Day 12

Walking out the pain.

Summers calves have packed it in, had to raid the medical cabinet for the first time for some Deep Heat. We all had a few bumps and bruises from ice skating but we all wanted to return for another go, we will see how we are going. Today we visited the Forbidden City (Bucket list tick) and it didn’t disappoint. Yes today is a Saturday and it was packed but I think it added to the charm. This place is massive, you really have to go in to appreciate how massive it is. If Summers calves were sore this place was going to stretch them out.

I don’t think we covered half the site’s within the Forbidden City and only stuck to the main track and this was 3-4 hours worth from start to finish. Truly amazing all the halls and galleries. Then you have to fight the crowd to get photos of the thrones within the Halls. At this point the kids started to master the art of pushing in and I would simply pass the camera to one of them for the best shot. Also I might add that the selfie stick has proved its worth here also.

There is so much history in this place and the way it has been preserved is truly a credit to the historians and Chinese government. The gardens, everything was just magic and I think you could truly get lost in this place for hours. But we didn’t and made our way to Wangfujing St. This is supposed to be Sydney’s Oxford St of Beijing (shopping St). It was pretty cool if you are into shopping and shopping malls. This didn’t interest us but the side St did. This was full of street snack stalls selling all sorts of food. I really mean all sorts of food, I saw scorpions still alive on a stick and then simply deep fried ready for consumption. Yum.

Live scorpion, star fish and sea horse

Live scorpion, star fish and sea horse

It got better as we went further up the street, BBQ pigeon in a honey glaze anyone, you could also have it steamed or what about deep fried beetle, cockroach, lizard or tarantula.

Spring not buying pigeon.

Spring not buying pigeon.

If this doesn’t take your fancy you could dabble in BBQ chicken heart, centrepead or snake. We stuck to vegan diet whilst in this street and had a chips on a stick, vegetarian spring roll and a potato omelette sort of thing cooked in front of us. All of these were very nice I might add. We would have spent easily an hour just cruising up and back down this little lane way. It was packed full of locals smashing marinated octopus BBQed on a stick. Truly a cool experience. From here we got the train to Guomao, this appears to be the new Beijing that you see on the news with all the fancy new high rise buildings. I don’t think it has as much character as old Beijing seems more sanitised. I was expecting diner to be fairly expensive in this area and to my surprise it was only $185 CYN roughly $40 Aust for diner plus beers (and Winter had a few – from Summer) all up pretty good value.

From here train back to Quanmen and quick walk back to the hotel approx. 2200 the latest we have been back at night. Really nice day experiencing old and new Chinese cultures, Beijing is still delivering.

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