Friday, October 5, 2012

China Trip Day 8 and 9 : Beijing

Itinerary day 8 : Julong – Qianmen
Itinerary day 9 (last day) : Xidan - Qianmen - Wangfujing

We flew to Beijing by Air China again at 7.00 am. At that time they didn’t serve western breakfast, so I had Chinese breakfast. I didn’t like it. It was a bland porridge with sweet dried radish, strange taste nut and salted egg for side dish. BLAH!

I had booked another night at Oriental Peace Hotel from ctrip when I was in Chengdu. I was lazy to search for another place to stay plus it was only for one night. Ctrip had a cheaper rate than book at the hotel itself. 1 night there cost me RMB 371. From Beijing Capital Airport we took airport express to Wangfujing. 

How to go to Wangfujing from Beijing Capital Airport : From airport take airport express and get off at Dongzhimen station, transfer to line 2 (dark blue line) and get off at Jianguomen station, transfer to line 1 (red line) and get off at Wangfujing station

I do not recommend airport express if you have big luggage with you. The subway stations in Beijing rarely have escalator. I dragged my big luggage up and down stairs for several times and you know how people there don’t queue. It was so painful. We didn’t have any difficulty when we checked in at the hotel. They had our booking on their list.

How to go to Julong underground market : From Wangfujing station take line 1 (red line) and get off at Xidan, then transfer to line 4 (light blue line) and get off at Beijing Zoo station

I browsed for Julong a night before. Some blogs said it’s located in Xizhimen so we took off at Xizhimen Station. Apparently Julong was closer from Beijing Zoo station. It took about 500 m walk from Xizhimen. When you arrived at Beijing Zoo Station, go up to the main road and look for Mc Donald, it’s located at the corner. Just near the Mc Donald, you can find a way in to Julong underground market.

Our itinerary for the last 2 days in Beijing was for shopping. We went to Julong, an underground wholesale market place where you can buy clothes, shoes, bags, accessories in low prices. Eventhough it’s a wholesale market, you don’t have to buy many. It’s allowed to only buy one item. You have to bargain very low in here. Bring your own plastic bag, they don’t provide any. Soon our 2 big bags were full with things. We left Julong at 4.30 pm and went back to the hotel.

After resting for a while we went to Qianmen again to buy some souvenirs for family and friends. We had Peking Duck for dinner at Qianmen. It was good. We have some Peking Duck restaurants here in Indonesia. The taste was almost the same, but the one in Beijing is more delicious.

Entrance gate to Qianmen

The next day we checked out early and entrust our baggage in the hotel. It was our last day in China. We went to Xidan to do some more shopping. You have to bargain hard too in Xidan. For a belt, the seller gave me RMB 35 and after bargain I got it only for RMB 10. We had lunch at a Taiwan cuisine food stall in the mall. I had pork stewed rice for RMB 16. Finally something I can eat and it tasted sweet just like pork stewed I know. From Xidan we went back to Qianmen to picked up a thing I ordered last night then went back to Wangfujing pedestrian street. 

We went back to our hotel at around 6 pm to take our luggage. We went to the airport by taxi. A taxi driver offered RMB 150 to go to airport. I told him I will go for RMB 100 or use meter, but he refused. He said at rush hour RMB 100 is not enough and insisted RMB 150. I tried to catch another taxi when he finally agreed for RMB 100 with some nagging. He said he have to take another passenger on the way to airport because RMB 100 is not enough. A girl got on the taxi and the taxi driver drove her first then drove us to the airport. We didn’t mind because we still have enough time and we got to sightseeing Beijing at night for free.

My experienced in China was “incredible”. It was none like other trips I ever had before. Will I go back there? I’m still thinking about it. There are many beautiful places in China and suitable for shopping because the prices are very very cheap, but the people, the foods and the language barrier are too frustrating. I want to go back to The Great Wall though, so maybe one day laaaaaaatttteerrrr I’ll go back to China but even if I don’t, it is okay for me. There are many other countries I haven’t visited yet and Korea is still waiting for me to come back.


Monday, October 1, 2012

China Trip Day 6 : Huanglong, Day 7 : Chengdu

It was raining very hard in the morning. We had traditional Chinese breakfast, same as yesterday and headed to Hunglong. Before went to Huanglong we stopped by at another Tibetan house. At first I didn’t know what it was for. We all gathered in their so called livingroom. One Tibetan young girl told us about Tibetan culture which of course I only understood a little. The more I heard her story, I finally understood that it was another tourist trap. She introduced us to some kind of Tibetan belt made of metal and she said even the doctor in Beijing said it’s good for back. She told more story about more Tibetan accessories related to health and as I guessed, she sold those accessories. Most of the people were so attracted but me, my mom and some others went outside back to the bus.