A Veggie in Beijing 


For a westerner in Beijing a few things are a surprise when you stay for a few weeks in Beijing. 

For me it wasn’t the toilets  (squat ) , having to walk in the roads to get to places pavements seem to be car parks) or even very few places to get coffee or tea  (not even on our hotel ) but it was the lack of places to eat.  I am …Yes a vegetarian, one of the first restaurants I ate at and ordered a Veggie tofu dish served it in a bowl with additional pieces of kidney added and a blood based gravy as a Base

If you hunt though. ..there is vegetarian restaurants, and I have now even found a wonderful vegan restaurant… so vegetarians and vegans visiting Beijing , lovely restaurants do exist but they are playing hide and seek with you 

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What did you do today? 


I get asked that question relatively often.  But nobody asked me today and today I could have told them ,” I took a toboggan down the Great Wall of China. ”

It was good but not amazing because the speed you travel at depends on the speed of the people in front of you. I had young men….one would think they would shoot down the wall, nope they were more like a snail. I am a 50 year old adrenaline junkie and would have gone full pelt, my 67 year friend would have probably been faster than me. 

Note to future Great Wall of China tobogganers. ..stand behind older women 

 Tea 


I have never liked tea, a nice cup of tea is part of the British culture.  Even the smell of a nice cup of tea makes me feel slightly ill. 

As part of a guided tour, after the great wall we were taken to a Chinese tea house for a tea ceremony.  

“Oh no , I may have to drink some of these “…my heart sunk and  not just one tea. .but 5 types of tea!

Guess what though. .. I liked them, they don’t taste anything like the tea we drink in the UK at all.  This is real tea, delightful and refreshing. ..who would have thought 

I didn’t expect that


There are a couple of towers in Beijing that are well worth visiting.  The drum tower and the bell tower.

They are a stones throw from where we are staying,  so we wandered down to pay the drum tower a visit.  I knew that a drum display would take place, so we prepared ourselves ready.    And it was short but worth it. Now…..

What I didn’t expect was after there was a man on stage sword swallowing and swallowing huge metal balls, another man thrusting large swords into his stomach and a third man blowing up a tyre with a lady standing on it with his air from a nostril! 

Sunset Dancing 


One of the best things about Beijing is the dancing in the parks. 

You wander around Beijings many beautiful parks and often come across small groups of people dancing, sometimes with juggling sticks, sometimes ribbons and sometimes just dancing in circles. 

You are welcome to join in. ..oh yes I joined in. As the sun set, in a park in Beijing I was in a circle with about 30 chinese people dancing. ..loving it 

Jay walking in Beijing 


The world is full of different ways of getting to places on foot.  In Florida, you couldn’t seem to walk anywhere.  Local mini buses collected us for free from our hotel and took us to the theme park which we choose to visit for the day. Walking g on the grass verges was definitely a no no. 

In Beijing people walk on the roads regularly  with the cars, bikes and other methods of transportation.  The pavements are full of parked cars leaving no room to walk. It takes nerves of steel to walk anywhere but we do otherwise noone would get anywhere! 

798 Area Beijing Vs Moseley Birmingham 

798 is a huge, amazing quirky art complex. 

Moseley is a bohemian area in Birmingham. I love both areas 

798 is flooded with art shops and exhibitions from around the world. Moseley has possibly one

  798 has coffee shops and bars what seems like every few steps.  So does Moseley. 

After 5 hours of exploring only a third of 798 was discovered.  You can cover Moseley in 20 mins tops.

798 I knew only the people I travelled with. ..Moseley I am surrounded by many People I Know . Moseley wins

Dreams in Beijing 


Wow, I have been having strange dreams since arriving in Beijing.  Every night it is as if I am watching a movie. .. mostly horror stories or murder mystery.  

A old ladies in a lab coat conducting experiments on even older ladies, individuals being forced to  fight to the death and a dead Family member  visiting me to warn me this room is haunted. …you what!

Temple of heaven 

The temple of heaven is lovely and the day was beautifully sunny too.

I was sitting on a step enjoyingthe sun and a drink when I noticed an old lady going into the bible next to the steps hunting for plastic bottles and cans. 

I could see she was very poor and offered her money, my friends followed suit. In total we gave her about  £3.50,  she was delighted and then began to articulate in ways that could be easily understood that I should not be sitting in the sun and she would not stop articulating until I put my shirt on to cover any exposed skin. ..how sweet 

A Different World 


It’s our second full day in Beijing and there are a few distinct differences between our culture and the Chinese culture.  

1) Coffee is a rare commodity. ..our room had a kettle, but we were given hot chocolate to drink.  The local cafes only serve cold drinks, hot food but cold drinks 

2) the toilet are squat toilets 

3) young children /babies don’t wear nappies. . But have slots in their trousers 

4) we seem very popular,  people keep stopping us to have photos taken with us!