Beijing - First Impressions
We arrived in Beijing on Thursday morning, and made our way to the Happy Dragon Hostel which is located not too far from the city centre in the Dongcheng district. First port of call was to retire to the pit of a thousand inequities, as we were both exhuasted. The hostel is nice and the staff and very friendly and speak good English. They are happy to help out dummies like us who didn't even have a lonely planet in our posession when we got there.
Trying to answer a question in Chinese is difficult:
There is a restaurant and a bar in the hostel which was nice aswell. The following day we made our way to the Forbidden City which was closed unfortunately, so after being managing to get away from the main gates without agreeing to a tour or buying a statue of a dragon, we took a stroll around the city to get our bearings.
It's quite a nice city to walk around in although some of the main junctions are a bit confusing. Its one of those places where if you see a green man at a crossing, it doesn't automatically mean that it is safe to cross the street at your leisure. Cyclists for one have their own constant green man in their heads, but mostly it turning traffic that are the ones to watch out for. An interesting thing is that there seems to be a strip of concrete going down the middle of the main footpaths with grooves perpendicular to the rest of the footpath. When we consulted our brains we figured it was something to do with assisting blind people to get around? Maybe added for the Olympics?
Tian'An Man square is pretty impressive, especially at night with all the lights: