Ni Hao Ma!
Time check: 0121001112.
My first day here in Beijing was dedicated to a business meeting jived on this trip. After a light snack at the hotel cafe’ and a short ocular inspection of the warehouse, my host (possible supplier) brought me to a local Chinese restaurant for a traditional dinner and tea. Seriously, my mind is already trekking the great wall whilst in the middle of the meeting. After I got all the copies of the presentations and proposals from the prospective supplier, I rushed back to the hotel and gave the documents to the receptionist stationed at the hotel’s business center. Good thing, we have coordinations with the hotel on how to send the documents to my aunt in Shanghai (who is also meeting other possible suppliers) so I need not to do it myself.
The original plan, actually is that I will fly to Shanghai on my third day to be with her before she flies back to Auckland. Thank the heavens! she changed her mind. The new plan is that she will no longer require me to follow her in Shanghai! I love her idea- it gave me time to explore Beijing. Well, to be honest, I already expected this will happen (yeah, my aunt is a bit predictable) so I made plans in advanced without her knowing.
I am here at the hotel named Eden Silver Road Suites- just a couple of blocks away from the famous Wangfujing Street. This small street in the middle of Beijing City Center is a popular spot for food adventurists and food maniacs! It is well known all over Beijing as the street food top spot in whole of China. I heard they grill all kinds of weird stuff there like octopus, grasshoppers, scorpions, snakes, and spiders! This is perfect since one of my plans is to go on a crazy food tripping whilst in here. The question is: How extreme and crazy can I go? I will find that out when I get there.
Tomorrow, I am booked to go to the Great Wall in Mutianyu. There are two famous great wall areas (open to the public) here in Beijing. The Bedaling Wall which is more commercialized and more intact (but too crowded, they say); and the Mutianyu Wall – the less crowded but less popular one.
Aside from the Great wall, I am also booked to visit the Ming Tombs- the underground palace where thirteen royal tombs of the Ming Dynasty were buried. It will be handy for me to drop by because the said graveyard is just located at the foot of the mountain where the Great Wall was built.
This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the rich history of China. Included in the tour scheduled tomorrow are: a traditional Chinese lunch at a local restaurant; a visit to a jade factory; and a stop over at a silkworm farm.
Although I have another meeting set tomorrow night before dinner, If it finishes early, I think it will be the best time for me to visit the Wangfujing street and feast on mini monsters! I am thinking of baby sharks, scorpions, and starfish! now I’m really so excited.
On my third day, I plan to explore the Forbidden City and learn all its dark secrets. A stroll around the Tian an men Square will more likely be a part of my activities as well because it is located just across the walled palace. After which, I might visit the Chinese Traditional Medicine Institute to learn at least the basics of Chinese Medical practices. I heard from a friend that the institute is open to the public and professional Chinese doctors give free consultations and check-ups. I think I should give this a try! Although I am pretty sure that I am fine and I have no illness or whatsoever, I still want to undergo a proper Chinese Medical Check up for the purpose of feeding my curiosity about Chinese methods and organic herbs.
After my weird hospital tripping, which I think would be finished at about noontime, I might visit the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. According to a reliable source, the Summer Palace became the official residence of the “evil” (according to some locals) dragon lady who became the last empress of China.
Even with the tight schedule of my planned tour, I am quite positive I will make it on time to my dinner meeting schedule on my last night in Beijing.a
My last day, probably will be dedicated in a simpler itinerary. I plan to book a “Hutong tour” which will showcase a preserved village here in Beijing. “Hutong” which means narrow street, is a special Chinese community where residents still live in the ancient and traditional way. Another option is perhaps to visit the zoo and have an interaction with a real Panda bear (well, I have already seen one in the Ocean Park in Hong Kong, but I do not mind seeing one again). I was told that you could have a photo hugging them or some sort, which I am looking forward to do. I only see Panda Bears in Tekken ( a video game) and touch one in Gift shops (stuffed toys)- this will be a good chance for me to see for real and cuddle a live one!
I am all set to explore Beijing and it is for me to discover what it really offers! For now, I should enjoy the warmth of my comforter while the cold Beijing breeze of the Autumn night leaves droplets of icy mist on my glass window. Cheers!