Remember Big Bird in China? Yeah, well Big Bird, I’m following in your footsteps.“I don’t know how Big Bird lasted that long in China. I mean, if he wasn’t being video taped, they would of killed him, fried him, doused him in tofu and eaten him. I know I would of.” – Jayne, 2011
So its official, the annual Wong family excursion into the wild will be to Beijing this year. I have to say, I’m super excited – although, and I have to note, my sister is slightly less excited than I. I’m eagerly awaiting our departure and subsequent immersion in all things cultural – my sister, on the other hand is only going to perk up when we visit unbelievably large department stores. This will be the first time we go on an actual tour as well – and so my dear beloved sister will have to be towed along to gawk at things – while I snap hungrily away like some humanoid form of alligator with opposable thumbs and a metal and glass contraption. SNAP SNAP SNAP.
Suffice to say, this time I will not be taking my Nikon D90 – I have learnt my lesson from the back-breaking trip I took earlier this year to Taiwan in which I spent a lot of the time lugging around a 2.5kg unit in a Longchamp bag. Not my idea of a good time – it would be if I were a masochist. But I’m not. No, this year, I will be emulating my travels to Tokyo, in which I brought along my EP-1 kickin’ with my 20mm Lumix lens a very happy little zoom lens.
The only downside to this whole entire adventure is the fact that China blocks access to my favourite media outputs – that’s right Facebook and Twitter are off-limits. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? HOW EVER WILL I SURVIVE? So, I’m wondering if it is possible to use apps such as Instagram and Notica to post through to Facebook? Probably highly unlikely, but a girl can dream, right?
During our little trip, we will have only three days of free time and the rest of it will be spent trouncing around with a crew of grumpy older folk that are just as snap happy as me – our tour group itinerary looks a little like this:
DAY ONE: Entry to Beijing. Is basically being transfer from our hotel to another hotel. And the rest of the day we get to lounge about like lizards on a hot rock.
DAY TWO: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Foot Massage. Excited about visiting these areas – although I have to admit that our first hotel is within 10 minutes walking distance from these locations. I DON’T CARE, I’M GOING TO VISIT THEM. AGAIN. And yeah, apparently day one exclusively includes a foot massage of some sort.
DAY THREE: Beijing Hutong, Lama (I read this as the Llama Temple) Temple, Summer Palace, Beijing Roast Duck. The special feature of the day, of course, is roast duck. It’s a crying shame that I am not a fan of roast duck. Or duck, even.
DAY FOUR: Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tombs (Changling and Sacred Way), Acrobatic Show. Apparently, Badaling is the most famous section of Great Wall and has been well maintained (read: renovated). I have to admit, I actually read “Badaling” as “Balding”. That’s my dyslexic vision getting in the way again. I really CAN NOT WAIT to finally get my feet on the Great Wall of China. This will be where I will buy crates of useless merchandise. Believe it.
DAY FIVE: Marco Polo Bridge, Beijing Zoo, Tea Show at Crab apple Flower Stream Teahouse. The Beijing Zoo – to see a panda – in China. DREAM COME TRUE.
DAY SIX: Free. Essentially, do whatever you feel like, we’ll stuff breakfast in you.
DAY SEVEN: Departure. We are expelled from the country, hopefully without cholera.
So, the question is, for the first three days of solitude, where should we go? That’s right, calling all Beijing-ites – have any suggestions up your sleeves?