I got the train from Hong Kong to Beijing, it took 24 hours but it was lovely! We had our own compartment, it was like a little hotel room, and there was a restaurant on board as well as a bar, I also think its a great way to get a feel for the landscape and take everything in.
After the initial language struggle we made it to our hostel and headed straight to the bar for some large ice cold bottles of Tsingtao (Chinas famous and delicious beer)
I couldn't wait to head to the night markets and test out some of the weird and wonderful foods associated with Chinese delicacy, and it did not disappoint! I had my pick from sizzling large intestines, blended dog meat, 'secret' sausages, starfish on a stick and an array of deep fried creepy crawly's. I have come to the conclusion that scorpions were a cross between popcorn and pork crackling.
Something that obviously can't be missed is The Great Wall of China, one of the wonders of the world, full of history and mystery...ohhhh ahhhh
The Great Wall of China was build to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups. Several walls were being build as early as the 7th Century. Its a colossal 13,170.69 Miles (21,196.18km) long! Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day so it looks very gloomy and foggy in the pictures.
What I found most intriguing was the toboggan, yes that is correct, you can toboggan down the great wall of china, in fact they grease up your toboggan with cooking oil if you wish to get some speed, which of course I did, flew down that thing at 40mph and I highly recommend this!
Right in the centre of Beijing is the Forbidden City. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government for almost 500 years, making it off limits, which is where the forbidden part comes from. The complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 180 acres...so wear comfortable shoes!
Its pretty spectacular, the intricacy of the stone work and beautiful bright coloured ceilings.
We walked around the surrounding parks and came across a lot of action, singing, dancing, painting, ancient water symbol writing and lots of very cute babies (which I couldn't resist getting pictures of!)