Location: bejing, China
I have finally found a computer that speaks English so maybe you wont have to put up with my bad spelling and awful grammar (Sorry Jos).
So anyway, my holiday is about to end tomorrow I leave Beijing and should be back home and happily in Russ arms early hours of Tuesday morning. I have had a really hectic last few days.
We took another overnight train from Xian to Beijing, which if you havent noticed yet, translates to.. Had another night with no sleep and hundreds of Chinese people staring unashamedly at us for hours on end. Once in Beijing we went to Tiananmen Square, which is actually a rectangle, and very big. I got a very cool (read kitch) watch, saw yeta nother lovely painting of the glorious hero Chairman Mao, and posed for around 30000000 photos with the others in my group for the Chinese Tourists. I cant believe so many people have not seen a westerner before it is just amazing.
Then we went to the Forbidden City! This was really cool
. for the first hour. It really was a city. Its is so big!! It is also full of dragonflies zillions flying around everywhere no one really seems to notice this (there are also zillions flying all over the place here in Beijing), but it was so cool to see.
Then we went to see the Shoalin Monks the Legend of Kungfu. This show was a highlight! They are so cool, and have such incredible power. Most of the group was up the back but 4 of us forked out some extra dough to get good seats. We had such a good view of them
but of course we were just there to marvel at their skill, the fact that they are totally ripped and half naked and dripping in sweat had nothing to do with it J.
This morning we were up very early and off to climb the Great Wall. How cool is that? Me on the Great Wall of China! Mind you, I dont think I even have a picture of myself there to prove it it was so steep and climbing all the steps was harder than 3 days trekking. I was totally wrecked at the end, then found out I had to go down an awful cable car to get back. I spent the entire time holding on tight with my eyes shut and trying not to throw up.
This afternoon we went to a market It was awful the tourist market. We (by we I mean any westerner) got pulled and poked and shoved and grabbed and yelled at continuously all the way through. Every single person you see, actually every person that see you, starts yelling come here lady, you buy something, what are you looking for, I have it here, I give you cheaper. People were incredibly rude to us (more than usual), very very offensive and then get cranky at you because you wont give them money. It was the single worst place I have been in all of China I think.
We have walked so much here in Beijing because taxi drivers will not pick up westerners, so we have to walk. Some times, Jerry (tour guide) has had to get us to hide then he will flag a cab then we run out and jump in, he has also had to go up the road a bit away from us and get into a cab then direct the driver to us and get us in I really do not know how they plan to make this work when the Olympics are on next year.
Anyway so many stories. Unfortunately no photos though, it appears that I have lost all of my photos from Vietnam and Cambodia L, but I will put some China ones up when I get home. Tonight is our last night so we are going out for a Peaking Duck Feast ( well I will probably have veggies and Rice like usual)
Location: Xian, China
I cant think in a logical order anymore so i have resorted to rambles - hope i make sense.
1. I went to the terracotta warriors!!!! I can not describe the feeling of being there - I am a nerd.
They are just amazing - there aare 3 pits open to the public but they have found over 600 - they havbe a greta big pit fullof acrobats to entertain the emporer in the afterlife, they have governmenet officials, they have a found a big garden full of birds and wild life, and they have also foundabig stockpile of armour made from jade. It is just amazing. I have been pretty goodwith my money but it all just fell apart there -now My pack is so stuffed with terracotta warriers I can hardly lift it!!!
2. China is too crowded. Xian is a huge city - not as big as Chongqin obviously - but big. So many people - and no one has any manners. The tour group booklet reminds us that with 1.3 billion people it does not pay to be polite - and I can understand that. If you stand in a que and you are not touching the person in front - someone else will just squeeze in there. I have gotten really good at pushing in!! so watch out anyone in a que when I get home!
3. I got a new tattoo in China - I am just sneaking this in here so that hopefully mum and dad will read this in the next day or two and have enough time to calm down before I get home :)
4. Chinese rap music sux ass!! it is without a doubt the crappiets music to ever be invented - it should be banned worldwide.
5. there do not appear to be any raod rules in China - the road is a scary place to be. It is a terrifing asvietnam and cambodia but whilemost of the vehicleswere mopeds and the roads were thin in tose countries - here you walk through the middle of 4 / 6 lanes of busy traffic full of big crs and busses. I was in a taxi today and noticed that my heart wasracing - the only thing you can dois just not look - this goes for crossing the road too.
6. I went to a chinese night club - it is crazy, You go through metal detectors and get fully searched (well not fully!) the club was huge and full of guards in what looked like military police unifirms - including big helmet. There is a strange system for getting drinks that just doesnt make sense - Poor Jerry (the tour guide) had to do all the drink getting for us, but it didnt seem to make sense to him either. The music was cool - i liked it - but you couldnt speak one word cause it was so loud - much louder than I am used to - (and that is abig call coming from someone who has Spammy playing drums next to the lounge room twice a week!!) Chinese Youth seem to love a loud thumping bass - and I think we should love them for that. I started taking photos withj my phone and this big guard materialised out of thin air to tell me to stop - we really do not know where he came from.
