Workers of the world unite, it’s your day off

Workers of the world unite, it's your day off
Beijing, China

Beijing, China


Off at 8.30 for Tianamen Square. Fractionally less people but as a tip never visit China in the first week of May. Everyone is on holiday and they all want to visit the Forbidden City The Forbidden City was stunning except for the heat and the crowds. Yesterday they had 435,000 visitors, today more. Also much of it was being refurbished for the Olympics which wasn’t too good. After a quick lunch off to do a tour of the Hutongs – a bit sanitised but worth the detour as they say in the Michelin guide. Then for some reason onto Madame Sun Yat Sen’s garden. Don’t bother unless you have a very low bordom threshold. Very dull. Then with aching limbs off to the bell tower and a cup of jasmine tea. The tea being far more interesting than the tower. These organised tours tend to favour quantity over quality and I would have been happier spending the afternoon wandering the back streets with a camera. But I can not stress enough do NOT visit Beijing between 1st-7th May as the number of domestic tourists is simply staggering.


First impressions of Beijing

First impressions of Beijing
Beijing, China

Beijing, China


Heathrow was pretty painless but BA seem to be on another of their mad cost cutting regimes. Their latest is measuring carry on bags. I was carrying a backpack but was some how exluded. A good 10 hour flight to Beijing and then we met up with our fellow tour members. Not a bad bunch but it’s early days. Staying at the Nikko New Century Hotel. Not a bad 4* hotel in the business district. It’s the May Day holiday here so traffic is blissfully quiet. Well relatively blissfully quiet. While Elly had a nap I decided to head off to Tianamen Square. It was heaving. Hard to estimate numbers but must be over 100,000 and all photographing their families in front of the Great Hall of the People or the Mao painting at the Forbidden City. Then headed back to buy some cheap water from the local Carrefour. An insane experience but wonderful. It was a supermarket but not like we know it Jim. Cheap but an amazing range of products. Colgate or pork intestine, wood mushrooms or live eels. Then back for a well overdue sleep.