Beijing, Mainly sunny – Max: 7,0; Min: -5,0; Avg: 1,0
Today the plan was to visit the Great Wall. However we’d slept long and breakfasted late and by the time we were ready to go, the only means to get to the wall was by a chauffeur driven car. We passed up the offer and decided to walk into town again. We took a different route, with equally interesting street life – just no place to walk due to all the cars parked on the sidewalks.
We stopped of at the Xidan Shopping Centre, took a coffee at Starbucks, and shopped a little in the Department Store – we bought Yanmei a red Disney hat for protection against the cold. Steven bought a Madonna CD for 32RMB – which has never played!
We walked further, past Tiananmen Square and along Dongchangan Avenue – the main boulevard through Beijing. They were building everywhere – massive multi-story blocks. The weather was perfect; warm and sunny, it felt like a complete turnaround from the previous day. We walked and walked – soaking up the life, the people and the noise, and rested soaking up the sun.
We walked as far as a McDonalds – it was about 2pm, so not knowing where one can and can’t eat – we took the safe way out! McDonalds was next to the famous Silk Market – so we went shopping for bargains – a Northface jacket for Thomas; a jumper for Steven; overalls for Yanmei.
We shopped at the convenience store next to the market to buy some food for dinner, and started the walk back. We were far too tired to make it all the way and took a small red taxi – just big enough for two in the back and one in the front. The driver literally flew, the long way around the ring road. It seemed like the driver wanted to impress us (or perhaps kill us). The the whole never to be forgotten (or repeated) trip cost only 30RMB.
Back in our room, we ate our food and bought cakes at the hotel. Steven went for a walk around the neighbourhood – most notably finding a large department store with hundreds of different small enterprise shops/stands – selling everything imaginable – and certainly it was all cheap!