Beijing – starting point for a day trip to the Great Wall (incredible 21,196 km!!!) – is proving to be a perfect capital for China and makes big efforts to carry all the oddities we experienced in China to extremes. More people, more spitting, more control points, more police, more skyscrapers, more smog – there is more or everything in the centre of the Chinese power.
Looking at the architecture Beijing presents itself as a mixture of Frankfurt and a dirty Eastern Berlin with skyscrapers as far as the eye can reach. In the very centre of the city small traditional Hutons with fruit and veggie markets are shaping the character of the townscape. Regarding the real estate prices of the property properly a thorn in the flesh of the government.
At every corner you can smell the urine of the public toilets, tourist spots are painstakingly prettied up and equipped with ridiculous security checks provoking long queues (seems to be a hobby of most of the Chinese people).
It is hard to believe that just before the Olympic Games in 2008 there were only 2 metro lines as public transport for 21 million inhabitants – today 16 lines are helping to reduce traffic within this mega city.
Like all-over China the people in Beijing are also unpolite, pushing and spit on the street. As the top of the candy you also get some really bad air for free which you – as a tourist – still can feel at sunny days.
So why even make your way to Beijing?
Well, for me Beijing has scored with its summer palace, the busy Hutons and an amazing Hot Pot restaurant where we have been the only non-Chinese.
No doubt – there are more beautiful cities in the world – but for 3 or 4 days and with just a little bit of preparation it is worth to have a look at the capital of the most populated country in the world.
Anyhow – as I am fed up with skyscraper-Asia I change my travel plans again. I need sun and some sand between my toes. For this reason I am heading to the Philippines – see you there 🙂