Landed @ 8:05

Day 1 at Beijing.

… continued from “Excerpts from my Travel Diary”

Not bad considering we went through a lot of turbulence. Was out of the airport at 9:00 am because the airport is – in a word – massive. It’s really really big – you need to take a train to get to the baggage claim area. The airport is very sleek as well.

Took the shuttle then the bus to the backpackers lodge. It wasn’t that hard to find though I think I got off one (or two) stops too early, and I also walked the wrong way (hihihi). Pero di bale, I found it in the end. 

After I checked in, I walked down the hutong’s alleys and took pictures of almost everything. I say almost kasi I had to stop myself. There were so many interesting buildings or carvings that if I took pictures of them all, I’d die.

So, I went off to look for a sim card and a supermarket. I found the shop where they sell simcards and goodluck na lang! Kahirap to communicate! No one spoke English so I think I spent about an hour there just trying to buy a sim card and top-up. Afterwards, I went to the supermarket to stock up on food. I wanted to buy bread and perhaps, peanut butter and some de-lata – pero naman! I’m in the land of Ma-Ling yet I could not find one single ma-ling can around, plus they didn’t have sliced bread! I bought shampoo and soap and a big jug of water na lang. 

When I got to the counter, they didn’t have plastic bags! So Sige, may-i-siksik sa camera bag kaya lumala ang scolio ko. I planned to go back to the lodge to put down my things pero … medyo malayo so I opted to go ahead and check out the drum and bell towers. Buti na lang I did that kasi nakakita ako ng convenient store and they had bread and strawberry jam! Lunch and Dinner forever! I bought a bag as well so that I can distribute the weight evenly (camera on the left side of the body, groceries on the left). I then went to see the Drum Tower but before that … lunch. 

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McDonald’s – easiest to buy. No translator needed. Just point to the picture you want and voila! Instant Nourishment.

@ The Drum and Bell Tower

Kelangan ata kasing tangkad mo si Yao Ming para di ka mahirapan pumanik ng stairs. I was taught in school that risers should be 0.15 to 0.20mm max and treads are at least 0.30. Dito, both riser and tread are at least 0.30mm. Mid leg (sa shin) ang taas ng step and super duper steep! PLUS MADULAS! Good luck na lang kay lola with the camera and the bag of groceries (me).

Pardon the selfies – I was a solo traveler – if I don’t take selfies I won’t have photos!

After exploring the two towers (and being lucky enough not to fall), sabi ko uwi na ako – but I was side tracked by a nice street (don’t know the name). Lots of shops around and very quaint. Took photos but I gave up after that. I went back to the lodge to rest and plan the rest of my week … and to BATHE! I am so nanlilimahid.

to be continued …

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Excerpts from my Travel Diary

Here are some of the stuff I wrote in my travel diary. I’ll probably share more of these in the next few days, just because… it’s nice to remember. AND I trawled through my hard-drive to include some photos too.

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Auckland Airport Tarmac – View from my window seat (24.10.2008)

24 october 8:30 pm (Akl Airport)

Finally off to China! I’ll be boarding the plane in 2 hours and then I’ll be on my way. Mum and BK (& Saffron) dropped me off at the airport earlier and we were quite surprised because the queues weren’t long. We expected heavy traffic and long lines because it’s the start of ta long weekend but it was quiet. I asked the ground crew about it and he said that we just missed the rush.

Continue reading “Excerpts from my Travel Diary”

The Hanging Temple

As I’ve mentioned before, I managed to snag really cheap fares to and from Beijing way back in 2008. Apart from exploring the sights of Beijing itself, I made a side trip to Datong because I wanted to see the Hanging Temple. I saw it being featured in one of those travel channels and desperately wanted to see what it really is like. Thankfully, Datong is much closer to Beijing than X’ian (where the Terra Cotta warriors are), so I did more research and found a travel agent who booked me on a “soft-sleeper” train to this province.

After a (surprisingly comfortable 8-hour) train ride, I got into Datong. My tour guide and driver – I can honestly say MY tour guide because I was her only tourist – drove me to various tourist attractions (9-Dragon Wall, Buddhist Temple) and fed me soo much food I thought I was going to pop! Then of course, they brought me to the Hanging Temple.

Continue reading “The Hanging Temple”

The Bird’s Nest (and Beyond)

(Here’s another post I’m moving from my old site to this one. I’m off to the Coromandel, to see the Cathedral Cove, tomorrow. I hope to be able to write about this trip as well as the rest of the trips I have taken in the past – I’ve got a massive backlog already. I still need to write about Nelson, and Raglan and the other places I’ve been to)

Beijing’s Olympic Stadium

Last year, thanks to Air New Zealand’s Grab-a-Seat, I was able to get a really really cheap round trip airplane ticket (read: NZ$508.00 all in) to Beijing, China. So on the Friday before NZ’s Labour Day, I left Middle Earth to visit the land of the Imperial Dynasties.

The Tuesday after I arrived (and the day after I walked the Great Wall in Jinshanling and Simatai – worthy of another entry), with the insistence of my backpacker roommates, I braved the horrific Beijing traffic and pedalled my way northwards to the famed Olympic City. A visit to the Olympic City is a MUST considering the Great Games just finished a mere 3 months earlier. Better to visit the site before all the excitement, euphoria and the novelty wears off.

Continue reading “The Bird’s Nest (and Beyond)”

One Great Hike

Reposting this from my previous mysorefeet blog. Too bad I can’t import the comments made on this one. Oh well … such is life. Will be moving a few more travel stories over in the future.

Great! Just Great! I had a long ass narrative about my experience at the Great Wall and when I clicked Publish, I was redirected to the log in page. OMG! All my hard work just vanished into cyberspace. No matter what I do, I just could not retrieve the page with my text. As such, I think shall migrate to another provider. Bugger.

Anyway – briefly …

When I was in Beijing last October, I went on a 1-day hike of the Great Wall. We started off at Jinshanling and ended at Simatai (two provinces north east of Beijing). The whole trek was just a little over 10 kilometres, but it took me about 5 hours to navigate.

Continue reading “One Great Hike”