So, it was a rather large touch of sadness that we left Paris on June 25, knowing that we would be back but that the next visit might not come around for quite some time. Our post-exchange blues, however, were definitely softened by our first stop in Beijing!
Beijing is what can definitely be qualified as a tourist city. It may lack the glitz and glamour of Shanghai, but it has oodles of tourist attractions and an ease of passage facilitated by the modifications carried out for the Olympic Games.
Its tourist attractions can broadly be categorized into two groups – temples and other stuff. One of our personal favourites was the so-called ‘Temple of Heaven’, situated in a huge park.
The temple itself is quite impressive, but the surrounding area, where Chinese seniors come together to play cards or dance or sing is a real break from the over-commercialised aspects of the city.
Beijing is far from the culinary capital of China – just like Paris in France. Nevertheless, like Paris, it does have a few signature dishes and on top of that list is of course Peking Duck. We sampled one at a popular restaurant - that was definitely a memorable eating experience and light on the wallet too!
One slight disappointment was the monsoonal type weather we endured whilst at the Great Wall. With visibility reduced to 50 metres or less, it was perhaps not the day to get that quintessential snaking picture of that most impressive construction – for another visit and another less-touristy part of the Wall!