Wednesday, March 25, 2015.
Day 3 of being a Beijing tourist! Half of the trip is already done now. Today, we visited two salesy places and balanced out with three actual tourist spots. 🙂
After the same breakfast today (tried their mini bowl of beef noodle soup too — NOTHING compares to what we had on that first night), we boarded the tour bus. First stop today was to a silk worm bedding place.
A lady taught and showed us the process by which silk worms spun their webs and how humans collect it in order to make silk sheets, pillow cases, clothes, and more.
We had heard about this kind of sales before where they “lock” you in the room while they try to sell you stuff and then you feel bad that you’re not buying anything so you end up purchasing something. A similar situation happened to us where after we looked at all the colours and combinations of silk bedding that we could buy, the room was closed. We couldn’t go out of the room and there were many, many sales representatives circling around and asking you to buy.
After that, when we escaped the room (sounds like one of those escape games XD), some people were actually purchasing the stuff and still we weren’t able to leave yet. : O. Our original exit was blocked off and the only other route was through another showroom of silk clothes, scarves, and silk-made pictures. The room was huge and like a made made up of smaller rooms! In total, we were here for at least 2 hours.
After that, we went back on the bus and we were on to Lotus Market and Beihal Park to take pics and stroll around.
One bad part about our tour guide is that she doesn’t wait around for people and has no regard for anyone who’s missing in the group before she proceeds.. An example: she had asked us to gather as a group at 12:10 pm after we walked around at Lotus Market to then go to Beihal Park together. Instead, when we showed up at 12:10, she had already started to lead the people and left the waiting spot. Wtf?
Lotus Market and Beihal Park were all right in beauty.
We also saw the Nine-Dragon Screen that was really cool :).
Then we took turns riding in rickshaws and rode into a small village where we got served food for lunch. The dishes were so good!!! 😀 The experience was cool too. The ride was soooo bumpy as the guy literally carried us as he pedelled us through the small streets. So cool!! 😀
On our way to the Summer Palace, we saw the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from afar from the 2008 Summer Olympics.
I totally recognized all of Summer Palace as we walked through it. Last time‘s visit was scorching hot and I remember how crowded it was. There were so many people sitting on the ledges of the Long Corridor and trying to stay cool in the heat.
This time, it was breezy, not stuffing, and had space for you to wall freely. It was an entirely different experience! It was very calming this time around.
Straight after that, we headed to our second salesy situation of the day: foot massage. You would think that a free one-hour foot massage and 20 RMB tip would be a good experience but the reality is that everyone sat in a room while their feet was being soaked in “herbal water” and watched a blunt documentary about our declining “health”. After that, a rush of students learning reflexology and “doctors” in white lab coats came in and sat in front of you as your feet was being rubbed and lectured you on your health. Lol! Mom and I avoided this whole fiasco by opting out of the free foot massage and just napped on the seats and ignored their requests to have our palms looked at.
We weren’t the only ones who knew ahead of time about their “plans”. Many people in our tour had had experience with these “free foot massages” before and knew to just refuse their service so we wouldn’t be accosted with buying medicine at 1000 RMB a pop. Scary stuff!
Our night concluded with dinner at a really authentically Chinese-looking restaurant. All the dishes of food at dinner time were the same as lunch but lunch tasted much, much better. It must have been the small-kitchen and home-cooking that made it so delicious :).
We arrived back at the hotel before 9 which was early! Checked my msgs a bit and slept early like a baby. 🙂
I wonder what interesting stories await us tomorrow? 🙂