Beijing – China part 5 of 5

When I think back to China, I keep thinking about how much I’d like to go back to Beijing because we didn’t get to see nearly as much as the city has to offer.  I’m also intrigued because my friend’s cousin is living there learning to speak Chinese and he took us around to some of the small bars and a part of town we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.  I’m really bummed we didn’t get to see the Bird’s Nest or the Opera House which are two amazing architectural structures.  Also, I wish we could’ve spent more time traveling through the Hutongs which are the quickly disappearing original villages scattered throughout the city.

Beijing is developing very fast, as well as the rest of China.  They’re installing a subway system which is about half the size of New York City’s today.  In the next five to ten years it will eventually be three times the size of NYC which will make it very easy for tourists to get around and see everything the city has to offer.  The main reason we didn’t get to see the Olympic Stadiums or the Opera House is because it was too far out of the way.  Olympic Park is on the outskirts of Beijing and would’ve taken about 1.5 hours to get to by bus and the Opera House, although it wasn’t too far away, was also out of the way that we traveled the few days we were in the city.

We had a view of this building from our hotel, although this picture was taken from another angle from a different part of the city.  The building houses the headquarters of the China Central Television company.  It’s an architectural and engineering marvel because of the complications with having it built.  It was definitely one of the most interesting buildings I’ve ever seen.

This park, called the Temple of Heaven Park, is similar to Central Park in New York City.  It’s a large park in the middle of the city that the public uses for leisurely activities.  In the middle of the park is an amazing temple.

Tiananman Square

Riding in a rikshaw through a small village area in Beijing.  They took us to a small house which a single lady who lives alone opens up for visitors and she cooked us lunch.  It was an interesting experience and she cooked some really good food.  After the meal she sat down and our tour guide translated some things she shared with us and she let us ask her questions as well.

Forbidden City.  WOW is all I can say.

Tiny village at the base of the Great Wall, the chair lift is behind this area and takes you to the top and other side of the mountain to where you can hike around a few miles of the wall.

It was about 90 degrees and very humid.  There was a breeze once in a while but when we’d walk through each of those forts it was a lot cooler.  We ended up spending a good bit of time climbing around a few of the forts in order to stay cool.  My three friends and myself didn’t hike as far as the rest of our group because we took it slowly but we definitely still saw just as much.

To get down the mountain you could either take the chairlift down or you could take this slide which takes about five minutes to coast down.  There’s a lever at the front between your legs that you push forward to go faster and pull back to brake.  There was a small crowd in front of me that I ran into about half way going down so I wasn’t able to pick up as much speed as I would’ve liked but it was fun nonetheless.

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