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sophie’s Travel Diary

Monday, 11 Apr 2005

Location: Beijing, China

MapToday was spent at Tian'anmen square and the forbidden city. It was quite a funny day as we had a driver, which is far better than the taxis! He dropped us off and straight away we got mobbed by people wanting to sell things. Then this girl came over to us and asked us if she could come round with us to practice her english and in return she could be our guide and tell us about the places we were going to visit. Well, I have to say she was useless, she was very shy and hardly talked so made it very hard for Tracey and I.
Before we went to the square we went to a tea shop where they did a little demonstration for us which was very interesting.
The square was huge and interesting to walk around and as we walked we could read in our books the history of the place. We had an interesting moment when some Chinese boys came up and wanted their photos taken with us! (People coming from the countryside have not seen western women before). The forbidden city however was brilliant very beautiful and interesting, well the bits that they weren't rebuilding ready for the 2008 Olympics. It's quite sad really as they have so much history in China but they don't no how to preserve it properly so they were just rebuilding the forbidden city to make it look better for the tourists!!
After spending the day in the city we went to Beihai Park which was beautiful, you can forget that you are in the middle of a bustling city - apart from it being swamped by Chinese people spitting on the floor, which was quite disgusting. We never got used to it!