June 07, 2014

China photo diary - Part 1 (Beijing)

Hey guys!
So, as promised, Part 1 of my photo diary from China is finally here!

I've decided to split this series of photo diaries into 3 posts - Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai. These were the 3 cities I visited while in China, also known as the "golden triangle".

Needless to say, I had an absolute blast in China! I honestly didn't even expect to enjoy it as much as I did (especially because I still had to complete uni assignments while overseas), and it's safe to say that I'd definitely want to visit China again one day. From the moment I landed in Beijing, it was obvious that this was a really developed country. There were high-rise apartments, offices, shopping centres, and subway stations on every corner and the roads were so huge! Most of them had overhead bridges for pedestrians, so that meant a lot of exercise! lol.. The people were also so friendly, they always had smiles on their faces and never hesitated to help us out when we were a little lost. In Beijing, there was tonnes of sightseeing to do, but thankfully their subway system works super efficiently so getting around this massive city was quite easy. Still, I don't think I've ever walked so much in my life before. My feet needed a massage at the end of every day! haha.. Nevertheless, Beijing was an amazing city to say the least. Now, let's get into the photos!

Wangfujing - a bustling shopping strip near our hotel. We went for dinner here nearly every night!

 And here's some exotic (and even strange) food :)

Yep! This is what I mean by "strange". Spiders, beetles, snakes and centipedes all on sticks.. I didn't have the courage to try any lol..

The view of Beijing city from our hotel at night :)

My favourite day in Beijing - heading to the Great Wall of China! Another wonder of the world ticked off my bucket list!
Yes, it was very crowded... But I didn't mind :)

What a breathtaking view!
I only managed to walk about 5kms of the wall.. The uneven surface and uphill slant made it quite tiring.. Still enjoyed every minute of it :)

See how steep it gets!

Exploring the Hutongs (backstreets showing the more traditional residences) with our lovely tour guide! It's definitely lively and fun area - especially at night. The food here was amazing!

Tiananmen Square! After reading about this place in history books during high school, it was amazing to be there and see it up close.
And of course, Tiananmen Square wouldn't be complete without the a few soldiers guarding the area.
The crowds inside Tiananmen Square.
 Beijing Temple of Confucius.
"Fear not to move forward slowly, but fear only to stand still" - wise words from Confucius himself :)

 We also visited Beijing Zoo to see the famous Giant Panda. To be honest, it wasn't a pleasant site at all. They kept all the animals in small, empty cages that weren't clean - no space to run around or play. The animals were also usually kept alone and they looked quite distressed, especially with the huge crowds poking at their cages. It was hard to see, and I wouldn't recommend the zoo if you're in Beijing. I walked out within 20 minutes.

Heading to the Beijing Olympic Stadium...
 The Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium!
 Having fun with some of the Beijing Olympic Mascots :)
 As they say, "when in Rome, do as the Romans.." so we decided to dress up for a fun photo.. there were a lot of laughs from locals walking past us :)

Temple of Heaven - my favourite temple in Beijing! Everyone was smiling, joyous and just looked genuinely happy and content. Loved the vibe!

Practicing some traditional Chinese dancing... see what I mean about the happy vibe!

On our last day in Beijing, we thought we'd visit the Great Wall one last time.. and this time, by cable car. It was literally a 2 minute ride to the top of a peak where you could then proceed to enter and walk the Great Wall. There wasn't a scenic view of the Wall itself while in the cable car, so if you're counting on that, then I wouldn't recommend this. It seems the best way to see the Great Wall is to just walk it!

Well, that's it for my Beijing photo diary (Part 1)! Hope you guys enjoyed it :)

Let me know if you have any questions about my trip, or about travelling around Beijing and I'll be happy to answer them!

Stay tuned for Part 2! I visited Xi'an - the home of the Terracotta Warriors!