I'm back again, this time I finally got to Beijing. I hopped on a plane 2days ago at 3.30am as you all know. I got off at 3pm Beijing time (which is 8 hours ahead of UK time). I thought I'll be adventurous and instead of taking the taxi, I will take the public transport. That was an idea I have already checked out while I was in Dubai so Inhad all details what to catch and how to get there. I didn't calculate though that I got off at terminal 3 and the express train which was my first transportation was at terminal 3. I thought, ok I will walk... until I realised, it's a 40 mins walk... so I found a free shuttle to the other terminal and it took a good 20 minutes by the bus to get there....
I payed the ticket, got on the train, payed again and got on the first and the second metro. Finally I got out and it was a good 15-20 minutes walk to the hostel. I was awake for about 30-31 hours by that time. Rich already waited for me in front of the hostel as I told him I'm on the way. He thought I arrive a day later so he was a bit confused. He was awake way over 40 hours as he just got from the airport himself 3-4 hours before me.
I got to the room which isn't anything fancy but it has beds and shower. That's all I needed. Rich went straight to sleep and even thought Intried hard to stay awake. I fell asleep at about 8pm.
Rich woke up at about 5am today morning, I slept till 10am which is yes, a good 14 hours sleep... don't know how, but I needed it badly :)
After waking up we had a bit more chat than last night, we talked about the plans, what he seen yesterday walking around and we decided to visit the forbidden city. Before we left I tried to let my family know I'm ok but as you probably know, all social media including Facebook,Messenger, Viber, google and everything google based such as gmail is forbidden to use in China,so it's all blocked. It's not easy to try to find or use anything when you can't use the usual search engines but we found bing which is like google.
The forbidden city is literally about 15-20 minutes from us. It was a bit cold and walking towards the city, I don't think I've ever seen streets like this. Tiny streets, almost like you walk in between flats. That was the back alleyways. On the 'main' street, hundreds of little Chinese shops, selling all sorts.
Finally we got to the city, cost 40¥ per person which is about £5. I had to realise as we walked around that I'm not impressed by China so far which Rich was a bit sad about as even though I tried my best, he could see on my face. I started to be very hungry so we got a coffee which was made of Nescafé and powdered milk (as they have no real milk in China or if they do, it counts as western food and cost 3x times more than anything) which in the end Rich had to drink as I couldn't. We left the city and started to walk to find some food..after a good walk we did find 1 Chinese restaurant where the food was also written in English plus had photos so we decided to go with it. I had some fried rice with prawns and Rich had rice noodles with egg on top. They were huge amount of food and Rich get some chopsticks with his lovely soupy food He actually did try to eat with them which ended up with eating all the noodles and egg but not the soup. As we were absolutely filled up, we started to walk back to hostel to face our biggest problem : where to next and how do we get there?
Back to the hostel we decided that instead of the original plan which was Burma after Beijing, lets go to Vietnam as the flight ticket is cheaper. So checked visa, flights,etc but the we realised that going to Vietnam will cause us a big back trekking to Burma.. after a long discussion, we decided to hi with Burma but instead of Mandalay which is in the middle, we go to Yangon which is in the south part of Myanmar. Before we booked anything, we had to book accommodation first so we can apply for visa and then the flight ticket... it wasn't easy, spent the whole afternoon doing it.
We didn't do much after that apart from headed out to the Main Street which looked like a Main Street in any big cities. Massive stores, big brands and instead of Chinese restaurants, lots of commercial McCdonalds, KFC, etc. Somehow we entered a little Chinese market and we've seen there... I didn't take any of my equipment to take photos but I promise I'll go back tomorrow to take some... they were selling scorpions and massive bugs on stick, mini ducks and octopus. Couldn't believe my eyes... the scorpions were still alive when they put them on the stick and in the oil... there were all sort of food and I wasn't sure I wanted to taste any of them. The smell there was horrible and even I was hungry, I just couldn't even think of tasting any of those things,especially cos we couldn't figure out 95% of what they were selling. We had really 3 choices of food around there... eating the weird unknown stuff including the half alive ones, buying cup noodles and take it back to the hostel with hot water and eat or burger.. we went with burger and even that had a really funny taste and I wasn't sure if I wasn't eating a dog burger
After that experience we walked back, booked a trip to the Great Wall of China for tomorrow and now we are about to go to sleep.
You might say we are pussies we didn't try those food in the market...but I'm not sure with the hundreds of people, the smell and look of the food any of us would have... I think I'm very open minded but maybe need to open my mind a bit more to this ☺️