Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Beijing 2000

This was my first visit to China with a friend. We took an 8-day package tour to Beijing that also included side treks to Tianxin for half a day and to Chengde where we spent a night. The photo of the Great Wall of China is first on this post because that was the most memorabe and wonderful part of the tour. Next in line is the Forbidden city. The guide took us there at the beginning of the tour. It was raining that day and we were herded like sheep from the North Gate to the South Gate through thick crowds of visitors. Needless to say, one of the highlights of the trip was marred. Fortunately on the last day of the trip, we returned to the Forbidden City on our own having ditched the last day of the set itinerary that would have taken us to see the Marco Polo bridge and something that was not worth spending time on.

The problem with these package tours is that we inevitably end up wasting precious time in shops and places that should have been better spent on the places of interest. Which was why when I went to Jiuzhaigou a few years later, I joined a group that was organised privately and each of us paid about SGD$60 to ensure that we did not stopover at any souvenior shops or places that were not in our itinerary. That was the best packaged tour I ever went on.




4 comments:

slurp! said...

for wilder side of greatwall, you may like to try simatai (司马台)next time

Mable said...

Thanks slurp. I hope there will be a next time for me to see the Great Wall and to see a wilder side of it. I think it would be most wonderful to see it from outer space but this of course is not possible for me. So I shall just dream about it sometimes.

slurp! said...

you can try google earth LOLz

Mable said...

Oh yes, second best, will try that ha ha...