Beijing- day one

Today I woke at 8.30am and decide to do a small workout because I’m worried I’m going to put on so much weight whilst travelling.
After giving myself a pep talk I went downstairs to meet other fellow travellers. I sat down at a table, chose what I wanted to order and then went to the till to pay. The woman at the till wouldn’t stop looking at me. Even when we were not in conversation she would look at my face and hair. When I went to walk away she said “you are beautiful”. I smiled and sat back down. I didn’t think too much of it, I thought perhaps she didn’t know what else to say and that was the first thing that came to her mind. 

Anyway, so after having breakfast and sussing out I needed a VPN app to access any form of internet I was kind of on my way…however, not exactly on my way as I still hadn’t really met anyone. I wasn’t too worried though as I was moving onto the next hotel that afternoon. Therefore, I made a plan to go out for an hour, see what this side of Beijing had to offer and then head towards Chongmenwen. 

Upon leaving the hotel someone asked me where the female loos were and when she came back we got talking. I can’t even remember her name, although I spent the whole day with her! She had just been to Nepal for a month and had climbed loads of mountains! 

We decided to venture off into the unknown searching for coffee and something for her to eat. We ended up in McDonald’s. Once she had retrieved her food and drink we sat outside and chatted. It then dawned on me people we stopping in the streets and slyly taking pictures of us. One person stopped and the girl I was with shouted “you want a picture?” and then put her fingers out to make a peace sign. After she turned to me and said “you need to get used to this, you’re from the west”. 

Once she had consumed her breakfast we decided to head back to the hostel and make a plan for the day. Once deciding we would go to the lama temple we headed north of he city. It was a hell of a trek. We walked for about an hour and a half. It was a nice walk though and was good to see a bit of Beijing through the back streets. Many people we eating sweet potato on its own and what looked like mini toffee apples on long sticks.

The temple was beautiful. The tiles were lovely colours and the the Buddhas inside were humongous. One of the biggest buddhas was carved out of one piece of wood, incredible. 

The ceilings were equally as beautiful.

We rushed through it, but I didn’t mind. A lot of my friends who have been to south east Asia have said how many temples you visit and see, so I know I’ll get a chance to have a more thorough look in another location. 

It seemed there were two types of people at this temple, people who came to admire the building and architecture, and people who came to admire their god. The combination of prayer and photography didn’t feel quite right but we weren’t the only ones doing it so I guess it wasn’t frowned upon.

After the temple we decided to get the tube back and had a beer at a local bar. It was 5yuan which is around 90p in sterling. It was 600ml which is a very large beer but it tasted quite watered down.

I arrived at my new hotel where I met Emma, a girl in my group. We had our welcome meeting and then went for dinner at a place Gary our guide recommended. The duck was lovely but the other chicken peanut dish was also very tasty. Gary said it was called GongBao chicken.


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