China, Beijing

We can say we’ve been to China, but realistically we’ve only been to Beijing, and to be honest, it didn’t impress. Arguably the most un-tourist friendly city I’ve been to. Sure we didn’t have a guide book, stay in touristy areas or visit the main tourist information (if it exists), but we expected that a city that hosted the Olympic games would have at least a handful of people that spoke English, or would at least be interested in speaking to you at all. We did go to the tourist info booth at Tianemen Square. They gave us a map…. all in Chinese. And they didn’t know where the nearest hotel was. You would think that they would be 2 pretty common questions at a tourist information. We went to the train station to buy a train ticket to Mongolia- very silly of us. Everyone knows that you go to the Beijing International Hotel to do that! So we went there to buy a ticket for Friday or Saturday, depending what time it left, but turns out they only leave Tuesday and Wednesday. So change of plans, lets catch a bus. If it wasn’t for our new found couch surfing friend Jeremy, from Singapore, who could speak Chinese, we wouldn’t have had a hope. The bus station was ages away, with no train link or any simple or sensible way of getting there.
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