This is probably the most interesting experience I had in Asia. It all started with a 25 hour train ride from Hong Kong to the Chinese capital. From the green countryside to farming villages to industrial cities, we saw it all, making the long journey worth it.
Upon arrival, we learned that not many people speak English in mainland China, but the few who do were very nice and helped us find our way to the hotel.
Nestled between traditional Chinese art stores and antique shops, our hotel was cozy and equipped with an impeccable staff (if you’ve ever in Beijing, you must stay at 365 Inn). As soon as we got settled we decided to go out and explore the area, which included Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City!
We decided to stop at a night food market to grab dinner, only to find that the menu mostly featured scorpions, centipedes and baby sharks. I worked up the courage to snack on the small scorpions and I must say I was pleasantly surprised; they mostly taste like salty chips.
After this, things turned sour when we discovered my friend had been pick-pocketed and left without a passport and wallet.
The rest of the trip was dedicated to getting her a new passport and visa to leave the country. This means I wasn’t even able to see the Great Wall or most of the sites I had been so excited about.
Fortunately I did get to see the Olympic sites, Tian’anmen Square and other sights that this vibrant and culturally charged city has to offer. My favorite being the Silk Market, a mall-type supercenter that sells everything from accessories to food to souvenirs.
I’m sure I would’ve loved Beijing even more if I had been able to see all it has to offer but I really can’t complain, what I did get to see I absolutely loved and I would go back in a heartbeat.
Enjoy the photos… and always remember to practice precaution when traveling abroad!