics she took. I love the panorama’s that her camera takes. Note to Self: Next camera needs to have a panorama feature.

My roommate recommended this company: Beijing Downtown Backpackers Accommodation. We didn’t stay there BUT I can tell you that I think it would be an excellent and affordable accommodation, they have these nifty cards that can help you get around the city with all of the main attractions (and with the aid of taxi’s), they also have different attractions that you can sign up for. For example, we were looking to go to a Beijing Opera House and see a performance but we had a little trouble finding the right one — they had a list on their wall with different events like the Opera, Acrobatics Shows, and Kung Fu Performances. And in addition to these things they offer a unique experience at the Great Wall. We all wanted to go to a part of the Great Wall that had remained relatively untouched. “Jinshanling Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall are the two most ruined, precipitous, original, preserved sections of the Great Wall in Beijing. The hike from the west Jinshanling to the east Simatai is the most challenging Great Wall hike in Beijing. The 6-km hike takes about 3.5 hours passing 22 watch towers…”

This was my patch-work job of a panorama picture… it just doesn’t have the same effect. Come on Photoshop!

Ah yes, the Summer Palace. If you have to decide between the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace —  I recommend the Summer Palace. A. It’s beautiful. B. There are still A LOT of people (b/c it’s China) but they are much more spread out and C. You won’t be looking at the same thing everywhere you look. I could definitely stay at this Summer Palace. Bring your walking shoes. It covers around 3 square kilometers and most of that is water that you are walking around. There are also a lot of amazing building/temples on top of mountains, so get ready to climb as well. Beware: It’s still very touristy and you’ll probably get ripped off one way or another. But if you are looking for souvenirs, you’ll definitely be able to find them here. But something else that is cool is that you can find more locals, water calligraphers, and other cool stuff. This place is huge, outside of the city, and you could easily spend a week here and still not have seen everything.

Check out this Youtube video I took while at the Summer Palace!

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This is the Dong Hua Men Night Market. Now they call it a night market but it closes around 9-9:30. I like a night market to be open till about 4 am. Not that I would be awake to go to it… but all the people still at drinkin’ could. If you are in Beijing, this place is a must see. They have some of the strangest things that you would have never ever though edible. But I think their theory must be similar to certain parts of The South — anything can be deep fried. This image is relatively tame — but they have everything from fruits and veggies, sugar drinks, seafood, meat, organs, and bugs. GROSS. But oh-so interesting. We saw sheep penis, sheep testicles, and sheep kidney–all on a stick. The place reeks of an organ smell. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was so entertaining.

YUMMY.

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Today I am thankful for: my free Krispey Kreme doughnut (just for walking in) and a free Coke under a Coke promotional tent. I guess I’ve had enough sugar to last me all week long. RUN TOMORROW.

Note: Pictures other than the night market (unless otherwise specified) were taken by my sister in law and have been given an identification marker when you scroll over the photograph. Her pictures are marked under “JECC” in the header. 

The Great Wall

Today we went to The Great Wall.  There is an old saying here, “Not been on the Great Wall, not a great man”. We came on the perfect day. It was absolutely gorgeous. I was so happy to be out there. We hiked to 22 towers and I think could have done 22 more. It was incredible.

We could not have asked for a better day. While it was hot… there was also a really nice breeze.

Today, my toes were at The Great Wall. And they were very happy about that!

Now, I’m gonna leave y’all with one thing — ROLL TIDE. Is it football season, yet???

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Today I am thankful for: my grandfather’s 90th birthday. Grampy is 90 today. I wish I could be there to celebrate with him. I am also thankful for my wonderful friends — this time last year, I lost one. AND I am thankful for my certain someone. Happy you-know-what day. I love you, babe. You rock my world.