MY BEIJING TRIP DAY 1 | SAHABAT PT | My eldest daughter and I were very excited when we boarded our flight , MH 360 to Beijing. The flight took about 6 hours. Our flight was at 6.30pm and around 6.15pm, we boarded our flight. My eldest daughter Talia was happy and thrilled as it was her very first Malaysian Airlines flight. Before this, she has traveled overseas to Indonesia but via AirAsia.
We were served tidbits in the form of peanuts and orange juice once the fasten seat belt signs went off, which signifies the plane being more stabilized and about 8.30pm, we had our dinner served. During the 6 hour journey, I manage to watch Taken 3, as well as two episodes of Stalker. The on flight entertainment kept us occupied and I also managed an hour nap while on flight. The flight was thankfully smooth despite a little bit of turbulence.
We arrived safely at the Beijing Capital International Airport at past 1 am and since it was already so late, we decided to spend the night in the airport to save money as well as for convenience purposes.
Early next morning, we took the first Airport Express train (very much like our own ERL but cheaper) to Dongzhimen station. The ticket price is RMB25 per person per way. The first train starts at 6.20am and the last train is at 10.50pm. Its already very sunny in Beijing during our stay there and the sun is out early as 4.30am.
From Dongzhimen, we then changed subways to get to our hotel, the Red Lantern Hostel. This trip was totally my own trip and not sponsored in anyway except for my Pocket Mobile WiFi from Wiyo, so I had to keep cost as low as possible. We walked a short distance from the Xinjiekou subway to the hostel which was located in a little Hutong off the Xinjie Kou road.
The hostel looked dusty and old with kinda messy interiors. There was a little stream with coil in the middle of the now covered courtyard.
We got a room with a queen sized bed. The room was clean and they were very generous with the pillows in the room. There was also a fan and an air conditioner.
There was a writing desk, chair, small seating area, and shelves to put our things
No 5, Zhengjue Hutong ,
This hostel cost me just about RMB440.00 (RM261.12) for two nights stay.
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The hutong area was a little dirty and busy though with lots of hawkers selling vegetables, food and fruits.
After having a bath and changing our clothes, my daughter and I got out of our hostel, and headed to the Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City. The security detail and checks in Beijing are very important, and you will encounter security checks at all subway stations and places of interest. Even bottled water is scanned !
There wasn't that many people around at that time and I did not think too much into it, but the answer only became clear when we had gone inside. Apparently, on Mondays, the Forbidden City was closed to Public for maintenance and cleaning.
Since it is Monday, my daughter and I were pretty crestfallen and decided to go for a walk in the garden /park towards the left of the Forbidden City and it costed us RMB3 to enter this pretty garden.
Inside the garden area, there was a small mansion area, where my daughter and I were fascinated. We took some photos there. It was very pretty and you can even see people exercising there in the garden.
Surprisingly, I find Beijing to be quite clean, even cleaner then KL but there are the the occasional Chinese spitting (which happens in Malaysia also) and wherever there is a toilet, there is a stench. I also hate that in the toilets here there is no bidet and we have to bring our mineral bottles along for cleaning purposes or a wet wipe exclusively for 'that'
I like the weather which is quite cool and the breeze is refreshing.Since the Forbidden City was closed, we were slightly stumped and decided instead to go to the Beijing Zoo.
Entrance for Beijing Zoo is RMB40 per person which includes a boat ride and visit to the Pandas. The Beijing Zoo is very pretty and is the second best Zoo I visited! I just love the atmosphere and the lovely garden and lake.
There are more then half a dozen pandas there to see but well, as usual, all pandas do is eat and sleep most of the time.
We were strolling around the very big zoo and before we knew it, 3-4 hours have passed and it happened that we came to the Beijing Aquarium as well. I had problems deciding whether to go ahead and go in or not because it was expensive! RMB150 per person.
I caved in at the temptation of seeing dolphins and beluga whales, eventually, It is a lovely place and you can also see Hawkbill Turtles here. Though I did feel sad as the Turtle enclosure is way too small for them, but the Beluga Whales, Sea Lion and Dolphin show was definitely entertaining and amazing and not to be missed if you are visiting the Beijing Aquarium.
By the time we emerged from the aquarium we were very knackered, we manage to take a bus to the Xinzimen area for just RMB2 per person, and come across one of the Halal Noodles restaurant, and had dinner there before returning to our hotel.
Since the night before we did not sleep much at all, and had used up whatever that was left of our energy, we tucked in early and slept by 8pm.
TO BE CONTINUED
MY BEIJING TRIP PART 2
MY BEIJING TRIP PART 2
Story by Miera Nadhirah
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