Rosie & Jim's Travel Blog

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Our first day in Beijing... Olympic village, Summer Palace and...

Rain and Silk Markets

  |     |   Three Nations   |   China, Beijing

We got up nice and early for breakfast so we were ready for today’s programme, only to find that the heavy rain had meant the programme was amended slightly and we had the morning off. We therefore decided to take a walk around the Forbidden Palace to see the lake. By the time we got there, most people’s waterproofs had failed and we looked a little like a group of happy drowned rats, so we headed back to the hotel to dry off.

We chose to have lunch in a Western Style restaurant, where Rosie and Mark ate burgers, chips and sandwiches and I had Kuangpau Chicken, but for some reason I was given a fork and a spoon. After a little confusion over the lack of chopsticks we tucked in. Although it was all very nice, Western Style also seems to mean Western prices! :disappointed: Nevermind, we won’t be doing that again.

We were then all taken to the Silk Road Markets for a few (5) hours to do a bit of shopping. It turns out that Chinese market stall holders believe that the louder they shout, and the more forceful they are, the more likely people are to buy their wares! Surprisingly this didn’t work too well with us. However the whole experience was great fun, if a little tiring. Mark even managed to get a silk tailor to not only understand his needs, but to tailor an amazing red silk liner in under 15 minutes! We were all suitably impressed.

Our tour guides then took us out for a traditional Mongolian Hot Pot (which is a traditional meal in Beijing for some reason). This involved each person having a small pan filled with some form of broth and a load of raw meats, fish and vegetables and we had to cook it ourselves - great fun!.

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