7. We have had some cool dinners - last night we had a dumpling feast ( i had special looser vego dumpling feast) It was so good. I have learnt that Chinese people dont really eat rice like we think they do - apparently it is just a "filler" - it is served at the end of a meal to fill up on if you havent had enough, but rarley do people seem to eat it (mind you they also seem to start the meal with a sweet course and finish with soup). The tour guide has gotten in the habit of ordering rice straight away for us, he has also , very thoughtfully, gotten in the habit of ringing resturaunts before hand and asking them to put the beer on ice - chinese people drink their beer at room temperature - Can you believe that !!!! Room temprature!!!
8. smoking - blah - everyonesmokes, everywhere. Everwhere!!
9. did i mention that I saw the terracotta warriers?? :)
we leave tonight (after going to a DVD shop to search for shrek 3 for a special little somone) for yet another overnight train (i will be happy if I never go on another overnight train as long as I live) to Beijing. We arrive there Friday morning, do heaps of stuff then I leave to go to Bangkok on Sunday then home monday night close to midnight. Its almost over. I will put some pictures up when I get home - I cant do anything here without learning chinese.
see ya :)
Location: Chongquin, China
I am impressed that I made it through the Yangtze river cruise - Have any of you ever done this?? I would like to hear about your experiences. It was very odd. We were in first class but we really didnt take that seriously till we saw some of the other rooms - then we were very grateful. We were told that in first class you need to wear a tag at all times, but since there were 300 chinese people and about 30 of us, we didnt need our tags - our faces would be our tags! (if i get called round eye one more time!!!). There was no hot water or toilet flushing while the boat was stopped and that seemed to be alot of the time :(
We got off the big boat and went on a smaller boat - about 100 i think, for a cruise down the 3 lesser gorges, that was interesting but sad cause we saw all the villages that will be flooded when the dam is finished in 2009. There were some pretty confronting sights to see.
Then we got on even smaller boats - about 20 people, buit i think we had about 30 cause we had all these chinese people wanting to get on with us and take pics. We were in this really beautifull place and they just wanna take pics of us!!
We ended up on another bus today and we are now in Chongquin - this place is unbelievable - 32 million people ... yes you heard me correctly - 32 million people!!! Can you believe this many people and no chocolate - I still cant find any!!!
It is so hot here... stinky stinky hot, you just smell and drip sweat continously, all the time. Tomorrow we go on to Xian and the terracotta warriors - we have 2 nights there then to bejing then home. Sorry there havent been any photos, there have been a few technical difficulties, but I will try to get them up soon.
Location: Yangshuo, China
Well i figured out where I am, and I have also figured out that cocktails are bad.
I am in Yangshuo, and popular backpacker haven - so its full of westerners. The country side is just beautiful. We flew into Gulin and then took a bus to Yangshuo. We went on a boat cruise on the afternoon we arrived which was fantatstic but I was so tired. That night we all stayed in and went to the hotel bar. Everyone was drinking cocktails and shooters and myself and another girl were saying "my days of cocktails and shooters are over" so we thought we were safe, about 10 beers later the cocktails seemed like "fun".
That was the last thing i remember, I woke up at 3 am absolutly terrified cause I didnt knw where i was (I thought I was in a cave) and found that my quilt cover was wet and I was freezing - I know what your thinking, and NO I did not wet the bed, Somehow the floor got flooded and we still cant figure out how. My roomie had a less than pleasant experience which turned her lovely white quilt into a "rainbow" quilt and she wasnt going anywhere the next day. I, on the other hand, decided to join a mountain bike ride through the rice paddies. It nearly killed me, but thankfully this time it was only the hangover - there were no 'ass injuries'. Although painfull at times - it was one of the highllights.
The scenery is really just so beautiful - we put our bikes on the back of these little bamboo rafts and went down river for a while with these guys pushing us along with bamboo poles - it was lovely and peacful.
Today I am off to a calligraphy class then this evening we catch another overnight train, and then I think another bus to eventually get us to the Yangzi River. We spend a couple of days on a river boat so I may be out of contact for a while. Also If anyone is texting me, I have not been able to recieve texts for some time - so I am not ignoring you, I am just not getting them. Email is probably the only way to contact me for a while.
Talk to you soon!!
Well, i survived the trek... but only just!! the place, tiger leaping gorge was amazing. Obviously it got its name cause of all the tigers leaping... actually there are three places where, with the help of a big rock, the gorge is thin enough for the tigers to jump and get to the other side. I came back totally broken physically but feeling fantatsic.
We left Yunnan province and took a few bus trips and a plane and now we are somewhere else.. not quite sure where because when I havent been on some cramped transportation that does not account for the leg room required by westerners I have been drunk, Unfortunately all the beer comes in "tallies" so when i say i had a few beers (usually more than a few) I actually mean a few tallies / longnecks. I will find out where I am; and how to spell it and get back to you!
(I am now sitting in a little cafe with 'enetr sandman' blarring accross the whole place - some things just transend cultural barriers!!)