Travel Diary- Beijing.


Some of you might be terrified of using subway in a foreign country. And in some way I have the same. If I am not 100% sure about my destination and how to get there I would never decide to use a tube, especially if you have no-one to ask about the way. In China, well, from my experience, hardly anyone can speak english. The way how I was communicating with Chinese people was by Google Translator. I was typing what I wanted to say, showing them my phone (with Chinese transcription) and later they were typing something on theirs phones trying to answer me. (But most of the time, specially in a shopping malls, when I was trying to found something, I was playing pantomime and showing them what I need with my body language ;D ). So not being sure about the name of the station and which way later to move might be slightly difficult. Slightly, because you can easily download app with metro map that will exactly tell you, where to change your station, to which line and so on. (Just be careful about the names of stations, some of them might be almost exactly the same, here you have the example of three stations names in Beijing in line 7: Guangqumenwai, Guangqumennei, Guanganmennei. See the difference? Once I almost got lost because of it.) But using underground is probably the most efficient way. It’s cheap (for travel using 3 lines, 3 changes, 40 min you will pay about 1 pound) and really safe! People don't eat or drink there. They really obey the rules. 

The reasons why I wanted to mention underground is because I used them a looot. I visited on my own in Beijing: Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Beijing Zoo, Old City. All by using underground. 

Temple of Heaven was first I’ve seen from historical places. It was. Well, I expected more. The park is open till late hours but temple itself was closed very quickly. The first time I came there it was closed. But when I came second time, well, disappointment was rather big. Everything is fenced and you have to enjoy it from far. In reality that means you can’t see anything properly and the queues are sooo big that I didn't event want to fight to get closer and see something. But! One thing that you can see everywhere is that Chinese really use those places. They meet there, play mahjong and other chess. Hundreds of older, younger generations are spending their free time in parks. I really enjoyed it. 


Forbidden City is extremely big space full of sharp redy- yellowy wooden roofs with dragons, lions and other chimeras sculptures. There’s not so much greenery there as in Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace, and it’s really huge. You need at least 3 hours to enjoy most of it (still not all). There are a lot of nice museums inside. Few with buddhas, antique tiles, monuments, ancient utensils. I really enjoyed this place. I only wished to spent there more time and not be in such a hurry. 


Summer Palace. I would love to say nice things about this place, but when I was there it was soooo pouring that despite my rainproof coat I was all wet under it. It’s very similar to Temple of Heaven. Same closed, fenced museums- temples. The only amazing memory I will have from this place is a dancing lady. Together with my friend we were trying to find some place with a roof to rest for a second from rain. So we came back to the place we knew it will have some. We met there a group of elderly Chinese people (remember when I told you they really use their heritage? that was this moment). For 15 minutes we were observing them while they were taking pictures of themselves and laughing out loud. We were giggling with them like some small children. After few minutes one lady stared to dance. It was, well, for me it was something like traditional dance to Chinese music. I was sitting there like enchanted and didn’t want to go. Unfortunately, we had to go, so we hugged with them warmly and went.  

Okay, that's enough for today. But stay tuned! I will write my experience on Beijing Zoo (pandas!), Great Wall and other. 


Love, Liliann

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