Tuesday, March 24, 2015.
Day 2 in Beijing! 😀 The day started off early with a breakfast buffet beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the dining area in the lobby. Just like my previous visit, you informed the hostess at the front of your room number and you will be able to enter.
Things I liked at breakfast included the chicken sausages, meatballs, freshly fried egg, and the steamed veggies. 🙂 I think I over-ate as usual and was stuffed.
Upon sitting down in our tour bus, our tour guide for the entire duration of Beijing, “Snow” Chan, informed us that there was a change in itinerary and that we’d be going to see the Great Wall today, among other sites. Good thing I was appropriately dressed for the climbing that was to come!
It took us about an hour on the road to reach the gigantic mountains which led us to the world-famous man-made structure — the Great Wall of China!
This time, we climbed up from the same side that I climbed on two years ago. It was exactly the same! Well, actually, this time, the face of the structure at the entrance was covered in bamboo sticks and netting since it was undergoing construction.
It was early in the morning at 9:30 and we had until 11 am to climb before we headed off to our other activities for the day. It was actually cold and crisp in the morning and I had on three layers plus my outer down jacket. I wished I brought my mittens too! What a difference to last time’s experience :).
Mom and I climbed to the right side stairs and kept going past No. 3 Tower and to the left of the fork where we reached a dead end of the walls, all the while taking pictures too (I took a LOT of selfies :)). Before long, we ascended and I finished off with some jumping shots too :D. Love that time burst feature on my phone — makes taking fast action — jump shots — sooo easy!
We then headed to a Crystal emporium and gift shop where a representative explained to us the different crystals that exist. They were pretty but didn’t mean much to me. We also had half an hour to browse the delicate and fancy vases, “kirigami”, souvenirs, and more.
I recognized this place immediately as the bus drove in since I’ve also been here before (XD). I’m pretty sure we came here for lunch after our Great Wall of China climb and then browsed through the same gift store. (Confirmed, it is the same.)
After that, we went to a herbal cream place where they tried to sell us into buying the ointments. No thank you. I was so jet lagged that I napped through most of it.
Afterwards, we headed towards the Jinsha Theatre to view an amazing acrobatic performance. We got good seats and there were 13 acts.
The floating text at the top of the theatre said this:
Myth Jinsha — large acrobatic show (gold sand)
1 through loops on ground
2 the high chair modelling
3 roll cup modelling
4 sloshing board tilt bowl
5 high altitude pendulum the crutch
6 turn dish
8 dialobo playing
9 ceramic art skills
10 changing face
11 large flywheel
12 bicycle skill
13 Flying in the big ball
As funny as the names of the acts sounded (so much Engrish), they actually did describe what we saw. It was a blend of Cirque de Soleil- type action and thrilling performances that kept you on the edge of your seat.
I loved the one where the lady literally was able to contort all of her body parts so that her back bent over backwards and forwards and she even carried lamps in the sole of her feet while upside down…crazy skill. The ceramic pot throwing was cool too as well as the bus-load of girls who hoped onto one single bicycle for show. The very last act was a heart-stopping one where up to FIVE motorists rode into a giant metal ball. Sooo crazy! The most I’ve seen in this act was two..or three. But when the fourth one came out and then the fifth one, I was astonished. It was absolutely incredible skill work but also dangerous to the 100th degree. Come to think of it, I didn’t recall seeing a disclaimer note. Hmm.
Last stop of the day took us to Wangfujing where we had dinner. Wangfujing is a street full of food vendors who sell all of Beijing’s most well-known street food and snacks. You have the fried scorpion (ate one last time), fried starfish, skewers of all kinds of meat, dumplings, stinky tofu, candied fruit, and more. There was a lot of people but the crowd all moved at a good paced so you didn’t feel too frustrated at every step.
I had a lamb skewer, beef skewer, stinky tofu, beef vermicelli, lamb intestines hand-cut noodles, and a bowl of beef intestines. Yum!!!
The skewers were okay as the seasoning and powder mostly made up for the taste. The stinky tofu was very flat and thin and nicely fermented and topped with hot sauce.
The two bowls of noodles didn’t compare at all to the fabulous beef noodle soup that I had last night at a random noodle shop! The beef was super soft and seasoned and the vermicelli was okay.
The lamb intestines were so-so and the hand-cut noodles were also a disappointment. Booo.
The best dish of the night went to a very rowdy and excited food vendor who kept singing songs to catch passersbys’ attentions. It worked because we also noticed how popular they were and ordered a bowl of beef intestines. The small bowl was topped with delicious peanut butter sauce and spicy chili oil. It was the perfect combo! There was also some fresh lettuce underneath everything. So worth getting for just 20 RMB!
Alas, our food adventure ended there that night and we all reconvened with the tour guide and returned back to the hotel at 9 p.m.
Great day! 😀 Good night!