Saturday, November 12, 2005
The CHINESE Chronicles
Crooning on my STEREO: Saturday Night by BON JOVI
Ni Hao Ma??? My Mandarin SUCKS. Therefore I was useless when I was in China. It is such a shame when I stepped foot on my ancestral land for the first time.. and knew NOTHING of the language. MANDARIN IS A BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE. I only speak Cantonese; the slightly less graceful dialect of the Chinese language (Think English versus Gaelic) which isn't exactly useful in BEIJING.
HIGHLIGHT #1: THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
Yeah you could tell I was pretty KNACKERED.Such a frigging long hike up and down 60degree slopes. We visited a part of the bridge that isn't massively popular, so we literally had the entire bridge to ourselves. This is the view from one of the highest points....
Quite a crap photograph but the view is definitely worth the climb. I forgot to tell you that IT WAS FRIGGING COLD!!!!!!.
The Great Wall is definitely my favourite Beijing haunt....YOU MUST VISIT THIS ANCIENT WONDER AT SOME POINT OF YOUR LIFE. Shoot yourself if you fail to agree with me.
HIGHLIGHT #2: TEMPLES. TEMPLES. TEMPLES.
Temples are EVERYWHERE. I am not going to start naming each and everyone of them because chances are you'll forget their names anyway. The lovely photo on the right is the LAMA TEMPLE. Yep, it is TIBETAN. Lots of Buddha statues, monks, joss sticks and TOURISTS.
Tourists are O-K-A-Y. It is worse when they bring their imbecile kids along on holiday.
Then I encountered a TIBETAN GOOD-LUCK WHEEL. As you can see, I was desperately spinning it for dear life. Not that I am horribly downtrodden at present... it is part of human nature to be GREEDY.
OH BLESS ME
BIGGEST RIP-OFF: THE FORBIDDEN CITY.
I don't get it. People RAVE so much about it. I know it is a fancy palace. Larger than Versailles. Larger than Shrewsbury. Like, WOW.
But it is OVERRRATED. Come on, when you've seen places such as THE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN and THE SUMMER PALACE , the Forbidden City falls straight off my list. Firstly, it is so BLOODY CROWDED. I propose that stupid kids should be banned from tourist spots. Not that 6 year olds possess ample brain cells to learn about Chinese history anyway. They should be left with the PANDAS in the BEIJING ZOO.
Secondly, THERE ARE ABOUT 5 THRONE ROOMS AND THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME. Stop kidding me. I didn't pay 45 yuan to watch throne room duplicates. Where did you hide your antiques? Or show me some decent relics that are restored. Everything, including the royal throne, looks like its been fished out of the well.
Thirdly, THERE ARE NO MAPS. Well there are no free ones anyway. In English. You tell the ticket counter that you are a TOURIST and they give you a map shrouded in Chinese characters. If you want an English map, you have to get it off some dodgy PIRATES for 3 yuan. If all fails, you will be forced to wander around a massive pueblo with a compass.
Nature is definitely China's most beautiful.
NEXT STOP: TIBET IN 2007