After a very long flight, we arrived in Bejing, hot and tired. We were met by an Exodus representative and taken to our hotel (A on the map) where we were left to our own devices until the evening when our group leader was to arrive. Looking at my city map, we found a park nearby (1 on the map) and decided to go exploring.
When we met our group leader, Ansen, it turned out we were the only people in the group and that we had him all to ourselves.
On our second day in China, we had our first taste of the public transport system. We travelled by the number 5 bus to Tiananmen Square (2), a journey we will not forget in a hurry.
Behind Tiananmen Square is the impressive Forbidden City
(2). There were no trees anywhere in the city, apart from in the
Imperial Garden. One reason for this was that the emperors feared that
assassins might use trees as hiding places. We had lunch with a local
family after which we were treated to a cricket display and then a tour
of the city’s hutongs (narrow alleys) by traditional pedicab. In the
evening we went to see a fantastic acrobatics show.
On day 3 we walked to the huge Temple of Heaven complex (3) which was not far from our hotel. In the afternoon we visited the Olympic park and in the evening we watched a Kung Fu show.