I recently traveled to China with my Mum for my 21st birthday present. Whilst over there we visited Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Yichang and Shanghai. I'm going to put the trip into six separate posts starting with Beijing.
First of all I know I am incredibly lucky to have been taken away to such an exotic place for my birthday and I really appreciate it all. This post is in no means me bragging just putting my thoughts and opinions out there whilst also sharing various shots I took, being a photography graduate and all that...
Holidays for me always start in duty free and this one was no different. After my Dad and boyfriend dropped me and the Mother off at Heathrow, and of course after a farewell caramel latte in Costa, we headed through all the departures procedures and were off. Many people said we were crazy, two women going to China alone but we had a tour booked with tour guides accompanying us every step of the way. I had saved all my 21st birthday money up to purchase one special handbag in duty free, the Mulberry Alexa in Conker, a gorgeous red wine colour. I had a permanent smile etched on my face knowing that little beauty was mine. Onto the cosmetic goodness, I always purchase at least one perfume when traveling abroad not being able to resist the slight discount of duty free prices. This time round I bought the Pacco Robanne One Million and I love it, such a me scent. I added to that a Kiehl's moisturiser, YSL Rouge Volupte in no. 1, YSL Shocking mascara, MAC paint pot in Rubenesque, MAC concealer and foundation.
3 hours after landing, very tired outside our first hotel sporting the lovely new handbag
I jumped straight in the bed for a quick nap
(I'm aware this is sideways)
Mum and I at the summer palace
Gorgeous paintings at the Summer Palace
Being idiots at the Forbidden city
We flew with Air China and quite honestly it was the longest 10 and a half hours...very uncomfortable and not a great start to the holiday! when we arrived in Beijing it was interesting to say the least. I was expecting a massive culture shock but was surprised at how westernised everything was with exception of everything being in Chinese of course! We stayed in a Sheraton the first few nights and the beds were amazing! Literally like a cloud I was so exhausted I just wanted to pass out but with the time difference we had to try and stay awake, its 8hours ahead out there.
First proper day was spent in two places; in the morning we explored the Summer Palace a gorgeous place full of intricately painted structures and very peaceful even with masses of chinese tourists milling around. The afternoon we spent in the Forbidden City, very historic, learnt a lot especially that Chinese coffee, unless from Starbucks, is disgusting!! In the evening we watched a Kung Fu show, meaning I now want to learn Kung Fu and break wood with my head of course.
Kung Fu fighting..
Our second day started with a walk/climb along the Great Wall of China. Its huge! Even bigger than I expected from what I'd seen on television. Being the strange person I am I donned my panda onesie and walked a couple of sections being stopped quite a few times by locals wanting pictures with the crazy western girl dressed as a panda...this was quite a frequent occurrence to be honest even without the panda suit. Chinese people deem my tallness, pale skin and blonde hair as extremely beautiful and wanted photos with me all the time. Wasn't something I could put up with all the time! I belong on the other side of the camera... The afternoon was spent walking around the grounds of the Ming warrior temple.
Mum and I with the Olympic Birds Nest stadium in the back ground
Noms on our first day
(Frustratingly I can't rotate these pictures!)
In the forbidden city grounds
On the Great Wall of China
Stone statues at the Ming Warrior Temple
On the Great Wall of China again
Posing with the locals in my panda suit
Some crazy person...
More stone statue fun
The third day we visited the temple of heaven which was beautiful and pictures will say more than I can. After this we visited a local village called a Hutong and had lunch with a local family which was lovely, nicest meal so far actually. Then off to the airport to fly to our next destination Xian, which shall have another post to it's self.
Local families home with a little doggy (yes he has orange ears)
Congrats if you made it this far!